Sunday's Headlines & Surprises: The Shame of Wayne Gross

  • Dana Point Gets a Celebrity! Earvin “Magic” Johnson and his wife, Cookie, have purchased a $7.6 million gated-community “vacation” home in Dana Point, according to the Times. Though “Hot Property” reporter Ruth Ryon didn’t share more details about the location, you can assume it’s at the oceanfront Headlands, property owned for decades by the Chandler family, longtime owners of Ryon’s employer. Anyhow, real estate agent Shelley Brown told the paper that Johnson, who lives most of the time in Beverly Hills, likes Dana Point more than Malibu. The 7,700-square-foot, ocean-view house holds five bedrooms, seven baths, a deck, wine cellar, home theatre, elevator and a pool, writes Ryon.
  • A Hero In Our Midst: Peggy Lowe at the Register wins story of the day ("Competitive Juices Fuel Carona Prosecutor") with her exclusive interview with Brett Sagel, the assistant U.S. Attorney who is bravely prosecuting Calamity Mike (our frisky, money-loving, justice-bending sheriff) on a series of corruption charges. (Note to Reg: please don't use "juices" in headlines related to this sheriff.) Sagel, 33, declined to speak about his case against Mike Carona, but provided a nice little bio: St. Louis native who loves poker, eats vegetarian, votes Republican despite the efforts of his mother and uses words like “awesome.” An interesting tidbit buried in the story focused on Wayne R. Gross, until recently the chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Santa Ana. He’s now in private practice, thankfully. Law enforcement sources have long told me that Gross wouldn’t prosecute criminals in OC’s power structure because he wants a high political office or judgeship. You’d hope that sort of slime wouldn’t be true, but then in Lowe’s story Gross—a fan of Carona consigliere Michael Schroeder--noted that he had to recuse himself from the probe because he was too close to Carona. Comforting, huh? I'm betting Gross will wear a black robe soon.
  • Rush Limbaugh 101: Mike Anton and Garrett Therolf of the Times report that UCI law school dean Erwin Chemerinsky has already won $100,000 commitments from 11 large law firms, $1 million each from the Clarke Foundation and local lawyer Mark Robinson, a Democrat, plus $20 million from OC’s impersonation of Howard Hughes, reclusive billionaire Donald Bren of Newport Beach. Some local conservatives had claimed Chemerinsky’s appointment would destroy the school set to open in 2009. Their argument went something like this: Chemerinsky is liberal. Liberals are biased. Hire a conservative as dean. Conservatives have no bias.
  • -- R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
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