In a startling personnel development, Don Blankenship--the longtime head of the Bureau of Investigation at the Orange County District Attorney's office has been forced to take "extended leave" and "is not expected to return to the office," according to a memo sent to staff just before 5 p.m. today.
The terse memo does not explain the reason for Blankenship's departure. But in his absence Mike Major--a well-respected assistant to the chief--will serve as "acting" head of DA investigations.
Sources tell me that Blankenship, a former Santa Ana Police Department union official before DA Tony Rackauckas brought him to the DA's office in 1999, has been snarled in behind-the-scenes scandals for more than six months.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly