|Rackauckas will fire back|
Sources are telling OC Weekly
that Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and his assistants will end their public silence on Wednesday about the controversial release of Todd Spitzer as a prosecutor.
Spitzer, a former county supervisor and state assemblyman who'd made no secret of his desire to replace Rackaukas after his retirement, was fired by the DA in late August when Spitzer entangled himself in a case involving the county's public guardian.
Following Rackauckas' action, Spitzer--who was an "at will" employee--spoke freely, accusing the DA of being beholden to corrupt advisors, but adamantly refused to sign a waiver to allow county officials to tell their side of the story.
After a legal review, officials--including the DA--determined that Spitzer's repeated interviews with the media effectively waived his rights to privacy about his job performance. The fact that Spitzer is a public figure also contributed to their decision.
Wednesday's scheduled press conference on Spitzer is expected to detail numerous stories that paint him in an unfavorable light. One story will detail how, in the view of DA management, Spitzer disrespected detectives in the office's Bureau of Investigation by trying to get them assigned to serve as his gofers at Spitzer's employee furlough party in 2009.
In the e-mail reviewed by the Weekly, Spitzer wrote that he wanted "newbie" investigators to "work the bbq and replenish" cocktails at his party.
"What you have to understand is that so-called 'newbie investigators' in our office are all seasoned cops who've come from other law-enforcement agencies," Alan Vanderpool, a supervising DA investigator who received Spitzer's e-mail, told me. "But I wouldn't have provided clerical workers in our office to go over there and work because the request was inappropriate. He also wanted them to do clean up for him at his party."
An informal, written outline--obtained by the Weekly--of other issues the DA's office will talk about on Wednesday includes:
--Did Spitzer call the public guardian, use his "assistant district attorney" title, and request confidential information?
--Did Spitzer ever lie to the news media about what happened when a senior DA official disciplined him for giving a bottle of wine to a court clerk?
--Did Spitzer try to help a friend set up a business to use victims of crimes for profit through improper referrals from the DA's office?
--Did Spitzer ever use DA staff and equipment to campaign for the 2014 race for DA?
--Did Spitzer reveal the existence of a confidential investigation at a Republican Party meeting after being specifically told not to do so?
--Was Spitzer ever rejected by the Orange County Sheriff's Department to be a level one reserve deputy?
--Did Spitzer ever take a stress leave from the DA's office?
--Did Spitzer fail to pass a psychological examinations for any law enforcement agency?
Spitzer has not yet responded to my requests for an interview about the upcoming press conference.
Also, tune in Wednesday to KOCE-TV where reporter David Nazar, who has already done outstanding work on the Spitzer controversy, is expected to reveal more in-depth details.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly