[UPDATED] Mike Carona Heads for Prison . . . in Colorado
"I believe justice has been done," U.S. District Judge Andrew J. Guilford said during a brief hearing on Mike Carona's surrender, which was held at the Reagan federal courthouse in Santa Ana.
Justice may not be done with the 55-year-old, however.
Despite Carona having lost one appeal aimed at keeping him out of prison, his attorneys have filed a petition seeking a rehearing or a hearing of the full panel of judges.
"He's going to continue to pursue his appellate rights," Brian Sun, Carona's attorney, said outside the Santa Ana courtroom today, according to an Associated Press report.
UPDATE, JAN. 25, 8:22 A.M.: At this hour, Mike Carona has yet to turn himself in to federal authorities for prison lockup in Colorado ahead of a hearing he was scheduled to attend today in Santa Ana. If OC's disgraced ex-sheriff were to show up at 10 a.m. here, he would then be processed and briefly held in the Orange County Jail, which he used to run. That would no doubt be less comfortable than the minimum-security federal prison his attorney says Carona is headed to. So, as we wait to see how this plays out, let's take a look at our former top cop's new digs.
Here is what we know about the Federal Correctional Institution Englewood in the foothills of Littleton, Colorado:
- It is a satellite facility to a larger, low-security federal prison.
- It opened in 1940.
- Population as of April 13, 2006: 884.
- Forbes magazine rated it among "The 12 Best Places to Go to Prison."
- Prisoner perks include foosball, billiards and Ping-Pong.
As the Forbes piece noted, "The days of 'Club Fed'--think golf courses and lobster bakes--are long gone. But minimum-security facilities, known as federal prison camps, are the best-suited for disgraced CEOs and other white-collar criminals."
Besides the perks detailed above, Carona will enjoy a relatively low staff-to-inmate ratio, dormitory-style accommodations and little to no fencing.
In fact, the ex-sheriff and Lil' Ex-Sheriff can walk away any time they like.
Presumably, they'd be in even more hot water were they recaptured.
ORIGINAL POST, JAN. 21, 4:34 P.M.: Well, Mike Carona was once known as "America's Sheriff," so it's fitting that Orange County's disgraced ex-sheriff will turn himself over for lockup in a federal prison in the middle of the country.
Brian Sun, Carona's attorney, states in a letter filed in court Friday by prosecutors that Carona plans to surrender at the Federal Correctional Institution Englewood in Littleton, Colorado, before a scheduled hearing Tuesday in Santa Ana.
Carona was indicted on federal charges of conspiracy and mail fraud in a sweeping public corruption case, but was acquitted in January 2009 of all but one charge: witness tampering.
He was sentenced the following April to five and a half years in prison.
A federal appeals court this month upheld Carona's conviction.
Hey, maybe Carona will become a South Park character. Mr. Hankey, meet the Li'l Sheriff!