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The Wire: Haidl and Carona Caught on Tape

Today at ex-Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona's federal corruption trial, prosecutor Brett Sagel introduced the following inflammatory excerpt of a secretly recorded July 7, 2007, conversation between then-Sheriff Carona and Don Haidl, who had served as assistant sheriff.

At the time of the conversation, Carona knew that the FBI was investigating him on suspicion of public corruption. What he didn't know was that Haidl, his longtime pal and the alleged source of a large amount of bribes, had already pleaded guilty to federal income tax violations and was, at the request of federal agents, wearing a hidden wire.

The location was the OC Fairgrounds.

This was the first of three secret recordings Haidl made for the government.

Sagel is expected to introduce other excerpts this afternoon. (Transcript and audio after the jump.)


7/07/07 Segment # 1
MC = Michael Carona
DH = Don Haidl
[UI] = Unintelligible

MC: Good night Peggy. Um, Dennis kind of filled like the role that you did, you know, in the first campaign. I mean cause, I literally, I, I didn't wanna run Don. I wasn't gonna run. I just wanted to get through all this shit man. So also I'm trying to figure out how to make this, make this thing—Dennis stepped up, he was the Don Haidl. He was going to you know his friends. Dennis probably raised me, I'm gonna guess, a hundred grand in this campaign, you know by going to his friends and family—

DH: Yeah sure, sure.

MC: —like what you did. I mean literally what you did. Uhm, [UI], we, nothing. Not even uh, [UI]. Hanshaw, had lunch with Hanshaw yesterday. Hanshaw put $700,000 in the our Foundation. And happy to do more, do whatever we want. Uh, [UI] both Hanshaw and Dennis are PSR's. George had Hanshaw convinced to give George, for Hanshaw to give George uh, a brand new Navigator, when George became sheriff.

DH: No shit?

MC: Yeah. And Hanshaw was paying him—

DH: [UI] a little cheap. Could've done better. (Chuckles)

MC: Apparently that's the car George wanted [UI]

DH: [UI] a hubcap deal you know.

MC: [UI] a phrase I...I use this Don Haidl phrase on an ongoing basis man, it's like you know, all this shit surrounds Nigger money. I mean it's, it literally is Nigger money.

DH: (Chuckles)

MC: All, all George and Joe had to be is just C players. They didn't have to be stars, man. You know they, just by not—

DH: [UI]

MC: —fucking anybody over they were valuable.

DH: Sit there and shut up.

Comments (7)

  1. Alex Brant-Zawadzki says:

    DH: No, really. Sit there and SHUT UP.

    (while I fuck you over, buddy, to make myself valuable)

  2. livinlargeinoc says:

    This Dennis guy is none other than the infamous Dennis Assael. Former owner of Assael BMW in Monrovia and a close friend & associate of Skippy's. A real piece of work with the "little man's" complex. He, no doubt, has a TON of skeletons rattling in his closet!

  3. what next? says:

    Infamous Dennis Assael.... wasn't his name mentioned in the FBI report the OC Register posted? One has to wonder if Dennis assisted Skippy in more ways than raising $100,000 in the 2002 Sheriff election. Does anyone know if Dennis Assael is on one of the Witness Lists?

    Rumor has it this bozo is connected in Los Angeles County, just not the OC.

  4. Sheriff Hutchens says:

    Did Sheriff Hutchens recall Dennis Assael PSR status recently? Sounds like Dennis needs a lengthy course on legal and moral issues.... he should not be a PSR.

    Does anyone know?

  5. Salvatore says:

    This Dennis is not a PSR he is a Reserve who graduated from the Sherif's Acadamy. He was helpful in raising over 2 Mil dollars for injured and fallen law enforcement officers in Orange County. Perhaps you should have some facts before speaking ill of real people.

  6. livinlargeinoc says:

    Yes, "what next", you're right.

    Assael isn't/wasn't a PSR. He is a reserve deputy. Skippy promoted him to captain in the reserves. Clearly a reward for his fund raising since there were far more reserves who had served with distinction and deserved that "promotion".

    Assael has hunkered down and is staying outta the limelight. He has LOTS to be worried about and could be very vulnerable if the feds or anyone else wanted to dig into his activities a bit.....

  7. Andy Zelinko says:

    Why did the transcriber or the editors capitalize
    nigger? Its not a proper name.

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