Dirty Ex-Sheriff Mike Carona Loses Bid For Prison Sentence Reduction

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Sheriff Carona at the height of his power
Two years into his 66-month prison sentence, ex-Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona hoped this week that a federal judge would reduce his punishment in the aftermath of a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling involving bribery and honest service corruption cases.

But today inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford issued a three-page ruling that declared Carona's arguments meritless and left the punishment intact.

"[I] specifically made a factual finding in 2009 and today again make such a finding that [Carona's] crime involved instances of honest services fraud of the type that survived the Supreme Court's limitations in Skilling v. United States," Guilford wrote.

The judge went further, adding that even if the Skilling case had applied he would still declare the 66-month sentence appropriate given the flagrant abuse of power.

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Ex-Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo Spotted at Hooters?

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George and Mike: Partners in crime
It's safe to say that Orange County wasn't the same once George Jaramillo became second in command at the sheriff's department in 1999 and it certainly became more boring after Jaramillo was sent to federal prison a decade later for public corruption.

The 51-year-old Jaramillo is a quick minded, talented fellow who dreamed of becoming California's first Latino governor, but his adulterous exploits and unbridled ambition became legendary in the shameful saga of Mike Carona's era atop the state's second largest police agency.

News flash: Jaramillo is baaaaack! His punishment is over. His chains are now off.

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Todd Spitzer Dinged By Republican Blog

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The past haunts Spitzer
Orange County supervisor candidate Todd Spitzer--who apparently returns the phone calls of reporters who'll toss him softballs--got more evidence today that he won't easily sail to victory.

The folks at the Friends for Fullerton's Future (FFF) blog slammed Spitzer for his past service on the board of supervisors, and it wasn't pretty.

Spitzer hails himself as a good government activist but, as the FFF blog notes, during his prior stint as a supervisor he voted for two of the most controversial measures in modern county history:
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Ninth Circuit Upholds Sheriff Mike Carona's Corruption Conviction

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Teflon Mikey loses his magic
​Orange County's long, disgusting law enforcement nightmare is finally over.

Disgraced ex-Sheriff Mike Carona, once absurdly hailed as "America's sheriff" by CNN's Larry King, is going to federal prison.

This morning an all Republican panel of federal judges at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a 2009 jury conviction against Carona for witness tampering was valid.

Carona had argued it wasn't fair that FBI and IRS agents secretly recorded him repeatedly encouraging potential witnesses to give false testimony to a federal grand jury probing corruption at the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

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Supervisor John Moorlach Defends Crooked Ex-Sheriff Mike Carona

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Moorlach is suffering from frightening amnesia
​This afternoon on a radio talk show, Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach defended former Sheriff Mike Carona who was arrested by FBI and IRS agents and convicted of public corruption in 2009 after a federal trial.

Moorlach, a conservative Republican who can probably quote dozens of Bible quotes without catching a breath, suggested Carona had done nothing wrong during "The OC Show" on KUCI-FM radio.

Host Cameron Jackson seemed caught off guard when a discussion about campaign finance abuses and public corruption turned to Carona and Moorlach, a former county treasurer/tax collector and two-term supervisor from Costa Mesa, asked a stunning question.


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Ex-Sheriff Mike Carona Sighted, Confronted by Reporter

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Survived pesky questioning?
​Someone in Orange County's journalism community must routinely sacrifice himself to watch the events taking place in high-end eateries, and for a number of years, the man volunteering for this hazardous duty has been Orange County Register columnist Frank Mickadeit.

This week, Mickadeit was dining at Antonello Ristoranti (where spaghetti costs . . . $29) near South Coast Plaza when he ran into OC's No. 1 public embarrassment: Mike Carona.

The ex-sheriff-turned-convicted felon called him over, Mickadeit reports in a column. "Carona looked good--smiling, buff, color in his cheeks, pretty much as he did at his peak of power," he observed. 

Mickadeit goes on to claim, "I piled him with pesky questions, some of which he did not deflect."

Is he still cheating on his wife with multiple loose women while pretending to be a faithful Christian conservative?


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We're Still Paying Mike Carona WHAT?

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Still can't buy class
Veteran 
Orange County Register investigative reporter Tony Saavedra provided the day's most outrageous news.

And it has to do with the disturbing notion that crime actually pays.

Especially if you've been a crooked sheriff.

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Ninth Circuit Justices Grill Lawyers in USA v Mike Carona

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Recall that in his crafty defense of his sexual conduct with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, President Bill Clinton famously uttered this line during a grand jury proceeding about his marital infidelity: "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is."

And so we go from one philander to the next, ex-Sheriff Michael S. Carona, who is arguing that his federal corruption conviction should be overturned based, in part, on the definition of the word "withhold."

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Dubious Mike Carona Pal Loses Golf Course Temper Tantrum Appeal

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Some smells just won't go away
The nasty stench of the sheriff-turned-convicted-felon Mike Carona era continues to odorize Southern California.

Today, a state court of appeal based in Santa Ana rejected arguments by Raymond Kiu Jin Yi, one of the many dubious characters Carona handed real Orange County Sheriff's badges before his 2007 FBI arrest. Yi parlayed his newfound importance into pathetic bullying acts during a 2005 round of golf at the Los Serranos Golf & Country Club in Chino Hills.

He whipped out his OCSD badge and asked, "Do you know who I am?" to four men playing golf ahead of his group, demanded to see their driver's licenses, pushed one of them and pointed a cocked semi-automatic handgun at them.

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Mike Carona Savior Hospitalized

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Rawitz (L) saved Sheriff Carona's sorry ass
Sadly, Jeffrey M. Rawitz--one of Jones Day's feisty defense lawyers who represented ex-Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona in his federal corruption trial earlier this year--is hospitalized in Los Angeles at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

During Carona's three-month trial in Santa Ana, Rawitz participated in almost all hearings despite significant spinal cord pain following a pre-trial accident. He often limped in and out of U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford's courtroom, but always fought strenuously on Carona's behalf. Indeed, Rawitz was singlehandedly the life of the defense--an opinion numerous jurors shared with me after a lucky Carona won acquittal on five of six charges.

The injury has now caused Rawitz to resign not just from Carona's defense team (which is appealing the conviction for sabotaging a federal grand jury investigating corruption at the Orange County Sheriff's Department) but also from Jones Day.

"I am in a lot of pain," Rawitz, 46, told me last night in a phone interview from his hospital bed. "I am really hurting."

And, true to form, he continued to lobby me, perhaps Carona's biggest media critic.

"Someday, I'm going to convince you," he said, "that the government's case against Carona was weak."

I don't know about that assertion given that federal prosecutors Brett Sagel and Ken Julian proved beyond a doubt that Carona was a sheriff-hoodlum with egomaniac tendencies, but I do pray that Rawitz heals quickly.

--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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