Anyone who had spent a year traveling overseas before walking into the July 24 Board of Supervisors' meeting on civilian oversight woes at the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) might have thought they were witnessing the coronation of Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. The top cop's arrival in the Hall of Administration, with her entourage, prompted smiles, handshakes and backslaps. One attendee said the sheriff was doing an "excellent" job. Another praised her willingness to attend; a third declared "the highest degree of respect for her." Even board chairman Todd Spitzer praised Hutchens' purported desire "to do the right thing."
|Bob Aul/OC Weekly|
If OCSD is a paradigm of virtuous public service, why call a semi-emergency hearing? The sheriff wondered the gist of this question out loud, though she said, in disingenuous politeness, "I'm pleased to be here." Worried police-corruption revelations once again have won national attention, Spitzer assembled the powwow to discuss strengthening the Office of Independent Review (OIR) or scrapping it for more effective oversight. "We have a problem as a county," he said.More »