During his life, Don Haidl--the booze-loving, foul-mouthed, piano-playing, Rancho Cucamonga auto-auction king with underworld ties and a hatred for journalists--dreamed of playing cop, so he secretly paid more than $100,000 to Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona, grabbed an assistant sheriff's badge, gun, patrol car, full police powers and, for occasions when he craved public adulation, a fancy uniform with high-ranking, lapel stars.
|$$$: Assistant Sheriff Haidl: Somehow, California's Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) agency let a used-car salesman have full police powers without a minute of required POST training|
When he testified in Carona's 2008 federal corruption trial and helped to put his pal in prison for 66 months to save himself from incarceration, the ultra-wealthy Haidl admitted he'd partly wanted the badge to impress his associates, enhance his stance in business negotiations and, if necessary, escape DUI charges after one of his nights out at swank bars.
He also recalled delight from blasting the siren on his Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) car to alert his neighbors to his status and to awe his youngest son, Greg, who would go on to secure infamy in the international-headlines-grabbing Haidl Gang Rape case, in which an unconscious, 16-year-old girl was sexually assaulted with a Snapple bottle, pool cue, apple juice can and a lit cigarette.
It shouldn't be surprising then that the scrappy Haidl--who passed away in December 2012 at the age of 61 (he looked 81)--could still generate scandal in death.More »