John Yoo Should Be Prosecuted for Co-Writing Torture Memo: UCI Law's Erwin Chemerinsky

Photo by Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly
Chapman University visiting scholar John Yoo speaks as then-law school dean John Eastman listens during a torture debate in Memorial Hall in April 2009.
A fellow UC Irvine professor is reporting that School of Law dean Erwin Chemerinsky believes a fellow University of California law professor should be prosecuted for conspiring to illegally torture enemy combatants of the United States. Confused? Yoo shouldn't be!

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Immigration Agent Myles Kui Zhang Busted for $13,000 in Alleged Phony Overtime Claims

Wikipedia Commons photo by Beyond My Ken
Myles Kui Zhang worked at the Ziggurat (Chet Holifield Federal Building in Laguna Niguel).
A federal immigration agent who worked in the Chet Holifield Federal Building in Laguna Niguel has been charged with grand theft for allegedly making more than $13,000 worth of phony overtime claims over a nine-month period, authorities said.

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Meet ARTIC, Anaheim's $188 Million Station to Nowhere

Jennifer Fedrizzi/OC Weekly
Where the commuters at?

Oh, how Anaheim tried to wow the rest of Southern California on Dec. 13, as it showcased its new Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) to the public. You know the spot: that gleaming building off the 57 freeway sandwiched between the Honda Center and Angels Stadium that resembles an abalone shell during the day and a neon half-armadillo at night. It has already joined the Crystal Cathedral and Newport Coast's arches as ostentatious metaphors for the Orange County way--and it's the greatest boondoggle to hit us since the Great Park.

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Public Defender Plays Prosecution Misconduct Card in Daniel Wozniak's Double Murder Case

Courtesy of the Orange County District Attorney's office
Daniel Wozniak is accused of beheading a pal and slaying the pal's close friend.
The public defender who raised prosecutorial misconduct to try to spare the death penalty for the alleged worst mass killer in Orange County history is now trying to play the same card when it comes to one of the most twisted alleged killers in Orange County history.

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Ex-Anaheim City Attorney Says She Is Victim Of Council Majority's War On Latinos

A veteran Anaheim city attorney forced to resign in Jan. 2013 is hoping a future federal jury will believe her claims of discrimination, retaliation and hostile work environment, and award her damages.

In the pending lawsuit filed inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse, Cristina Talley alleges that a city council majority "continuously harassed" her because they perceived she sided with Latino community protesters who oppose city government subsidies to private corporations and believe the city's elections are rigged to dilute their representation.

"When certain issues pending before the city council angered the Latino community, resulting in large turnouts of Latino citizens at council meetings, certain members of the city council implied that perhaps Ms. Talley would not and could not be objective in those matters," the lawsuit states.

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How OC Law Enforcement Locked Up an Innocent 14-Year-Old Boy for Two Years

Bob Aul/OC Weekly

Eyewitness statements can be notoriously unreliable, a fact Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) detective Andy Alvarez knew when he investigated a 2009 attempted-murder case that happened near South Coast Plaza. He'd spent half of his then-14-year career as a California Highway Patrol officer, earned the rank of SAPD sergeant and served as a teacher at a Southern California police academy, as well as an "analytical thinking" instructor for Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) agency.

At the outset, at least, the vicious, attempted murder of three teenagers created the usual mystery for Alvarez: Who were the gun-toting assailants, and why had they committed the bloody crime? The victims--Brian Marin, Carlos Vega and Manuel Ventura--were next to a 1992 Acura Integra when a Jeep loaded with what they described as "Hispanics" approached. A man wearing a red, hooded sweat shirt emerged from the left rear passenger side and demanded to know their gang affiliation by asking, "Where you from?"

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Even In Death, Ex-OC Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl Can't Help But Generate Hillbilly Antics

$$$: 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
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.

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.

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Dead Man's Jeans May Help Identify Him, Coroner and Garden Grove Police Hope

Courtesy of Orange County Sheriff's Department
From the John Doe's jeans
The Orange County Sheriff's Department on Thursday released this photo from a pair of men's jeans.

No, our fearless deputies have not gone all America's Top Model on us.

Lei jeans and black Vans sneakers (size 9) were on the body of a male found in the water channel near Magnolia Street and Orangewood Avenue in Garden Grove on Monday. The sheriff's Coroner Division and the Garden Grove Police Department are trying to figure out who he is.

They hope the clothing will jog someone's memory. The fellow stood 5-foot-4, and the Lei jeans he wore had a patterned pocket. Investigators believe he had been dead for some time.

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Newport Beach PD Made Life for its Good Cops a Living Hell

Luke McGarry

It was impossible for Balboa Peninsula motorists to notice anything unusual when they passed Newport Beach City Hall on the afternoon of March 10, 2011. The warm sun hovering above steady beach traffic and palm trees swaying from a periodic, lazy breeze revealed just a typical, Southern California day. But not far from Pacific Coast Highway, on a sidewalk adjacent to 32nd Street--a road flanking local government offices until last year's relocation--high-ranking police officers were teaching a lesson to one of Orange County's most heroic whistleblowers and his wife: Mess with us, and you'll pay dearly.

In recent years, daily examples of faithful public service inside the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) have been overshadowed by alarming corruption. City officials ignore or downplay the misconduct, but NBPD bosses turned the agency into a darker, stupider version of Animal House. Court records and internal documents show the city's boys in blue have accepted gratuities in exchange for favors, gotten frat-boy drunk at work, lied under oath, passed out confidential information to pals, encouraged oral sex from female job applicants, committed wild adultery on duty, doctored official reports, hurled feces, dished out horrific domestic violence against wives and girlfriends, engaged in intoxicated bar fights, issued criminal threats, vandalized property, converted powerful agency spy equipment to personal use, and rigged promotion systems to ensure mostly see-no-evil, management-loyal employees rise--and let the hijinks continue.

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Big Spike in Drugs Coming Into Orange County Jails Brings New Body Scanners ... for Some

MGM/UA Home Entertainment
Get ready for scanners, OC jail inmates.
A story recently published about drug smuggling being on the rise at many California jails contains this interesting fact about Orange County's lockup: Not only has there been a massive increase in illegal drugs making it inside, but the county is purchasing several full-body scanners to give deputies full views of inmates' internal organs and any contraband they might be hiding. It gives being sent to the hole a whole new meaning!

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