Orange County Municipal Retirees Earn Way More Than Working Orange Countians: Data

Photo by flickr user David Masters
Come and get it!
Full-career retirees from Orange County municipalities received average annual retirements from the state pension system that were 54 percent greater than the average salary of still-working area residents in 2014, according to just-released data that finds the three largest payouts went to the former top administrators of the cities of Anaheim and Santa Ana and the Santa Margarita Water District.

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Lawsuit Claims Former LA Sheriff Lee Baca Helped Pal in Investment Scheme

R. Scott Moxley/OC Weekly
Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana: Where crime autopsies occur
In my world--one overloaded with journalists, politicians, cops, bureaucrats, lawyers and judges--a sales pitch that, say, a $3 million personal investment will swell into $100 million in weeks is a knee-slapping, cry-laughing joke. That's one of numerous reasons why the case of Stanley Toy Jr. stands out. A Los Angeles County medical doctor, veteran investor, political appointee and major Democrat donor with connections to President Barack Obama, Toy claimed con artists asserting secret, high-level banking-world connections and the ability to deliver rapid returns of more than 3,300 percent suckered him.

Sophisticated financial crimes are, of course, an everyday occurrence in Southern California, but Toy's mess is unique. From 2006 to 2007, he counted among his pals then-LA Sheriff Lee Baca and Undersheriff Larry Waldie, who made him a reserve lieutenant sheriff after taking his regular campaign contributions. Orange County experienced a similar unseemly pay-to-play scenario in which, before his FBI arrest and six-year prison trip, Sheriff Mike Carona routinely gave guns and official badges to wealthy businessmen seeking law-enforcement influence.

Toy used his own connections in hopes of buying a hospital that would nab lucrative government contracts for indigent patients, an idea he pitched to Arlene Shih, a senior vice president at Chinatrust Bank. Toy didn't know Shih's job served as front for her real occupation, which a California Court of Appeal later characterized as a serial embezzler with ties to men skillful at luring gullible investors into scams with intricate enticements heavy on mystery and big on promises.

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Judge Clears Path for Karma the Husky to Go to North Carolina Sanctuary

Wolf Mountain Sanctuary
An Orange County animal control officials consider Karma "vicious."
UPDATE NO. 3, SEPT. 30, 12:05 P.M.: Orange County Superior Court Judge Corey S. Cramin today overturned his previous euthanization ruling so Karma the husky mix can be sent to a wolf sanctuary in North Carolina.

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Judge Rejects Anaheim's Attempt To Force $650,000 Deal With Former City Attorney

City of Anaheim lawyers fighting a discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by a former city attorney have lost a tense battle to end the dispute with a $650,000 payment.

U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter ruled late this month that the city lawyers' actions didn't warrant sanctions but their wrangling to force Cristina Talley into the settlement was legally erroneous.

Talley, who is represented by attorney Edward J. Morales, claims city council members discriminated against her based on age, national origin and gender as well as created a hostile work environment before abruptly forcing her to resign in January 2013.

During so-called "last, best and final" settlement negotiations in April and early May, Talley proposed a $750,000 payment to end the case before it reached a jury.

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Loaded 9mm at John Wayne Airport Among Record-Breaking Number of Guns in Carry-ons

Transportation Security Administration
Some of the guns found in TSA lines last week.
A record number of 67 firearms were discovered last week in carry-on bags at the nation's airports, including John Wayne Airport, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

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West Nile Virus Spraying Snafu Bugs County

Paramount Pictures
"What's our Vector, Victor?"
Visions of Keystone Cops or Benny Hill players bumping into one another in aircraft over the skies of Orange County fill one's head upon learning aerial spraying the past two nights of pesticide to control the West Nile Virus was scrubbed for the rest of the season because the contractor the county hired failed to get permits.

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What Did Hillary Clinton Say About Loretta Sanchez In Recently Released Emails?

R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
Clinton schools Sanchez: India is that way
The Los Angeles Times recently reported that some of the controversial Hillary Clinton emails released by the U.S. Department of State contain the subject "Loretta Sanchez" and were heavily redacted under the exemption provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

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Two People Died in the Ocean Off Orange County Last Weekend, More Drowned Inland

Photo by flickr user Bob AuBuchon
We need more of these.
It was a weekend of drownings in Orange County this past weekend as the bodies of two men were plucked out of the ocean and there were other water-related tragedies inland.

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Hurricane-vergence: Katrina's 10th Birthday, New Tropical Storm, UCI-NASA Link Fires

Tropical Storm Danny could become the first hurricane of the season.
As if on cue, the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is coming as weather forecasters reveal a tropical storm may become the first hurricane of the 2015 North Atlantic season while UC Irvine and NASA unveil research showing a strong link between high wildfire risk in the Amazon basin and the devastating hurricanes that ravage North Atlantic shorelines.

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Garden Grove Police Union: Mayor Bao Nguyen a Drunk, OC Weekly Liars

Photo by John Gilhooley
Santos family brutalized by Garden Grove PD

On Thursday afternoon, the Garden Grove Police Association (GGPA), the union that truly represents the finest of Garbage Grove, sent out a press release regarding our coverage of union head Mike Viscomi recording a conversation between him and Mayor Bao Nguyen. Moxley wrote why what Viscomi did was a no-no and noted the obvious: that a random recording involving Nguyen talking trash on his council rival, Phat Bui, somehow magically seeing the light of day for opponents to request and make public was no coincidence.

Not so, said the GGPA press release, which insisted Viscomi was just doing his job and accused Mox of being "biased and factually inaccurate." "Contrary to Moxley's inferences throughout his article," the press release stated, "Sergeant Viscomi did not surreptitiously record Mayor Nguyen in the hopes of advancing a political agenda to 'politically assassinate' Mayor Nguyen."

But in that very press release, the GGPA did what they claimed they didn't do: try to politically assassinate Nguyen.

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