The misuse of jailhouse informants by Orange County prosecutors and sheriff’s officers is one of the most annoying scandals to embroil a county that has seen its share of law-enforcement wrongdoing, however the matter has not been accurately resolved.
That’s partly the fault of the California Attorney General’s Office, which is supposed to current oversight of county prosecutors. But after a four-year “investigation” under two attorneys regular, Orange County residents nonetheless have not seen particulars or disciplinary movement in opposition to these officers who had been involved on this mess.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra reportedly concluded his probe in mid-April, nonetheless has not clarified the standing of the probe to newly elected District Attorney Todd Spitzer. In a letter to Becerra remaining week, Spitzer rightly complained just a few “lack of any communication” from the state since 2015 and pledged “to move forward with my own investigation and hold (district attorney) employees accountable if necessary.”
In January, Sheriff Don Barnes moreover knowledgeable Becerra of his frustration at the prolonged wait and vowed an inside analysis of three deputies. But excuse us if we don’t preserve our breath prepared for any essential stage of accountability or reform.
The snitch scandal was no trivial matter. As the Register’s Tony Saavedra reported simply recently, “A Superior Court judge and appellate justices have confirmed that prosecutors and deputies were misusing jailhouse informants to get information that could lead to convictions and withholding the informants’ pasts from defense attorneys.”
Prosecutors actually had been away from the case involving the county’s worst mass murder. The scandal led to delayed justice in that case and diminished costs in others. Despite courtroom rulings and nationwide publicity, we’ve gotten little better than evasions from state and county leaders.
Let’s hope Spitzer, who highlighted the snitch scandal in his November advertising and marketing marketing campaign, is essential about rooting out points inside what’s now his division. He moreover needs to heed the advice of public defender Scott Sanders and spotlight the operate of sheriff’s officers.
Anything a lot much less will depart residents with the sense that law-enforcement accountability is an oxymoron.