Orange County Sheriff and District Attorney Scandal Part 2
As a result of Judge Goethals decision in Rodriguez, the Orange Cohttp://www.lawyerupla.com/orange-county-sh…y-scandal-part-2/unty District Attorney’s office went on a campaign to “paper” him. Papering is a way that D.A.’s can vindictively force a judge off the bench. Section 170.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure allows each side to challenge a judge and force him from the case. The case is then randomly reassigned to another judge. The O.C. public attornies used this against Judge Goethals on every case that came before him.This was a petulant and retaliatory show of force. All cases are tried by DAs, thus if no DAs are trying cases in front of Goethals he will be reassigned. It was a clear threat to toe the line.
The supervising judge told the DA to stop the blanket challenges, the DA appealed and the Court of Appeals recently ruled that the DA couldn’t be stopped from making their challenges – even though the Court of Appeals found that the practice was distasteful and that the law should be changed.
The most alarming part of the story happened at the beginning of the summer when heroic defense attorney James Crawford was attacked and beaten by a DA investigator in the hallway of the courthouse. Inv. Alley repeatedly punched Crawford after the two exchanged words. Crawford had been appointed by the court to represent a witness as a friend of the court, Alley asked him “who the fuck he was” and when he didn’t like the answer, beat up Crawford. Here are the disturbing pictures of Crawford after the attack.
The case was referred to the California Attorney General’s office who declined to file charges because there were conflicting stories about what happened. They ignored the fact that there was no conflicting evidence regarding which person got his ass kicked, that was Crawford. Alley complained of damage to his fist.
On top of all of this insanity, on 8/19/2016 there was a hearing in a case that parallels Rodriguez’s case. In the case of People v. Scott Dekraai, Dekraai is alleged to have committed mass murder in Seal Beach in 2011, Judge Goethals ordered the Orange County Sheriff’s office to release TRED information about informants in 2013. Which they reluctantly did. Judge Goethals also ordered that since the OC DA’s office was unable to proceed against Dekraai fairly that the entire office was recused. The OC DA’s office appealed that ruling.
In Dekraai, the OC Sheriff first said there was no evidence of informants, but later turned over some TRED evidence in 2013. After they turned over more informant evidence today, the judge said, “At best, I’m disappointed that these documents washed ashore more than three years after my discovery order,” Goethals said. “I’m also disturbed that these documents should have been disclosed a long, long time ago.”
The prosecutor on the case stated t that there are still more documents to be released. After the county counsel’s office cried about defense attorney Scott Sanders using the newly turned over informant information against Sheriff Hutchens and asked that they be kept secret, the judge gave county counsel a month to tell him why each of the each entry should remain hidden.
You can be sure, as soon as that information is released on Septemeber 19, I will let you know what happens!