FBI and Orange County prosecutors have each initiated an independent investigation into the alleged corruption of a former Orange County court clerk.
The clerk is suspected to have illegally arranged fake plea deals for over a reported 1000 DUI and misdemeanor traffic cases dating back until 2010. Officials have indicated that the allegedly tainted cases include courts across all of Orange County.
Many defense lawyers whose names were associated with the defendants claim they never represented the defendants and their names were improperly entered as their attorney.
Jeffrey Wertheimer, the lawyer representing the Orange County Superior Court system, has indicated the courts are seeking to correct all of the affected cases.
As part of the corrective process, individual defendants from the tainted cases are being called back into court and facing questioning from a judge with little options.
One judge apparently informed a defendant that if no jail time had been served thus far, then the defendant would have to talk with the district attorney’s office about a new plea deal or face trial.
The tainted cases were reportedly uncovered after another court employee found an incomplete DUI case, which lead to an investigation of all cases entered by the clerk who covered that particular case.
With so many cases potentially impacted, the investigations could take weeks or longer, and hundreds of defendants’ cases are now up in the air after being reopened.
Ronald G. Brower is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Orange County, California. Contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower to learn how Attorney Brower can assist you or someone you know in the criminal justice system.