Even law enforcement is not above the law. Orange County public defenders have alleged in court filings that Orange County sheriff’s deputies mishandled evidence, lied, and were promoted instead of prosecuted, The Sacramento Bee reports. They also claim that while district attorney’s officials hid record of the deputies’ repeated acts of misconduct.
On December 30th, Orange County deputy public defender Scott Sanders states that sheriff’s officials who engaged in misconduct received insignificant punishments and OC prosecutors covered-up the misdeeds of sheriff’s deputies.
“The deputies referred to for criminal prosecution wrote reports in which they collectively described having seized well in excess of 100 items of evidence that were never booked — or, alternatively, lied about having seized items in the first place,” Sanders argued.
We recently reported on the audit that revealed the potential misdeeds of the OCSD.
No Charges for OCSD Sheriff’s
Last month, The Orange County Register discovered two secret audits revealing that deputies failed to book evidence on time. The findings were the impetus for the recent filings by Sanders.
The audit showed that a handful of deputies were fired, and a small number more were merely disciplined for their actions, according to the article. The audits also revealed that many deputies lied about the evidence they collected and never booked evidence they claimed to have seized.
Even though Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer admitted that the misconduct potentially jeopardized dozens of cases, he decided not to press charges against a single deputy. The officers, according to the article, should’ve been added to the roster of “Brady” cops, a list of officers who are chronically untruthful.
Brady v. Maryland is a 1963 Supreme Court decision that compels prosecutors to hand over all evidence to the defense that might clear defendants’ names, such as officers who have engaged in misconduct.
Some of the officers in question were promoted, despite the evidence of their misconduct, the article reports. Another officer kept his job after a three-week unpaid suspension. We will continue to follow this story as it develops.
Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney
Please contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower for legal assistance relating to criminal charges. Attorney Brower has the experience to advocate for you effectively. 714-997-4400