What do Mike Carona and Rudy Giuliani have in common? Ties to former cocaine smuggler Florida billionaire Hank Asher, reports ABC News: Asher, aka H.A. in the indictment, allegedly gave Carona's wife (and former Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo's wife) a $15,000 diamond-studded gold Cartier watch. “Asher is not charged with any crime in the indictment. But his expensive gifts are clearly part of the corruption investigation,” writes ABC's Richard Esposito. Giuliani and Asher have been partners with the Mayo Clinic in Jari Research, “a business set on finding a bone marrow cancer cure and making a profit” since 2005. Peggy Lowe finds more connections over at Total Buzz.
Speaking of Carona. . . What part of “leave of absence” doesn't His Indictedness understand? Carona agreed to step down on Nov. 6. Now, the Register notes that he was spotted –in full uniform no less– at a graduation ceremony on Nov. 15 at Rio Hondo Police Academy, “where one Orange County Sheriff’s recruit received his badge.” Read The Liberal OC's thoughts on the matter.
OC blogger ousted from Santa Ana panel: The Santa Ana City Council couldn't take the criticism Thomas Gordon was dishing out on the Orange Juice Blog. So they kicked him off the anti-gang commission. Since then, co-bloggers Art Pedroza and Luis Rodriguez have resigned from the Santa Ana Housing N Redevelopment Commission. Coverage: Times, Register. (Note: we named Orange Juice best local blog this year.)
Sinking feeling: Remember that chilling Titanic-esque photo that was splashed across the front page of the Times late November? Eli Charne of Irvine was on the red-hulled Explorer ship the day it hit the iceberg in Antarctica. He tells the LAThis tale.