California Attorney General Admits End to Sham OC Sheriff Probe

Becerra: Fooled ya!

On the homepage for his California Department of Justice (DOJ) website, Attorney General Xavier Becerra—a former Los Angeles congressional Democrat—laughably sells the notion he believes in exposing “systemic police misconduct.”

But in a quiet, corner Fullerton courtroom today, not on a stage before TV-news camera crews, a Becerra representative softly announced the DOJ has ended what it once touted as a serious probe of Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) corruption without taking even wrist-slap action.

Those of us who have followed the alleged investigation knew it was a sham from the outset precisely 1,499 days ago, in part, because a deputy attorney general, Theodore Cropley, sat idly through months of courtroom testimony that revealed deputies committed blatant perjury, destroyed exculpatory evidence and ran unconstitutional scams against pretrial defendants in a systemic fashion. 

In the wake of that shocking inaction, the ruse of a formal DOJ probe began in March 2015, when U.S. Senator Kamala Harris served as AG, and has now finally died an embarrassing finale under the watch of Becerra. 

Harris, who is running for the Democratic Party’s nomination to face President Donald Trump, essentially admitted to The New York Times earlier this year that her OCSD investigation was more of a publicity stunt because she didn’t want to use her office to reprimand tainted cops when, in her view, citizens should wait for an election and vote out leaders of warped agencies.

Becerra showed he, too, wasn’t interested in using his office’s powers to hold badged wrongdoers responsible when, ostensibly while the independent probe was ongoing last May, he held a happy, hamfisted campaign event at OCSD’s Santa Ana headquarters with the same officers who conducted cover-up operations for what became known as the jailhouse-informant scandal. 

In this case, it wasn’t the fat lady who sang; it was svelte Darren Shaffer, a deputy attorney general. Shaffer appeared in Superior Court Judge James Rogan’s courtroom to fight Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders’ demand for access to the agency’s files about deputy misconduct in the snitch scandal. Several of the deputies now work in field operations, writing search warrants and making arrests despite tainted backgrounds. The Orange County district attorney’s office, OCSD and Becerra’s operation don’t want Sanders or any other defense attorney to see the character-impeaching records.

“The importance of confidentiality in this case still exists,” Shaffer first told Rogan.

Release of snitch-scandal records would cause “irreparable harm” to future law-enforcement investigations, the deputy AG also suggested.

The curious judge, a former Republican congressman from Los Angeles, picked up on a Sanders’ point—the AG has spent more than four years claiming the office couldn’t release the records because of their active investigation—and wanted to know of statute-of-limitations issues tied to the deputies’ offenses.

That’s when Shaffer officially ended the ruse. 

“The investigation is closed,” he announced with the same ho-hum enthusiasm he might have when alerting his wife that the date on their milk carton had expired a day earlier.

(The deputy AG didn’t say when the case closed.)

Paul Wilson, who lost his wife in 2011 in Orange County’s worst mass shooting, was present and shook his head in disgust. Wilson saw firsthand how deputies cheated in the case against the killer—not out of sympathy, but as reflexive, routine depravity. That law-enforcement cheating in People v. Scott Dekraai extended the death penalty case (and, thus, the pain of the victims’ families) for five years.

“Incredible,” Wilson observed in a non-complimentary remark about the AG’s office.

While Harris and Becerra prolonged their fake probe, two of the top three deputies involved in the scandal (Seth Tunstall and Bill Grover) retired without facing charges or seeing their taxpayer-funded retirement plans impacted negatively.

(Though Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Goethals lambasted their remorseless, multi-year perjury in Dekraai, taxpayers annually paid the discredited Tunstall $234,000 and Grover $227,000, funds the duo will nearly collect every year for the rest of their lives given California’s absurdly generous government pension payment system.)

For his part, Sanders fumed.

“There was never a real investigation,” he told Rogan. “It’s laughable. What was the AG investigation, if it wasn’t fraudulent? [Keeping those records of officer misconduct secret] is so unfair to defendants [facing charges brought by dirty deputies].”

Rogan said he will announce what, if anything, he will require the government to release by April 23.

Go HERE to see background on the controversy.

CNN-featured investigative reporter R. Scott Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; obtained one of the last exclusive prison interviews with Charles Manson disciple Susan Atkins; won inclusion in Jeffrey Toobin’s The Best American Crime Reporting for his coverage of a white supremacist’s senseless murder of a beloved Vietnamese refugee; launched multi-year probes that resulted in the FBI arrests and convictions of the top three ranking members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department; and gained praise from New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing entrenched Southern California law enforcement corruption.

10 Replies to “California Attorney General Admits End to Sham OC Sheriff Probe”

  1. So if there is no more “investigation,” the work that the AG’s office did do should be obtainable via the public records act? Both pages?

  2. So,when will they investigate thePublic Pretenders’ Office. You know, “We have such a big caseload that we just plead them all guilty.”

  3. This is a deeply disturbing case where the rank and file DA/Sheriff Dept have worked to protect their own asses while prosecuting innocent citizens. Todd Spitzer is a lying politician who vowed to get to the bottom of this civil rights scandal! Once he proved away the office from the claws of Raukauckas and saw the depths of the crimes committed by his diet and the sheriffs, he back tracked and once again sold his soul to the devil. He would rather protect his Dept than set free the innocent people jailed by this deplorable Orange County Snitch Scandal. In the last few weeks Spitzer has voted to protect one of his snitches Brian Ace Goldstein, who has committed dozens of violent crimes , including murder, while being a OC Snitch. Choosing instead to prosecute an innocent man , Joshua Waring for a crime that even the victim said was committed by Brian Ace Goldstein. Shame on you Todd Spitzer! Paying monies to and not prosecuting these criminal snitches is something from the dark ages! Shame on you! #toddspitzer

    1. Right on….
      The ACLU… And NAACP….
      And human rights watch and amnesty international…
      …. Should formulate…a class action lawsuits… For the people who were abuseed defrauded,shamed by bogus charges investgations,bogus,warrant s and .. unlawful arrests ,trumped up charges… Derelict of duty….etc,….

      P. S.

      Everyone….
      We truth seekers have time Stick together….

      Ask questions… constantly….
      Set up traps against dirty cops and three system that coddle s them….
      Lights ,cameras action,. Witnesses…
      Body cameras, dash cameras…

      Of by and for the people…..us
      ….

      Be brave wise sly cautious….
      One person can make a difference… And we should try…..

      Remember
      Law enforcement is very organized….
      The y know when we go to the bathroom…

      Copwatch
      Police watchers
      Toxiccop
      Nacdl

      Human rights watch
      ACLU
      Amnesty international
      Gun owners of America….
      We people…
      The us Constitution is the supreme law of the land….

      How to spot a cop supporter…
      Baseball cap backwards
      Ladies in wide bring hats
      Dark sunglasses
      Makes pull up their pants
      ….signals
      Skate boarders

      Pretty boys…
      Clean cut

      ….park cars backwards

      The police cannot be trusted …and those who love them and are part of the cancer of police corruption in society…

      Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and …

      ………keep on being vigilant…..

      Power to the people

      Democracy now
      Kpfk

  4. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and …

  5. Wrongfully convicted and rightfully exonerated criminal defendants spent, on average, ten years in prison before exoneration, and the ramifications to the defendants, the criminal justice system, and society are immeasurable. Prosecutorial misconduct, however, is not the primary cause of wrongful convictions. To begin with, although more than twenty million new adult criminal cases are opened in state and federal courts each year throughout the United States, there have been only 1,281 total exonerations over the last twenty-five years. In only six percentof those cases was prosecutorial misconduct the predominant factor resulting in those wrongful convictions. Of course, although prosecutorial misconduct is not the driving force behind wrong convictions, prosecutors can – and should – be part of a comprehensive solution that reduces the likelihood of wrongful convictions. This article proposes a number of solutions to reduce the number of wrongful convictions in our criminal justice system, and to ensure that criminal trials are conducted in a manner that is consistent with due process of law.

  6. ABA Groups Center for Professional Responsibility Publications Model Rules of Professional Conduct
    Rule 3.8: Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor
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    Advocate
    The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:

    (a) refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause;

    (b) make reasonable efforts to assure that the accused has been advised of the right to, and the procedure for obtaining, counsel and has been given reasonable opportunity to obtain counsel;

    (c) not seek to obtain from an unrepresented accused a waiver of important pretrial rights, such as the right to a preliminary hearing;

    (d) make timely disclosure to the defense of all evidence or information known to the prosecutor that tends to negate the guilt of the accused or mitigates the offense, and, in connection with sentencing, disclose to the defense and to the tribunal all unprivileged mitigating information known to the prosecutor, except when the prosecutor is relieved of this responsibility by a protective order of the tribunal;

    (e) not subpoena a lawyer in a grand jury or other criminal proceeding to present evidence about a past or present client unless the prosecutor reasonably believes:

    (1) the information sought is not protected from disclosure by any applicable privilege;

    (2) the evidence sought is essential to the successful completion of an ongoing investigation or prosecution; and

    (3) there is no other feasible alternative to obtain the information;

    (f) except for statements that are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor’s action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused and exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcement personnel, employees or other persons assisting or associated with the prosecutor in a criminal case from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making under Rule 3.6 or this Rule.

    (g) When a prosecutor knows of new, credible and material evidence creating a reasonable likelihood that a convicted defendant did not commit an offense of which the defendant was convicted, the prosecutor shall:

    (1) promptly disclose that evidence to an appropriate court or authority, and

    (2) if the conviction was obtained in the prosecutor’s jurisdiction,

    (i) promptly disclose that evidence to the defendant unless a court authorizes delay, and

    (ii) undertake further investigation, or make reasonable efforts to cause an investigation, to determine whether the defendant was convicted of an offense that the defendant did not commit.

    (h) When a prosecutor knows of clear and convincing evidence establishing that a defendant in the prosecutor’s jurisdiction was convicted of an offense that the defendant did not commit, the prosecutor shall seek to remedy the conviction.

  7. This is very disturbing not only to myself but to most Orange County residents. How can this happen? Why not file conspiracy charges against our Attorney General, then go after Todd Spitzer, our new District Attorney, Todd Spitzer, who has grown another face since the election . I would think lying to Orange County voters would be some kind of a crime, enough people believed his lies because he is now our new D.A. I guess he’s to big to get his mouth washed out with soap for lying.
    As far as OCSD, I was so hoping that Judge Goethals would put the Sheriff in jail when she refused to turn over the T.R.E.N.D. Files. Then comes Tunstall and Grover, the two deputy’s who perjury, destroyed exculpatory evidence and ran unconstitutional scams against pretrial defendants in a systemic fashion. All I can say is if it had been me who committed those crimes, I would still be sitting in jail. It appears to me that every player in the OC Snitch Scandal were all…”ABOVE THE LAW”. I am now praying my hero’s Scott Sanders and Scott Moxley will continue investigating and reporting on this new scandal (Attorney General) and any of his players, this includes but not limited to Todd Spitzer.

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