In hopes of blunting the sting from today's scheduled district attorney's press conference detailing Todd Spitzer's alleged pre-firing shenanigans, Spitzer has prepared a surprise.
Spitzer–the former county supervisor, state assemblyman and prosecutor who dreamed of becoming DA in 2014 but fell out of favor with DA Tony Rackauckas in August–has flown a Texas man and his wife to Orange County.
According to multiple sources, Spitzer plans to use that man as a human prop to bolster his contention that, unlike Rackauckas, he is ethically committed to doing what's right.
readers know of James Ochoa. Several years ago, we broke stories
about the injustices surrounding Ochoa's case. He'd been wrongly arrested, charged, convicted for a carjacking and robbery he didn't commit. A judge sent him to a California hell hole prison in the desert near the Arizona border.
An obviously innocent Ochoa had two people in his corner from the beginning of the mess: relentless defense attorney Scott Borthwick and myself. DNA evidence ultimately freed
So how does Spitzer fit into this story?
After Ochoa applied to receive the state-sanctioned $100-per-day compensation for false false imprisonment in 2008, Republicans in Sacramento balked and looked for technicalities to thwart his request. But several GOP lawmakers–including Dick Ackerman
, Tom McClintock and Spitzer–studied the situation, concluded that Ochoa qualified for the funds and joined Democrats to make sure he got them.
Ochoa moved to Texas and launched a T-shirt company. Meanwhile, Spitzer–who'd once called Rackaucaks inept and corrupt–left the state assembly and joined Rackauckas's office in hopes of using the DA as his mentor so that he could someday replace him.
In August, the DA fired Spitzer for alleged inappropriate conduct and Spitzer vocally returned to his earlier stance: the DA and his top advisors, Susan and Mike Schroeder, are terribly corrupt.
and the story that launched the series:
–R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
R. Scott Moxley’s award-winning investigative journalism has touched nerves for two decades. An angry congressman threatened to break Moxley’s knee caps. A dirty sheriff promised his critical reporting was irrelevant and then landed in prison. The U.S. House of Representatives debated his work. Federal prosecutors credited his stories for the arrest of a doctor who sold fake medicine to dying patients. 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; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing Southern California law enforcement corruption.