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November 05, 2007


Well, at least he said he'd say that much...that's less than he (Norby) wanted to say on John and Ken the other day.

rich white guy

Sheriff Carona: He is OUR SHERIFF until he ain't - One Rich White Guy's Opinion!

"MAY HAVE" EQUALS "MAY NOT HAVE": A firestorm was created this week when the disturbing news broke about our Sheriff, Mike Carona, being indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on numerous counts of misconduct related to actions he may have taken before and during his term as Sheriff of Orange County.

THEATRE AND POLITICAL ADVANTAGE: The firestorm generated lots of theatre amongst the usual suspects in Orange County political circles where covering ones' ass by distancing themselves from the troubled becomes foremost of importance to them. Next, comes those that will seek to take advantage of a weakened political opponent in order to gain personally what they could not get when the playing field was level. Turkey buzzards would have a hard time getting through to the carcass with all the politicians and hacks hovering around!

"BAD PERSON": Yea, let's propose more laws and issue more self-aggrandizing press releases about how much was done in response to the "bad person" now found amongst us.

JESUS FOR A MOMENT: Politicians that have been working with and around each other for years suddenly find the "Jesus moment" in a split-second after the sh+t has hit the fan.

PULL THE CARPET, ON THREE: Moments like these help clarify why the public disdains politicians as they watch them claim the moral high ground while simultaneously pulling the carpet from underneath the fallen comrade. A finger-pointing politician is almost as helpful to solving a problem as having a bored ten-year kid with matches hanging around the neighborhood.

DON'T SHOOT THE SHERIFF: The media is all over a story like this, as well. Of course, Mike Carona has been tried and convicted by most of these folks well before the recent events in Federal Court -- which only served as the "I told you so" part of the story. There are less flies on the potato salad at a summer picnic than there are reporters, editorialists and bloggers on this story all clamoring for the "I Shot the Sheriff Pulitzer Prize." But, one question that has been ignored is this: "HOW do we ensure that a law enforcement officer, like Mike Carona, gets the same standard of Due Process of law as any other ordinary citizen?"

HIGHER STANDARDS FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT, WHY?: Forgetting for a moment that many in this county use the words but disregard what it means to have a higher standard for law enforcement personnel -- some say that the Sheriff has a higher standard of conduct expected of him and that any accusation of misconduct is reason enough for him to be sent to the career bone yard, to the poor house, or even to the slammer! Yet, during every single day in this land every citizen has the right to due process of law and equal protection under the law! There is not one set of rights for cops and another set for everyone else. There's one! There are not "higher or lower" standards of justice for cops accused of crimes. There's one! while we expect a "higher standard" of personal conduct from cops -- at the end of the day we live and breathe under the same laws of this land as everyone else.

EQUAL JUSTICE: "Equal justice under the law" does not exclude law enforcement officers who find themselves sitting behind the table across the aisle in a courtroom! When fallible human beings who also happen to be police officers enter a courtroom they too are entitled to the same protections that they gave to others during a career of public service where only a judge or jury are allowed to take these rights away.

AN ARREST IS A SIMPLE FORMALITY AND DOES EQUATE TO GUILT: A cop's duty to ensure due process to the accused lasts throughout the criminal justice process. It begins with an investigation and does not stop with an arrest. It doesn't end at arraignment. An arrest and an arraignment are only pit stops in the judicial race towards the finish line known as a conviction. It doesn't stop because the accused has been convicted in the press or in the court of public opinion. It's a long race and it's our job to finish the race!

OUR SHERIFF STILL MAY BE INNOCENT, EVEN IF FOUND GUILTY: Because accusations cannot be proven true beyond a reasonable doubt outside a courtroom our job will be harder if justice is denied because we will never know whether our Sheriff was innocent or not!
It'll be almost impossible to really know if he betrayed his oath of office and our trust unless he gets his right to justice that includes a presumption of innocence outside the courtroom and a fair impartial trial once inside.

RACE (THE RUNNING KIND): The race has only started and the truth may only be known at the end of it! In order to know the facts and in order to render our own personal feelings we must demand that a fellow law enforcement officer gets his day in court under the same standard of due process that we would demand for ourselves if we were unfortunate enough to be in his circumstance.
That includes the knowledge that FACTS today are still only "allegations" and that the Sheriff retains the presumption of innocence TODAY and every day until he is guilty in a court of law!

GULLIBLE OR CULPABLE, DEAL WITH IT: We must know if Sheriff Carona was "felony gullible" or "felony culpable." IF the Sheriff of Orange County has a higher standard of conduct expected of him then only the highest standard of jurisprudence should be used to adjudicate him. Mike Carona came in as Sheriff and gets to go out with his boots on. There cannot be any rush to judgement in this case. It must be done right. Step-by-step. No short-cuts. No compromises. No opinion polls or votes of no confidence. Nope. Even a cop gets his day in court. And an elected Sheriff is still a cop. Deal with it! The Sheriff decided today to continue on as Sheriff while he goes through the judicial process. He doesn't need to ask for a presumption of innocence -- he is entitled to it and he gets it as a birthright under the Constitution of the United States of America!

EXECUTIVE DECISION: It isn't the first decision he has had the exclusive authority to make and it will not now be his last. A resignation, at this point, will do little to make the pain or the disappointment go away and it certainly will not do anything to quiet anti-law enforcement types who will attempt to paint all of us with the same brush stroke. A courtroom trial would do much more to separate one's personal conduct away from an entire agency's reputation. If the Sheriff decides to have his guilt determined by a jury of his peers he absolutely has that right to do so and we, as cops should treat his right to due process under law as if it was our own. Through our oath of office, it is in many ways. Then and ONLY THEN will we know IF a fellow cop failed our law enforcement profession.

ONE OF US: Until a verdict is rendered against Mike Carona, he is still one of us and he should be treated as such. At the end of his press conference today, Sheriff Carona said he was going back to work. It won't hurt anything if we all did as well!

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