Wednesday, October 31, 2007

When the Law Becomes the Outlaw...

Christine Hanley of the Los Angeles Times broke the news earlier today that embattled Orange County Sheriff Michael Carona and two others were indicted by a federal grand jury -- Carona facing one count of conspiracy, four counts of mail fraud and two counts of tampering with a grand jury witness. His wife Debroah was charged with a single conspiracy count. Debra V. Hoffman, indentified in court papers as Carona's longtime mistress, was charged with one count of conspiracy, four counts of mail fraud and three of bankruptcy fraud.

The dirty dealings of Carona and his cronies became the focus of a tenacious, groundbreaking series of investigative reports by R. Scott Moxley in the OCWeekly. His reporting would serve as the impetus for the federal grand jury investigations -- and subsequent criminal indictments -- into Carona abusing his position for both influence peddling and personal gain.

First, let's give Moxley his due for his diligence in raking the muck and finding such dirty-doo involving Carona. His reporting was substantial and credible -- too credible, in fact, for those in positions of power and influence in Orange County. And anyone who not so fondly rememberes the days in the last decade when Orange County filed for bankruptcy can attest firsthand how edemic the corruption runs through the county. For all we know, Carona just might be the tip of a very ugly iceberg -- one that may trigger the downfall of more than a few movers and shakers in the county. Michael Schroder, the primary culprit in the sordid UC Irvine Law School brouhaha a couple of months ago, obviously is one who now has the fear of God in him -- particularly now that his ties to Carona might be publicly exposed in a court of law.

There is nothing more delicious that a bunch of self-dealing, self-serving hypocrites being hoisted on their petards for the world to see. And as Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once stated, "Publicity is justly recommended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases...Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants."

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