By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Besides Boyd, just about the only political corruption case Rackauckas has aggressively pursued involves former Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo, who was fired by Sheriff Mike Carona in March 2004 for his ties to CHG Safety Technologies Inc., a company owned by a convicted felon. DA investigators linked Carona to the scandal, and Carona refused to turn over records crucial to the probe. Still, Rackauckas publicly cleared Carona of any involvement.
While Rackauckas has failed to aggressively pursue political corruption cases, he's also aggressively refused to enforce the county's own campaign finance ordinance. According to activist Shirley Grindle, the county's one-woman campaign finance watchdog, Rackauckas "has never responded" to any of her complaints against local elected officials who violate the county's election laws.
"He is required to respond in writing and has never bothered to," Grindle said. "Of course, I don't expect Mr. Rackauckas to investigate himself, but he's one of the violators. He is just totally ignoring the county ordinance."
Grindle grew so frustrated with Rackauckas that she says she recently complained to the Orange County Grand Jury about his refusal to respond to complaints. "As we speak, Mr. Rackauckas is being asked by the grand jury to explain why he's never done anything," she said. "What this is all about is Republican Party politics. It makes me sick. I am so disgusted with what goes on in this county."