Sex Bomb

Erica Hill says OCs conservative Christian sheriff traded sex for favors

What bothers Hill most now is Carona's campaign to paint her as a woman prone to hurl wild, unfounded accusations. She wants the public to know she wasn't the person who used his power to win sexual favors and then lie about it; she didn't twice leak sex stories that have tainted her own image as well as Carona's reputation as a "conservative Christian." She is, in fact, the person who told me everything and then asked me not to reveal it—for fear that it would destroy Carona.

Following her grand jury testimony and the DA's decision to drop the charges against her, Hill "thought it was over, that what I said would be sealed and I could get on with my life. Then the Register story happens, and the spotlight is back on me. I didn't ask for this. I want it to go away, but I'm very tired of being kicked around."

In the wake of the Register bombshell, Hill watched the sheriff's men go on the offensive against her. Their remarks prompted her to fire back. In a two-page Sept. 13 letter to California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, the county Board of Supervisors, two local members of Congress and the media, she asked that Carona be held accountable for his conduct.

"I write to each of you because I have nowhere to turn and I hope you can help me," Hill wrote. "Mike Carona is an extremely dangerous man who hides his wickedness behind his badge. . . . I am not the only woman who has been victimized by this perverse individual. There are many others, including employees and wives and girlfriends of employees. . . . I know that as Carona continues to be exposed and the public sees him for what he truly is, he will go to any length to have me and other members of my family silenced."

Hill admits she was agitated when she wrote the letter but thinks her reaction was justifiable. She plans to hire an attorney. In coming weeks, she says, the sheriff can expect a civil lawsuit with details of their alleged sexual liaisons.

"What else can I do?" she asked. "These people have already kicked down my door [to execute a search warrant], arrested me, and they won't stop smearing me. It's sick. I'm a victim here, but I'm going to defend myself."

Wasting no time, Hill had a suggestion for Sheriff Carona: if you truly feel comfortable denying the affair, let's both sit for polygraph tests.

The thought of the sheriff strapped to a polygraph machine and forced to answer questions without the aid of his public-relations team put a smile on Hill's face.

"Mike Carona is a bold-faced liar," she said. "The last thing he would do is agree to take a lie-detector test."

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