Sex, Bribes and Jailhouse Scams

Sheriff Carona working overtime to stop reports he's a serial adulterer

"The whole thing stinks," said Cavallo. "I think the public would be shocked if they knew how things work in Orange County."

Familiar with the inner workings of local law enforcement thanks to his long relationship with the sheriff and former assistant sheriffs Jaramillo and Don Haidl, Cavallo says the county's justice system is governed by the whims of the men who run it. He believes Carona played a secret role in the DA's charges after he refused to sabotage the Jaramillo defense.

In cop parlance, Cavallo says the sheriff had motive and opportunity. He points out that Mike Schroeder, Carona's top political adviser, is also the powerful if unofficial adviser to Rackauckas and that Schroeder's wife, Susan, is the DA's media director. During the Haidl rape trials, Susan Schroeder and Cavallo often exchanged hostile words outside the courtroom.

"I know the Schroeders had a hand in my indictment," Cavallo told the Weekly. "This is the work of 'The Triangle'—Mike Carona, Mike Schroeder and Tony Rackauckas."

The comment prompted Mike Schroeder to laugh. "Joe isn't on my radar screen, and his problems are his own making," he said. "I've had nothing to do with it."

Cavallo predicts there'll be future revelations about Schroeder's influence over local law enforcement but reserved his toughest comments for his old pal, OC's top cop.

"Mike Carona is a backstabber," said Cavallo. "He's the kind of guy who makes the sign of the cross before he eats and then starts talking about how he's fucking some woman. It's disgusting. He's great at convincing people that he's an innocent, religious guy, but he's really a snake."

rscottmoxley@ocweekly.com

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