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
Well, Bill, seven years later, here we are. I look forward to your apology.
HARD-ON FOR HAIDL
Mike Carona’s legal defense team isn’t satisfied with angling for weak punishment for their client, who was convicted last month on a felony charge of attempting to sabotage a federal grand jury investigating corruption at Carona’s Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Jeffrey Rawitz, Carona’s rascally Jones Day defense attorney, is now demanding that Carona’s prosecutors pursue perjury charges against their No. 1 witness: Don Haidl, Carona’s onetime best friend and assistant sheriff who is a multimillionaire from selling used cars. Haidl secretly wore an FBI wire that captured a paranoid, plotting and foul-mouthed Carona creating lies to cover up his crimes in office.
Rawitz, a former assistant United States attorney, insists that Haidl blatantly lied under oath about a side issue in the trial: the extent of his illegal campaign-contribution-reimbursement practices. Haidl testified that he learned to circumvent campaign laws from Carona. Rawitz argued that disclosure records and testimony proved otherwise. The immunity deal Haidl got from the government required him to testify honestly.
“I want to force the court to decide whether or not Mr. Haidl violated his plea agreement,” Rawitz told me on Jan. 29. “If he did, then as a matter of law, the plea agreement should be set aside and Haidl charged. I believe they have overwhelming evidence of his guilt. It’d be a slam-dunk prosecution.”
But, Jeff, if Haidl’s testimony is to be believed, then your client was guilty of all the charges.
“Have you heard of double jeopardy?” he asked. “They can’t come after my client again.”
So you’re worried about somebody lying?
“You bet,” Rawitz said. “I’m mad about this.”
This guy is relentless.
While I laughed, Rawitz held a grave look on his face for about five seconds, and then couldn’t help but smile. He’d just spent 14 months defending one of the biggest liars in Orange County history.
His face turned solemn again. “No, really,” he said, “I’m serious this time.”
Read our coverage of the dismissal of federal criminal charges against Mike Carona’s wife and top mistress under “Carona Watch” at the Weekly’s Navel Gazing blog. Don’t miss it. It involves shtupping.