Believing she cheated to win a criminal case, the California State Bar is pursuing disciplinary charges against an Orange County prosecutor, who won her government job after her wealthy businessman father contributed money to county law enforcement officials.
Prosecutor Sandra Lee Nassar hid key exculpatory evidence in State of California v. Iacullo “in order to secure strategic trial advantage” for the government, according to the Bar.
Nassar “knew or was grossly negligent in not knowing the production of this evidence was required and thereby committed an act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty and corruption in violation of [California law],” Hugh G. Radigan, a state bar lawyer, memorialized in March.
Bar officials believe the prosecutor abused basic ethical obligations to win a conviction and a 12-year sentence in the child abuse allegation case.
Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Goethals, who presided in the case, agreed.
As the Weekly reported in 2014, the judge said, “The excuse that she gave for not giving up this obviously exculpatory evidence material was not reasonable excuse. It wasn’t even close to a reasonable excuse . . . I don’t know if Miss Nassar doesn’t know what the law is. That’s no excuse. Ignorance of the law for an experienced prosecutor for engaging in misconduct is not a reasonable excuse either. That was a willful violation.”
Rackauckas and his office are currently under U.S. Department of Justice investigation for what has become known nationally as the Orange County jailhouse informant scandal.
Prosecutors and sheriff’s deputies conspired systemically for decades to violate the constitutional rights of in-custody, pre-trial defendants by tricking them into making incriminating statements without their lawyers' knowledge.
So far, 15 murder and attempted murder convictions have been overturned based on cheating by Orange County law enforcement agencies.
Nassar has denied she is guilty.
Last year, Rackauckas named her defense lawyer, Blithe C. Leece, as one of his supposedly “independent” inspectors of entrenched seediness within his agency.
(See: Tony Rackauckas' Hand-Picked Committee to Evaluate OC's Snitch Scandal Says He's Clueless, January 6, 2016.)
In 2008, Nassar's father, Gabriel Nassar, testified at the federal corruption trial of Sheriff Mike Carona that he sold official department badges in exchange for contributions to the lawman.
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Rackauckas, whose management of the DA's office has been marred by continuous scandals, declared Carona innocent before a federal jury found him guilty of ethical violations.
At the time, the DA and Carona shared the same senior campaign consultant.
U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford sent the open-marriage-but-Bible-thumping Carona, a man Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger partied with and considered a potential lieutenant governor, to prison for 66 months in 2009.
With the upcoming 2018 election, Rackauckas, who has controlled the DA's office for 18 years and suspiciously disbanded the agency's organized crime unit focused on the Italian mafia as a first step after his victory, claims he is determined to keep his powerful position until he is at least 79 years old.