It's safe to say that Orange County wasn't the same once George Jaramillo became second in command at the sheriff's department in 1999 and it certainly became more boring after Jaramillo was sent to federal prison a decade later for public corruption.
The 51-year-old Jaramillo is a quick minded, talented fellow who dreamed of becoming California's first Latino governor, but his adulterous exploits and unbridled ambition became legendary in the shameful saga of Mike Carona's era atop the state's second largest police agency.
News flash: Jaramillo is baaaaack! His punishment is over. His chains are now off.
(Public service announcement: Married men with hot wives in Southern California keep vigilant guard.)
Jaramillo last made news in September 2009, when he foolishly portrayed Brett Sagel, his federal prosecutor, as more corrupt than himself. The move caused an unamused Sagel to rescind his earlier call for sentencing leniency that could have resulted in mere house arrest instead of incarceration.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford sent Jaramillo to the slammer for two years and ordered him to pay a couple hundred thousand dollars in penalties.
What occupied the idea-loaded Jaramillo's mind while confined? Voluptuous female prison guards? Revenge on Susan Kang Schroeder, his nemesis in the Orange County District Attorney's office? A new wrinkle on an old Ponzi scheme?
We can guess one of his thoughts now: Ha, ha to Carona, who shamelessly attempted to blame his own corruptions on Jaramillo.
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Carona like to bragged that the FBI would never catch him cheating (and he certainly had warped buddies in the agency), but he's now serving a much longer, 5.5-year sentence in a federal prison in Colorado.
Being a Mormon, Jaramillo doesn't drink or smoke giggle weed, so today's freedom celebration might just involve Hooters and a lap dance.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
(rscottmoxley at ocweekly dot com)