According to the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs website tonight, incumbent Sheriff Mike Carona has received a major vote of no confidence in his leadership after eight, scandal-ridden years in office.
The group reports that Carona received just 44 percent of the vote of men/women in his own department while Bill Hunt captured 48.2 percent. Ralph Martin grabbed 7.4 percent.
More than 55 percent of these law enforcement officers who know Carona well do not want him to stay in office.
This development follows the local Republican Party's recent refusal to endorse the Republican sheriff who promised no more than two terms in the powerful office, but now wants a third term ruling the $500 million a year police agency.
A pro-Carona blogger ridiculously tried to spin the latest slap as a time to celebrate the sheriff's "humility and character." Back in reality, reasons deputies snubbed Carona are numerous. His reign has routinely tied the department to bribery, hookers, porn, porn stars, Vegas mob characters, FBI raids, fake charities, gang rapes, illegal campaign contributions, breakfasts with felons, bail-bond schemes, political spying, falsified records, money laundering, media intimidation, convoluted lies, patronage, secret financial deals, unstable reserve deputies who go crazy on golf courses with handguns, sex in strange places, dubious uses of official helicopters and a young Russian woman (only an "interpreter," according to a Carona public relations expert) who somehow got in the sheriff's Moscow hotel room and wore his clothes.
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(Join the thousands of other voters who are checking out the Weekly's online Sheriff Sex Scandal archive or our current news story on Carona, "Laughing His Way To Victory?")
But deputies also don't appreciate Carona's shameless use of Erin Runnion, mother of a 5-year-old kidnap-rape-murder victim, to shield himself from criticism. Or his reliance on Mike Schroeder, a political fixer tied to DA Tony Rackauckas, who has kindly looked the other way on Carona's messes. Or his habitual refusal to accept any responsibility for his own actions.
What else will we learn about the sheriff before election day in 10 weeks?