Earlier this month, George Jaramillo faced off against U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford over the former Orange County assistant sheriff turned convicted felon's failure to pay $42,000 in fines.
Jaramillo, who has served both state and federal prison sentences for public corruption, insisted that he didn't have the resources to pay but expected he might have the funds next year months after his probation ended.
To bolster his sincerity, Jaramillo repeatedly interrupted his own criminal defense lawyer to talk directly to Guilford about all his good intentions.
But having detailed knowledge of Jaramillo's profound slyness, Guilford ordered an Aug. 27 hearing where he planned to allow Assistant United States Attorney Brett A. Sagel an opportunity to question the ex-cop's witnesses under oath.
If he found that Jaramillo had been trying to con him, a stern-faced Guilford said there would be additional jail time as punishment.
No problem, Jaramillo replied.
But there was a huge problem. Sagel told Guilford that Orange County officials had given Jaramillo $476,000 in May for back pay.
Jaramillo admitted the payment but described an excuse that Joel Baruch, one of his criminal defense lawyers, cashed the county's check and wouldn't share any of it until they'd resolved their own dispute over fees.
Guilford didn't hide his suspicions and told Sagel, who believes Jaramillo and Baruch are secret business partners, that he could force Baruch to take the witness stand to undergo a grilling under oath.
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But today's hearing didn't happen. Jaramillo decided he had the money after all. On Aug. 20, he paid the $42,000 fine.
The only remaining issue is whether Sagel can take Jaramillo's gold sheriff's badge from trial evidence storage and give it to Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.
Jaramillo insists the badge was a personal gift from disgraced ex-Sheriff Mike Carona, who continues to serve his 66-month sentence at a federal prison in Colorado.