Letters From OC Weekly Readers

'Being the 48th Most Dangerous City in the United States for Violent Crime Is Not a "Solid Record of Accomplishment"'

Letters may be edited for clarity and length. E-mail to letters@ocweekly.com, or mail to Letters to the Editor, c/o OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Or fax to (714) 550-5908.

I would like to set the record straight about comments in your publication regarding my recent support for Sheriff-select Sandra Hutchens and my support for Mike Carona almost 10 years ago in 1999 [R. Scott Moxley's "Meet the New Sheriff . . ." June 13]. First, let me state clearly, I stopped speaking with Carona in 2000, shortly after he took office. Further, I strongly opposed both of his re-elections, including contributing to his opponent, and I made every attempt to persuade others to oppose him as well. To be quite candid, I was subject to a great deal of criticism for eight years for my opposition to him. This is well-known in Orange County political circles.

Yes, Carona visited my home in 1999, but so have governors Pete Wilson, Frank Keating (Oklahoma) and George Deukmejian; gubernatorial candidates Bill Simon and Bill Jones; Vice President Dan Quayle (my office); almost every state and federal legislator from Orange County and others; and so many county supervisors, local mayors and council people that I can't count them. During a busy year, it isn't unusual for me to entertain several thousand people in my home for political events. As an aside, I have done the same for philanthropic causes as well.

I have long history of supporting law enforcement. What few know is that legendary lawman Sheriff Peter Pitchess (who often introduced me as his third son) of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department introduced me to politics in the early '80s. Naturally, I supported Sheriff Pitchess and many other county sheriffs as well. Former Sacramento County sheriff Lou Blanas and former LACSD undersheriff Bill Stonich are my business partners and close friends.

When I agreed to support Ms. Hutchens, I sat across a table from her and told her that while I had every confidence she would do a good job, if she didn't, I would support someone else in 2010 and keep doing that until we as a county get it right. In other words, she will have to earn my vote. She was not offended by my blunt comment and responded with something to the effect of "As you should."

Now that the selection process is over, I hope everybody will support the new sheriff in restoring that department to what it once was, while at the same time hold Ms. Hutchens accountable for the promises she made to all of us.

Ronald Cedillos, via e-mail

In your article, you state that "Walters has a solid record of accomplishment." Paul Walters has a disgraceful record of law enforcement, which he hides very well.

According to the 2006 Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reports, under Police Chief Walters, Santa Ana is the 48th most dangerous city in the United States for violent crime. The real fact is that from 2001 to 2006, Chief Walters failed to show any real record of improvement in controlling violent crime within the city of Santa Ana, and he has failed to effectively manage the resources of the police department.

Under Walters: murder/manslaughter has increased over the past two years; forcible rape has increased over the past three years; robbery has increased over the past three years; and aggravated assault has increased steadily since 2001.

Supervisor Chris Norby, John Lewis and Matt Holder did a great job of downplaying (hiding) Walters' real track record, but the raw 2006 FBI crime numbers (I have not seen the 2007 FBI numbers) point toward Chief Walters as ineffective in controlling crime and more interested in furthering his personal political career than serving citizens and taxpayers of Orange County.

In addition, Walters has turned his back on enforcing both federal and California law on illegal immigration. Walters has seemingly allowed illegal Mexican gangs to flourish in Santa Ana. I believe Walters has been patronizing illegal immigrants to further his career and political ambitions, which shows in the increasing violence of Mexican gangs and increasing crime in the city of Santa Ana.

Being the 48th most dangerous city in the United States for violent crime is not a "solid record of accomplishment" in my opinion.

Thank goodness some of the supervisors got it right.

Robert Kiel, via e-mail

Every week, I read your articles, and this week's photo looked strangely familiar [Vickie Chang's Trendzilla, June 20]. Halfway through the article, I put my finger on it: I was at the Matt Costa show, too, and noticed how cute this girl's outfit was. Small world.

Crysta Arce, via e-mail

The OC Weekly did pretty darn well at the Los Angeles Press Club Awards on June 21. In our circulation class, Daffodil J. Altan won first place in the Sports category for her profile of Santa Ana boxer Ronny Rios ("Ronny," Aug. 3, 2007), while former staffer Luke Y. Thompson was the winner in the Entertainment Reviews category for his review of the film Transformers("Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em," July 6, 2007). Gustavo Arellano took second place in the Columnist category for ¡Ask a Mexican¡ And former staffer Derek Olson earned an honorable mention in the Entertainment Feature category for his profile of artist/impresario Richard Johnson ("Chicken Babies, Bondage Nights and Severed Monkey Heads," Dec. 20, 2007). Also, our humble little staff blog, Navel Gazing, took the top prize for Best Group Blog—a category that was not divided by circulation.


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