Sadly, Jeffrey M. Rawitz--one of Jones Day's feisty defense lawyers who represented ex-Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona in his federal corruption trial earlier this year--is hospitalized in Los Angeles at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
During Carona's three-month trial in Santa Ana, Rawitz participated in almost all hearings despite significant spinal cord pain following a pre-trial accident. He often limped in and out of U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford's courtroom, but always fought strenuously on Carona's behalf. Indeed, Rawitz was singlehandedly the life of the defense--an opinion numerous jurors shared with me after a lucky Carona won acquittal on five of six charges.
The injury has now caused Rawitz to resign not just from Carona's defense team (which is appealing the conviction for sabotaging a federal grand jury investigating corruption at the Orange County Sheriff's Department) but also from Jones Day.
"I am in a lot of pain," Rawitz, 46, told me last night in a phone interview from his hospital bed. "I am really hurting."
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And, true to form, he continued to lobby me, perhaps Carona's biggest media critic.
"Someday, I'm going to convince you," he said, "that the government's case against Carona was weak."
I don't know about that assertion given that federal prosecutors Brett Sagel and Ken Julian proved beyond a doubt that Carona was a sheriff-hoodlum with egomaniac tendencies, but I do pray that Rawitz heals quickly.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly