Thirty long hours. That's how much time the 11 men and lone woman of the jury have deliberated the federal corruption charges against ex-Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona without reaching verdicts. Meanwhile, boredom has driven reporters to gossip, play poker, gossip, plan vacations, gossip and bitch. How's Carona spending his time? Mostly huddled in a 7th floor courthouse conference room with a small fan base that lovingly follows him and shoots nasty looks at the media. It's apparently our fault that Carona's a warped character worthy of a secondary role in a dime novel. Here, brave OC Weekly photographer Beth Stirnaman today captures the county's former top cop (and "Kiki," one of his favorite Jones Day defense lawyers) behind bars and inside a restaurant across the street from the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana. Why the pained who-me expression? It wasn't Tommy Pastrami's food. Someone asked Carona if he could spend one day--just one lousy day--without lying or cheating. I kid, of course. Everyone knows that's an impossibility. Minutes later, he learned that the jury had left for the day. A smiling Carona emerged from the restaurant and strutted before news cameras. One veteran reporter observed, "What a hot dog."
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--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly