Senior Assistant District Attorney Bill Feccia--one of the brainiest, longtime members of Tony Rackauckas' management team inside the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA)--is retiring this week.
Except for the Todd Spitzer firing fiasco, it's the biggest OCDA personnel move since 2007, when then-second in command Chuck Middleton retired after winning three sexual assault convictions in the infamous Haidl Gang Rape case.
Feccia's retirement after a 33-year career means Rackauckas loses arguably the aide with the greatest institutional memory.
Since 1979, he handled more than 100 trials while working in the following divisions: juvenile court, narcotics, career criminals, municipal court, insurance fraud and felony panel operations. He even served as a Special Assistant in the U.S. Attorney's office. His last office assignment placed him over special prosecution projects including criminal appeals.
Among more recent high profile cases that involved Feccia: John Chamberlain inmate jail murder, UC Irvine public speaker protests, Capistrano Unified School District's open meeting law violations and the monitoring of early release prison inmates.
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A trusted Rackauckas lieutenant to the end, he also was the man assigned to often explain to why, despite public opinion otherwise, certain potential defendants should escape criminal charges. One was Dick Ackerman, the former OC state senator accused but cleared by Feccia of lobbying hanky panky involving the county's fair grounds in Costa Mesa.
Rackauckas said today he will miss Feccia.
"Bill has been my loyal friend for 33 years," said the DA. "He took on every important assignment he was asked to do and did a great job for the office. He's really going to be missed."