The last time Orange County's sheriff announced the department's new management team, Bill Clinton was president, gasoline cost less than a buck fifty, people could afford their mortgages, and you didn't have to remove your shoes to enter buildings or airport terminals. Everything was better then--except at the OCSD. Mike Carona, our cry-on-cue glorified bailiff turned womanizer/pompous ass/N-word-tossing/federal indictee in a gold-star-studded uniform, had surrounded himself with future convicted felons.
This afternoon, Sandra Hutchens--the Board of Supervisors' handpicked Carona replacement--gathered reporters in the department's Brad Gates forensic-sciences building to announce her command staff: John Scott, Michael R. Hillmann, Jack Anderson, Mike James, J.B. Davis and Rick Dostal.
The three who stood out were:
--Scott, one of Hutchens' old colleagues from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and an expert in jails, looks like a retired pro wrestler or the president of a culinary union run out of Chicago or Cleveland.
--Hillmann, a former Los Angeles Police Department chief, won the honor of being called a "legend" at the press conference not by Hutchens, but by KCAL reporter Dave Lopez.
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--Anderson, the man Carona left in charge when he quit last January to concentrate on his upcoming federal bribery trial and turned out to be a pretty decent guy, looked, well, sheriffy.
The most important change was Hutchens (pictured at today's press conference). Sure, she's tiny like Carona, but she doesn't appear to be an egomaniacal liar looking for staffers to screw in county vehicles, monthly bribes or free vacations from a billionaire. She answered reporters' questions with seeming sincerity.
Let's all pray it's not an act.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly