James Ochoa holding his little brother
James Ochoa holding his little brother

Todd Spitzer Prepares Surprise In Retaliation For DA's Press Conference Today

In hopes of blunting the sting from today's scheduled district attorney's press conference detailing Todd Spitzer's alleged pre-firing shenanigans, Spitzer has prepared a surprise.

Spitzer--the former county supervisor, state assemblyman and prosecutor who dreamed of becoming DA in 2014 but fell out of favor with DA Tony Rackauckas in August--has flown a Texas man and his wife to Orange County.

According to multiple sources, Spitzer plans to use that man as a human prop to bolster his contention that, unlike Rackauckas, he is ethically committed to doing what's right.

OC Weekly readers know of James Ochoa. Several years ago, we broke stories about the injustices surrounding Ochoa's case. He'd been wrongly arrested, charged, convicted for a carjacking and robbery he didn't commit. A judge sent him to a California hell hole prison in the desert near the Arizona border. 

An obviously innocent Ochoa had two people in his corner from the beginning of the mess: relentless defense attorney Scott Borthwick and myself. DNA evidence ultimately freed Ochoa. 

So how does Spitzer fit into this story? 

After Ochoa applied to receive the state-sanctioned $100-per-day compensation for false false imprisonment in 2008, Republicans in Sacramento balked and looked for technicalities to thwart his request. But several GOP lawmakers--including Dick Ackerman, Tom McClintock and Spitzer--studied the situation, concluded that Ochoa qualified for the funds and joined Democrats to make sure he got them.

I wrote a story praising Spizer's action, "Add Todd Spitzer to the heroes list in wrongful conviction case."

Ochoa moved to Texas and launched a T-shirt company. Meanwhile, Spitzer--who'd once called Rackaucaks inept and corrupt--left the state assembly and joined Rackauckas's office in hopes of using the DA as his mentor so that he could someday replace him.
In August, the DA fired Spitzer for alleged inappropriate conduct and Spitzer vocally returned to his earlier stance: the DA and his top advisors, Susan and Mike Schroeder, are terribly corrupt.

Related articles:

and the story that launched the series:

--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly


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