The U.S. Supreme Court has refused a request by Mike Carona, Orange County's onetime mighty sheriff turned federal-prison inmate, to review and possibly overturn his January 2009 corruption conviction.
The high court's April 30 decision essentially leaves Carona in his federal-prison cell in Colorado for the remainder of the 66-month sentence issued by disgusted U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford.
It also puts the finishing touches on the ex-sheriff's laughably deceitful cries that he, a Republican, is the victim of a political smear campaign.
Please note that Republican FBI agents, Republican federal prosecutors, a Republican federal judge, an all-Republican appointed Ninth Circuit appellate panel and now a Republican-dominated Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., brought the charges against Carona or ruled against him in the appeals process.
"I'm delighted, in the end, that Carona's conviction and 66-month sentence has been upheld after all the appeals, which confirmed that the government acted ethically, legally and appropriately throughout the case," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett A. Sagel.
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Carona was incensed that FBI and IRS agents surreptitiously recorded him discussing plots to manipulate justice for self-serving ends. The sheriff argued that by not getting his permission for the bugs, the government behaved unethically and the recordings shouldn't be introduced as prosecution evidence. Guilford and a long series of Republican justices have dismissed the claim as weak.
The sheriff's sensational trial revealed his efforts to thwart a federal grand jury probe into corruption at the top levels of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. It also exposed bribes and gifts from individuals seeking secret favors from the powerful law-enforcement agency and that used-car salesman Don Haidl had helped to put Carona into office in 1999 with a massive, illegal campaign-funding scheme. Carona rewarded Haidl, who had no police training, with full police powers and the rank of assistant sheriff over the then-$800 million-per-year agency.