All prayers inside the Orange County district attorney’s office (OCDA) that their 16-month jailhouse informant scandal would quietly disappear as just another empty, partisan controversy likely ended on May 31 thanks to veteran journalist Kevin D. Williamson, a frequent guest on Fox News, CNBC, MSNBC and NPR.
Writing “When District Attorneys Attack” in the conservative National Review, Williamson penned a nice summary of the “terrifying” mess and then offered an original, thoughtful observation: Like only Richard Nixon had the clout to open relations with communist China, Republicans–unlike the traditional protectors of government agency action, Democrats–should be able “to rouse themselves to action” ending systematic prosecutorial misconduct.
“Only the Republican party has the credibility and the political capital to take on the difficult and sure-to-be thankless task of reigning in rogue police agencies and abusive prosecutors–and they might as well take a look at our scandalous prisons while they are at it,” Williamson wrote.
Williamson’s article followed several days of national exposure on Rackauckas’ tainted snitch program with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department that hides exculpatory evidence–even, incredibly, in death penalty cases–and is operated by badged individuals officially labeled as unapologetic perjurers in March by Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Goethals, a former prosecutor.
(In the recent past, crime victims, the local criminal defense bar and Erwin Chemerinsky, dean at UC Irvine’s School of Law, have blasted the scandal too; Chemerinksy is calling for a U.S. Department of Justice probe of OCDA. California Attorney General Kamala Harris, a San Francisco Democrat running to replace U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, claims her office can’t see any ethical lapses and has adopted a protective stance of Rackauckas, a self-styled conservative Republican.)
But Williamson’s work arrives with a fresh perspective.
“This is a [law enforcement reform] job for mayors, city councilmen, district attorneys, sheriffs and police chiefs,” he opined. “In the bigger cities, Republicans are thin indeed in those ranks. But that is not the case in Orange County. In Orange County, Republicans have no excuse. Democrats may have ruined Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland etc., and they are well on their way toward doing the same thing to Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, etc.. If Republicans want to show that they can do better, then fixing the mess in Orange County, a community more populous than Chicago, would be an excellent place to start.”
Despite all the perjury and being recused in People v. Scott Dekraai, Rackauckas and his top aides continue to angrily insist prosecution team misdeeds in at least three dozen felony cases were innocent accidents that in each trial coincidentally cheated defendants.
CNN-featured investigative reporter R. Scott Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; obtained one of the last exclusive prison interviews with Charles Manson disciple Susan Atkins; won inclusion in Jeffrey Toobin’s The Best American Crime Reporting for his coverage of a white supremacist’s senseless murder of a beloved Vietnamese refugee; launched multi-year probes that resulted in the FBI arrests and convictions of the top three ranking members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department; and gained praise from New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing entrenched Southern California law enforcement corruption.