Orange County Federal Witness Tampering Charges Against Sheriff: Working to Appeal on Ethical Violations

By: Wallin & Klarich

A United States District Court sentenced former Orange County Sheriff Michael Carona to five and half years behind bars on charges of federal witness tampering. United States District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford made it clear on Monday that he considered Carona’s conviction on a single charge very serious. Saying in court records “lying will not be tolerated in this courtroom…especially by this county’s leading law enforcement officer.” Judge Guilford ordered Carona to report to custody on July 24.

Carona is not without options however. His criminal defense team plans to appeal the conviction citing alleged violations of ethical rules on the part of the prosecution. Carona’s attorneys filed pleadings with the court alleging ethical violations on the part of the prosecution when they secretly recorded a conversation between Carona and Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl. This recorded conversation was a key piece of evidence in the case against Carona. Carona’s attorneys argue that ethical rules prohibit contacting an opposing litigant who has an attorney. At the time the recording took place, Carona was represented by an attorney.

The court has yet to rule on whether or not Carona may remain out of custody pending his appeal.

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Posted In: Criminal Appeals