Searching for Carona's Replacement - A Comedy
The on-going drama of the Orange County Sheriff's Department continues. Last week the 47 candidates dredged up by the consultant hired by the Board of Supervisors to replace ousted Sheriff Mike Carona was announced. The list makes for some very interesting reading.
DEPARTMENT IN DISARRAY
Whomever the Supervisors select will fact a department in disarray. In addition to Carona himself, top aides George Jaramillo and Don Haidl are covered in scandal and the recent death of a prisoner in custody reeks to high heaven. Of course, the exclamation point last week was the allegation that deputies may have tasered a cat to death at a jail just for fun. The "new sheriff in town" will have to wear some pretty large boots, because there's a need for a whole lot of butt kicking right now.
A WARM BODY AND...?
Go to the county's site, HERE, then click on the link to the "candidates". As you scroll down the list you can't help but chuckle. Scattered among the serious candidates - top law enforcement officials from venues local and remote - there are some names and backgrounds that make you shake your head in amazement and cause you to wonder exactly what kind of a job specification the Supervisors gave their consultant. Looking at the list, one might think that profile required only a warm body who was interested in the job - period. Heck, we're not even sure some of these guys are warm!
The list is alphabetical, so you just never know when a surprise will pop up. For example, there's a guy named Roderick Fletcher who works in "Compliance Support Assistance - Internal Revenue Service". Yeah, that's a fit!
A little further down we find Alan Hamilton, the retired Chief of Police from the town of Duck, North Carolina. where he oversaw a staff of 6 sworn officers and one tracking dog. Actually, he might just fit in here because, for the past several years, most of Mike Carona's senior staff have been yelling, "Duck!" whenever a new scandal broke.
Further yet we find Nicholas Paros, who lists his qualifications as "Owner & Managing Member, Paros Liquor, LLC" in Baltimore, MD. Why am I not surprised that a guy who sells booze applied for the job of top cop of Orange County?
A couple entries further down the list we find Ion Petrinca, an "Electrician's Assistant" from Garden Grove. Geez!
THE "USUAL SUSPECTS"
Among the REAL candidates there are many of the "usual suspects", Paul Walters, Chief of Police for the City of Santa Ana; Jack Anderson, acting Sheriff; Ralph Martin, Commander in the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and Bill Hunt, recently retired from the Orange County Sheriff's Department following his demotion by Carona after challenging Mike Carona in the last election.
COTTON FIELD "SWAT" TEAM?
The range among the "others" is fascinating. For example, in addition to the above-mentioned Mr. Hamilton from Duck (!), we have Tommy Tunsen, the Chief of Police from Arvin, California. Many of you know of Arvin - a little burg of 16,000 souls deep in the belly button of the Central Valley agricultural area. It's just off Interstate 5 on the way to Bakersfield. In Arvin, "SWAT" means what you do to fend off the gnats hovering over the cotton fields.
WHY THE O.C.?
At the other end of the spectrum we have a couple very interesting applicants. There is Robert Peppler, Assistant Director, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Kim Brian London, Executive Director of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL). How's that for some horsepower? My question to these guys is, "Why would you want to come to Orange County? Did the consultant tell you that you'd get a chance to be on "The Real Housewives of Orange County?"
FAMILIAR SURNAME - SAME LACK OF SKILLS
However, for me, the most interesting applicant on the list is near the middle. There we will find the name of Erik Mansoor, a Deputy Sheriff in the Orange County Sheriff's Department. You may know of Mansoor - he's the brother of our young jailer/mayor pro tem and, based on my information, is also a career jailer. How this guy, with limited academic credentials and even more limited law enforcement experience, hopes to be seriously considered for the job of top law enforcement official in Orange County is way, way beyond me. He may be afflicted with the same malady as his brother - delusions of grandeur on a monumental scale.
DEMAND SOME MONEY BACK!
Now the sorting process begins. In my opinion, the first thing the Board of Supervisors should do is demand a fee reduction from their consultant for wasting their time with some of those "candidates".
TOP COP OR POLITICIAN?
One of the first problems faced by the successful candidate - the person the supervisors choose to fill Carona's shoes - is that he is going to have to immediately begin raising funds and start campaigning for election to the job in 2010. Sadly, we need a great law enforcement leader and we're going to end up with a politician. Such is life in Orange County these days.