OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Posts Tagged ‘Orange County Sheriff’

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens to retire at end of current term

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on June 27, 2017

This came over the wire this afternoon from Sheriff Sandra Hutchens’s now-former re-election campaign

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens to retire at end of current term

Endorses Undersheriff Don Barnes as her successor

Santa Ana, CA – – Sandra Hutchens, Sheriff-Coroner of Orange County, announced today that she will not seek reelection in 2018 and is endorsing Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes.

“At the end of my current term, I will have spent almost 40 years in law enforcement and over 10 years as Sheriff of Orange County,” said Hutchens. “It has been a great honor and privilege to serve as Sheriff and I would not even consider retiring if there was not a highly qualified and electable candidate ready to serve.

“I am proud to endorse Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes for the position of Sheriff-Coroner of Orange County,” said Hutchens. “Don has worked for our Department for 29 years and has excelled at every position and assignment. He possesses the experience and qualities needed to lead an agency with 3,800 sworn and professional staff members and over 800 reserve personnel. I am confident that Don Barnes will work tirelessly and effectively to keep the citizens of Orange County safe in their homes, neighborhoods, schools and places of business.”

Sandra Hutchens was elected as the 12th Sheriff-Coroner for Orange County in June of 2010, after having been appointed by the Orange County Board of Supervisors to serve out the remaining two year term of Sheriff Mike Carona, who had resigned. Hutchens began her law enforcement career with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in 1976 where she worked her way through the ranks of deputy, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, commander and as Division Chief for the Office of Homeland Security.

“Sheriff Hutchens has served Orange County with distinction and thanks to her leadership the Sheriff’s Department is recognized as one of the finest law enforcement agencies in the country,” said Senate Republican Leader Pat Bates. “I am confident that Undersheriff Don Barnes will continue that level of service and professionalism and am happy to endorse him for Sheriff.”

As Orange County Undersheriff, Don Barnes oversees the daily operations of the department’s 24 Divisions and the 16 police service contracts.  He is responsible for strategic development of programs to improve public safety services to the residents of Orange County. Barnes began his career with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in 1989 and has served in numerous leadership roles inside the department. Please visit BarnesforSheriff.com for more information.

Paid for by Friends of Sheriff Hutchens 2018

Posted in Orange County | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

OC settles Bill Hunt lawsuit

Posted by Thomas Gordon on May 23, 2013


The County of Orange has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by former Sheriff candidate Lt Bill Hunt for almost $ 2 Million according to the OC Register.

Bill Hunt was demoted to patrol duty after he waged an unsuccessful campaign for Sheriff against Mike Corona who is currently serving a 66 month sentence in a Colorado Federal prison for witness tampering and conspiracy.

Bill Hunt announced during his runs for Sheriff that he would make Orange County California’s first “Shall Issue” county.

Mr Hunt currently owns and operates his own private investigation company .

Posted in Orange County | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Yorba Linda Has a New Police Service

Posted by Brenda Higgins on July 18, 2012

Yorba Linda City Council held a meeting to review and vote upon the contract with Orange County Sheriff this evening, Tuesday July 17, 2012. The meeting was fairly predictable both in the vote, the alignments and the participants.

Clearly the city anticipated a large turn out and had overflow seating in City Hall, in the event the Council Chambers could not house everyone. It was however, not a substantial overflow crowd.

The public was provided with a time for comments and the commentary as well as the crowd, were unusually well behaved. The only commentor I felt I could firmly get behind, was my friend Jeff Winter. He praised each and every one of the Council members for their participation and dedication to this community, and thanked them for it. Ed Rakochy praised the majority 3 who have voted to end the policing contract with Brea and begin a new relationship with OCSD, and called them “courageous”. Tony D’Amico stated that having the OCSD policing Yorba Linda was the “next best thing” to having our own police department. Julia Lawson put the majority 3 “on notice” that a variety of legal remedies were being sought against them including complaint to the office of the District Attorney and convening a Grand Jury if necessary, stemming from alleged Brown Act violations. Greg Gillaspy asserted that Council should have spent more time doing research and consulting with sources like OC Watchdog. Jan Horton fired off a plethora of facts, figures and details, as well as restating her offense that Nancy Rikel provided email addresses to ‘Protect Yorba Linda’, an organization supportive of the OCSD contract being implemented in Yorba Linda.

At the close of public comment, Jim Winder reminded the audience and Sheriff Hutchens of his many years of service with Brea PD, in which he managed the contract with Yorba Linda for more than 11 years. He asked some fairly simple questions and had some difficulty getting responsive answers. He expressed concern about “transparency” which really amounted to the repeated complaint of some of the commentors, that there was a serious lack of specificity in the contract. There was discussion of the hiring process and timing of that, which seems obviously unanswerable without resolution of whether the contract was actually being granted or not. The more troubling discussion came when Winder questioned the Sheriff about unfunded pension liability. The bottom line of that discussion was this, Anderson, Protect Yorba Linda and other proponents of the contact with OCSD continue to state that the OSCD and the contract with Yorba Linda has “no unfunded pension liability”. The Sheriff in an uncharacteristically unpolished fashion, repeated her non-responsive answer several times, essentially that there is no ADDITIONAL cost added for unfunded pension liability. In essence, Mr. Winder was looking for what is the PERCENTAGE of the payments under this contract are attributed to the unfunded pension liability, the answer finally came from one of the support staff at the meeting with the Sheriff, which was that it’s about 20%. Mr. Winder also commented that he had been involved in the implementation of the Brea PD substation at Arroyo Park, indicating that it is sorely inadequate for the purposes that the Sheriff’s proposal indicates it will utilize that facility for.

Mr. Winder’s displeasure with the process and inevitable outcome was apparent.

Mr. Anderson only posed a few questions in his portion of the discussion. These were contrived and were really questions to the Sheriff representatives about the Brea PD proposal. Mr. Anderson is a litigator but apparently is not aware of the “lacks foundation” objection. In the kangaroo court manner in which this has proceeded, Brea was excluded from participation in this meeting.

Four more weeks is all that Tom Lindsey advocated in a pre-written statement that he read. I generally am not a fan of speech reading, but this was very nicely stated. In an equivocal and dignified manner, which is atypical of any presentation at a Yorba Linda City Council meeting. He set forth the facts and the timeline which effectively and politely pointed out the magnitude of the problems with how this has all transpired. Mr. Anderson’s later proclamation of transparency rang hollow after Mr. Lindsey’s calm and polite articulation of the facts.

Nancy Rikel’s irrelevant, rhetorical comments, were typical of Councilwoman Rikel, not typical of citizen Nancy Rikel when she was a regular at the podium. Polished and articulate, she said essentially nothing, except that she will vote predictably with the majority

Mr. Anderson, in characteristic fashion, begins condescending and snide, drawing a predictable reaction from someone in the crowd. Mark Schwing, in their usual good-cop/bad-cop routine, stated that it had been such a nice evening of civility that someone should not ruin it now. He did berate Brea PD in a variety of ways, while he said he meant no disrespect to Brea PD. He mentioned the recall effort against him and noted there were “numerous” (?) Political blogs and facebook pages directed at him.


Mr. Schwing (who technically is the current mayor, but only because he and his two buddies decided it would be neat to step over Jim Winder when it was his turn to be mayor) rambled off some more statistics and his spin on them, selling his view that it’s “time” to get this contract signed.

The rhetoric that has erupted on both sides of this issue have been outrageous, often inaccurate and unnecessarily angry and combative in its tone. From the looks of the crowd in attendance tonight, the propaganda has been pushed forward by the usual participants, along the usual us and them lines. An Officer Dominguez was present and spoke, he did not mention whether he was a resident of Yorba Linda, but it was confirmed that he was with the Sheriff union and represented to the council, when questioned, that none of the efforts by Protect Yorba Linda were funded or orchestrated by the union. It was effectively raised as a real concern by Mr. Lindsey that the implementation of the OCSD service would introduce a large union influence in Yorba Linda that we have previously been fortunate to avoid.

Just as the rest of the evening, the end was entirely predictable and no surprises, no acquiescing, no thoughtful consideration of the other side of the argument and no indication that time and/or restraint and research may reveal evidence to change anyone’s mind. In a vote taken at 12:21 am, Wednesday morning, the majority 3, Anderson, Schwing and Rikel voting for the immediate signing of the police contract with the OCSD.  Winder and Lindsey voting against.  Lindsey’s motion to table the vote for 4 weeks was run over and ignored.

The implementation of the contract is uncertain and not set forth in the contract. The contract with Brea officially ends in May 2013.

Posted in 55th Assembly District, State Assembly, Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Showdown with the Sheriff

Posted by Brenda Higgins on April 22, 2012

I posted last week “Policing Yorba Linda” related to the ongoing bidding process for the contract to provide Law Enforcement services to the city of Yorba Linda. This issue is close to resolution as there is a public meeting Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at the Yorba Linda Community Center, 4501 Casa Loma Ave.. I am in receipt of email correspondence from the Sheriff’s Union, encouraging union members to be there at 5:15 because a capacity crowd is expected.

Residents have confirmed that there were doorhangers left on Yorba Linda homes on Saturday. I have no information or confirmation who was dropping these off or whether there were Sheriff deputies, uniformed or plain clothes, canvasing in Yorba Linda on Saturday.

Citizens should be aware of this plan for Union members to be present on Tuesday evening, there is no indication that citizens of Yorba Linda will be given priority seating, it seems that a first-come-first-seated will be observed as with other public City Council meetings. Each agency submitting bids will be permitted to provide a presentation. My understanding is that these presentations will be 45 minutes in length.

This is the only formal presentation and discussion of the competing bids that is scheduled. It is not determined or known whether a vote of the council will occur on Tuesday evening. Residents with any concern or interest in the topic should be present.

I have requested that supporters of any of these proposals to forward information to me. There has been a high degree of interest in the “Policing Yorba Linda” post, and I am happy to share all information supporting any of the proposals here. I have overwhelmingly received information from those clearly in support of maintaining Brea Police, but I requested information from those in support of the Sheriff or Anaheim proposal. Other than anecdotal dislike of Brea Police Department, I have received no data in support of the other proposals. I will provide the information here, that I have obtained in my own review.

Bids and expert analysis

The November 1, 2011 Council meeting in which the Brea Police department was given formal Notice of Termination, in which the Council triggered the Termination process contained in the current contract, agenda and staff report for that November 1, 2011 council meeting are contained here.

The complaint of residents who attended that meeting was that the presence of the Sheriff at that meeting with a power point presentation appeared to be contrived, and not properly noticed to the citizens of the city who may have a high level of concern for this issue, and that the Notice of Termination to Brea PD was also prematurely given in that the agenda item gave the impression that the topic was for open for discussion as to timing process and not actually being voted on that evening.

Now, formal bids have been received, from Brea Police, Anaheim Police, and Orange County Sheriff, and are available for public review on the city website here.

The city has obtained a side by side comparison, and apples to apples comparison. It is here, posted on Thursday April 19, 2012, in the form of a comparison Matrix and a narrative report.

The alleged cost savings of a contract with OCSD (Sheriff)

Reviews and discussions of the bids, as well as a review of the matrix and narrative, show that the alleged $1million savings is not exactly accurate when all start up costs and differences are taken into consideration. The actual savings is about $60,000. The Matrix and Narrative also shows a diminished staffing in nearly every area when the OCSD is compared to Brea and Anaheim. Also noteworthy and difficult to quantify is that Brea and Anaheim are already actively enforcing North Orange County and presumably aware of the unique needs of this community. The Sheriff proposal to cut staffing in nearly every area, while undertaking to police a new area that they have no experience with, should raise some concern. It will be important to hear from Brea and Anaheim, why they chose not to reduce staffing, and from the Sheriff to justify why it is appropriate. (See FTE comparisons and discussions in Ralph Anderson narrative)

Additionally, the Sheriff proposal devotes a great deal of marketing effort and praise for multiple special units and technology under their jurisdiction. (See Sections ix – xiv, Proposal)

When viewed in the comparison study, (Ralph Anderson narrative above) it is clear that most of these special units are available regardless of whether the city contracts with OCSD or not. (Paragraph 19, page 15, Community Wide Services)

The Dispatch center of the OCSD is at the Loma Ridge communications center, which is staffed by 44 dispatchers and handles 2500 calls per day. Anaheim and Brea dispatch from their local stations and handle only the city(ies) in their jurisdiction. This is not cited or addressed as a big issue in the comparison, but the uniqueness of the community of Yorba Linda, the idiosyncratic nature of the streets, street names and rural areas, is something that should be considered in evaluating the ability to respond and effectiveness of communication with citizen callers. The persons staffing the Brea Police Department dispatch, have great familiarity with the community and overall map of Yorba Linda which certainly has an impact on response time and effective response. This seems not to have been quantified.

Distance and response time is included in an empirical fashion with distance only from the Anaheim and Brea stations to the Yorba Linda city limits. Notable is the asserted .5 mile from the Anaheim Hills station to Yorba Linda, it should be noted that the closest city limit to that station is an exclusively retail and commercial area of the city, reaching a residential area is considerably farther, but probably the same or closer than the approximate 3 miles from the Brea Station.

A dramatic difference in the Anaheim and Brea proposals is the existence of a permanent station location. It is difficult to see an apples-to-apples comparison when OCSD is proposing a portable or leased building, neither of which is yet in existence. In my opinion, the information and literature that has been propagated by the supporters of a contract with OSCD on this issue of a “Police Station” is highly misleading. (Protect Yorba Linda, site address is below) The verbiage on that site speaks for itself, and is not completely accurate and thorough as to what is required and proposed by OCSD.

Not included in the Sheriff proposal or the side-by-side comparison is any analysis of the existing contracts of cities contracting with the Sheriff.

The city of Stanton has incurred a $1.7 million increase in its policing costs since 2008, under its arrangement with OCSD.

Dana Point, also contracted with the OCSD, reported a $890,000 increase in law enforcement costs while contracted with OCSD. (Page 4 of this report).

Unfunded pension liability is an ongoing issue for the Sheriff and the County of Orange, as set forth in this County memo, and the possibility of looking to contract cities is being explored.

Analysis of the unfunded liability for the OCSD is estimated at $1.7 Billion.

One of the arguments offered by the proponents of a contract between YL and OCSD is that there will be no financial implication of any unfunded pension liability. This memo and actuarial evaluation seems to suggest differently. There may be no direct provisional ramification in the proposal for contract with Yorba Linda, but in contracting with any agency or individual, the overall financial health and liabilities should be a consideration. The majority 3 council members continue to assert this is a purely fiscal and financial issue, they ought then, to be questioning why all potential issues have not been covered and addressed. This is not a consideration or factor in the OCSD bid, or in the Matrix comparison. The matrix comparison, while very helpful, does not provide any analysis of issues not directly contained in the contract, i.e. non-direct costs, overall financial and organizational health of each entity, and any esoteric efficiency problems due to lack of locally experienced personnel.

Who’s on First

The supporters of the maintenance of a contract with Brea Police can be found at YorbaLindaPolice.com. They have on their site, a list of citizens who support keeping the Brea Police.

There is also a Facebook page, it is not clear to me whether these are the same people of group as the website above, but clearly on the same side in supporting an ongoing relationship with Brea PD.

On that Facebook page, there is the usual ongoing vitriolic exchange, with the usual alignments and alliances. There are also (as usual) repeated anonymous posters who may very well be duplicates of the named posters, but the contention goes on, on this page and on the OC Register site, each time this issue comes up.

In my prior post, “Policing Yorba Linda” one of these prolific commenters chastised me for asserting the relationship between the majority 3 council (Rikel, Schwing and Anderson) and the YLRRR, and the Protect Yorba Linda Group.

The “Protect” site, discusses and clearly endorses the actions of the 3 majority council members. Interestingly, the “Protect” site has a contact page that you can log in as a supporter of a contract with the Sheriff. However, there is no list of who has included themselves in this organization or supports it.

The YLRRR site is here.

On the YLRRR site they provide links to the “Protect” site (Pro-Sheriff), but not to the Yorba Linda Police site (Pro Brea PD).  YLRRR continues to align with the 3 majority that they helped elect, the same 3 which are favorably promoted on the “Protect” site.   The YLRRR has been similarly elusive as to it’s membership and supporters, just like the “Protect” site, have never made public any membership, management or supporter list. Earl Carbonne has asserted, in a post on the “Keep Police” page that he is the current Chairman of the YLRRR, and asserts a variety of oppositions to Brea PD, attempts to factually support the efforts of the Sheriff, while also asserting that there is no “financial” relationship of the YLRRR with any supporters of the Sheriff contract.

This semantical wrangling reminds me of the 2010 campaign wherein, after an expensive and ugly series of hit pieces and robo calls against candidate Jan Horton, Mayor John Anderson, in carefully chosen words stated that “I did not write that piece”. He and Tom Lindsey struggled to choose words that distanced them from the smear campaign.  I do not believe anyone “claimed” responsibility for the hate mail, but it was delivered on the same day and with the same bulk mail permit, in the same size and style, as the piece from YLRRR supporting Anderson and Lindsey.

My comments in the prior “Policing” post continue to fit the overall circumstance, I don’t know who is the puppet and who pulls the strings, but the relationship is unmistakable.


It was suggested by a commenter on the “Policing” blog post that I should provide a ‘disclaimer’ that I am a candidate on the June 2012 ballot for the Republican Central Committee.  I don’t see the relationship, and my candidacy has been mentioned on OC Political several times, BUT I am happy to engage in self promotion whenever necessary.

I was a candidate for Yorba Linda City Council in 2010. I do not have a close personal, professional or familial relationship with anyone on the current or past council. I would not support or endorse any of them for re-election. I continue to be disappointed at the degeneration of civility and objectivity in Yorba Linda politics.

I am happy to blog further on information, data or articles in support of Anaheim or Sheriff proposals, in the event anyone wishes to provide it to me.

Posted in Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Policing Yorba Linda

Posted by Brenda Higgins on April 15, 2012

Where we’re at now

For more than 40 years the city of Yorba Linda has been policed by the Brea Police Department. The current contract with Brea PD ends in June 2012.  In November 2011,  the Yorba Linda City Council gave Brea PD a Notice of Termination.

There is currently an ongoing bidding process to renegotiate to continue with Brea, or replace their contract with a contract with the Orange County Sheriff or Anaheim Police Department. Competitive bids have been received from each of the three agencies and can be viewed on the city website.

The “Keep Police in Yorba Linda” is essentially the pro-BreaPD group. They have a facebook page and a website, look for Yorba Linda Police.com. The Pro-Sheriff group is Protect Yorba Linda. They are essentially the YLRRR, the group behind Councilmembers, Anderson, Rikel and Schwing.  They have a website and their members have been as active and vociferous as usual on the OC Register website and “Keep Police in Yorba Linda”  facebook page.

How’d we get here

In 2006, a group of Yorba Linda citizens, concerned about redevelopment and a pending plan for a new Town Center organized to elect council members supportive of their efforts, and to pass low growth measures. Since that time the YLRRR has expanded it’s agenda and influence. This group has dominated the last 4 elections, having 7 out of 8 of their candidates elected. They continue to control the current council with 3 of the Councilmembers voting consistently together on their agenda. After the 2010 election they believed they would have virtual ownership of 4 of the 5 council seats, but Tom Lindsey (who seemed not to notice the retribution this group affected upon prior dissidents Jan Horton and Hank Weeda) has shown himself to exercise his own judgment on the council even after accepting the support of YLRRR in the 2010 election.

John Anderson, one of the first candidates supported by this group, and one of it’s founders in 2006, has made no secret of his desire to oust the Brea PD. In 2009, in an effort to move forward with that agenda, a feasibility study was conducted. During this period, the council pursued a plethora of feasibility studies on a variety of issues, spending into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  The police study was upwards of $50k.  The police services study essentially found that the replacement of the Brea PD was NOT FEASIBLE nor cost effective. Specifically considered in that investigation was the implementation of protection by the Orange County Sheriff.   The most cost efficient option, as opined by the expert retained by the anti-Brea PD Councilmembers, was to maintain the arrangement with Brea.  This conculsion was based upon the millions of dollars it would cost to staff up, and acquire equipment for any new organization to police Yorba Linda.  Depending upon the means of the gearing up, the opinion of the costs of starting up with a new agency ranged from $16-30 million.

In spite of that 2009 recommendation, On November 1, 2011 the council voted to issue the Notice of Termination to Brea PD. The item on the agenda for that November meeting was #11, “Potential Future Options”. Sheriff Sandra Hutchens was in attendance at that meeting, prepared with a power point presentation. The public attendees of that meeting have repeatedly used the word “shocked” to describe their response to the vote to terminate the 40 year Brea PD contract and the presence of the Sheriff with her presentation.  No part of the agenda indicated that the Sheriff would be providing a presentation.  Whether the vague description of the agenda item was intended to mislead the public, the fact is that it did.

What’s gonna happen next

On April 24, 2012, at 6:00 pm at the Yorba Linda Community Center will be a public meeting. The three agencies will give presentations, then the floor will be open for public comment.

Whether or not the council will vote on the proposals that night is not known. Again with the ambiguity. The Brea police contract expires in June.

There has been some debate about whether Councilman Jim Winder should or will vote on this, as he is retired from Brea PD. The answer is, who cares. Jim could stay home from every meeting from now until his term runs out, his vote is irrelevant. The YLRRR owns this council and the 3 will vote together.

It is hard to guess, but it will not go to Anaheim. They should stay home with Jim and Tom, they are not even realistically in the running. This council has been courting the Sheriff for some time. It is possible, I think unlikely, but possible, that if there is enough of a public outcry that the council votes to keep Brea. This council has a history of this kind of exacerbated game playing, i.e. create a side show, a fire, and then save the situation so that they can cry from their soap box about how they saved the situation from the fire. Political grandsstanding and publicity whoring has become a specialty of this group.

Up until the mandated annexation of unincorporated areas of Yorba Linda in 1994, many neighborhoods in Yorba Linda were policed by the Orange County Sheriff. No one anywhere has discussed this. I lived in one of those areas for 13 years. The service was abhorrent. They were slow, non-responsive and not in any way interested in the remote area of Yorba Linda. The funny thing about the rhetoric and alleged “information” provided on the “Protect” (YLRRR) web site, is that they indicate that if we retain the service of the Sheriff, Yorba Linda will be provided with a police station and ownership of the police cars, all at a cost savings of $1 million dollars per year. Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus, and Obamacare will cure the national deficit as well.

I am sure they will be serving Kool-Aid at the April 24 meeting, if you beleive that adding and staffing up a new agency will save the city money, drink up.

Posted in Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

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