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D.A. Retracts Request on Charity

Tony Rackauckas had--after the fact--sought supervisors' approval to use county resources in launching foundation.

March 08, 2001|JACK LEONARD and JEAN O. PASCO | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Under fire for using county staff to help launch his charity, Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas has withdrawn a request to the Board of Supervisors for approval to use county resources for the venture.

Rackauckas sought approval last week after claims that he improperly ordered investigators to run criminal-background checks on donors to the Tony Rackauckas Foundation.

But in an interview Wednesday, Rackauckas said he withdrew his request late Tuesday after learning that the county executive office is reviewing whether blanket approval has already been granted for charities like his.

Rackauckas has drawn intense criticism in recent weeks from some within his office over the operation of the foundation, which was recently renamed the District Attorney Advisory Committee.

Rackauckas ordered district attorney investigators to conduct checks on contributors with the aid of criminal databases.

Such databases are supposed to be used only for law enforcement purposes. But Rackauckas insists his use of the databases met that standard.

The attorney general's office last month launched an investigation into whether Rackauckas' actions violated state charity regulations.

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