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`Graybar hotel' amenities debated in O.C. case

D.A. argues for no cellphone or laptop for Jaramillo. Ex-lawman's attorney calls it unfair.

March 03, 2007|H.G. Reza | Times Staff Writer

Not so fast, says the Orange County district attorney's office.

If former Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo is going to pay $75 a day to serve his time in the Fullerton City Jail, a prosecutor told a judge Friday, he should not be allowed to bring in a cellphone or a laptop computer. Nor should he be allowed to have sex in the jail or bring in pornography.

Prosecutors listed the restrictions in a proposed custody order that would set the terms for Jaramillo's incarceration after learning that the Fullerton jail allows pay-to-stay inmates cellphones and computers.

Jaramillo pleaded no contest to lying to a grand jury and illegal use of a sheriff's helicopter. As part of the deal, prosecutors agreed that he could choose a private or city jail in which to serve his sentence.

Jaramillo's attorney, Brent F. Romney, objected to the cellphone and computer prohibitions, since other pay-to-stay Fullerton inmates are allowed to have them. He said including the restrictions against sex and porn was gratuitous and mean-spirited.

"We think the district attorney has a personal interest in Jaramillo above and beyond another defendant. They want him treated differently. He is embarrassed and humiliated by this," Romney said.

Although it is generally understood that having sex and porn is against the rules in most jails, including Fullerton's, Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Brian N. Gurwitz said it was necessary to make the conditions clear to Jaramillo to ensure that "he is treated like any inmate in the Orange County Jail," where cellphones and computers are not allowed.

But the point of Jaramillo paying the more than $18,000 for the 243 days he is expected to be in custody -- with time off for good behavior -- is so he will spend time in the cushier Fullerton jail instead of with the rougher crowd in the County Jail.

Jaramillo also had the option of serving time in a county jail outside Orange County for free. But his attorneys said they feared that incarceration in any county jail would leave him vulnerable to attacks from other inmates because of his ties to law enforcement.

Superior Court Judge Frank F. Fasel ordered both sides to agree on a custody order that he can sign before Jaramillo reports to jail Friday.

hgreza@latimes.com

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