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Fullerton isn't the spot for Jaramillo after all

Jail can't afford laptop, cellphone monitoring, which the D.A. insists on. The former lawman must serve his term for corruption elsewhere.

March 08, 2007|H.G. Reza | Times Staff Writer

Former Orange County Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo will not serve his sentence for a corruption conviction in a rented cell at Fullerton City Jail after all, a police spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Chief Pat McKinley backed out of an agreement to allow Jaramillo to serve his one-year sentence in Fullerton after deciding he did not have the staff to monitor his cellphone and laptop use, as prosecutors insisted. Pay-to-stay inmates in Fullerton are allowed to use cellphones and laptops.

Officials at the district attorney's office declined to comment Wednesday.

Jaramillo has until next month to begin serving his sentence. The other city jails in Orange County that rent cells are in Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Anaheim and Santa Ana. None allow paying inmates access to cellphones or personal computers.

There are pay-to-stay and private jails elsewhere in Southern California, but Jaramillo's attorneys said he wanted to serve time near his Coto de Caza home.

Jaramillo pleaded no contest to lying to a grand jury and illegal use of a sheriff's helicopter. In return, prosecutors allowed him to choose a private or city jail where he could serve his time.

He chose Fullerton, which charges pay-to-stay inmates $75 per day. Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas objected when he learned about the cellphone and computer privileges.

Brent F. Romney, Jaramillo's attorney, said that Jaramillo should not be treated differently from the other pay-to-stay inmates and accused prosecutors of pursuing a vendetta against his client.

Romney was in meetings Wednesday afternoon and unavailable for comment, a secretary said.

Last week, Superior Court Judge Frank F. Fasel, who has final approval over the terms of Jaramillo's sentence, ordered both sides to agree on a custody order that he could sign.

Another meeting took place Wednesday in Fasel's chambers, where Romney learned that Fullerton police officials had decided not to rent a cell to Jaramillo.

Romney had said Jaramillo wanted to begin his sentence this Friday so he could be out in time to greet his son when he returns from a Mormon mission in November.

With time off for good behavior, Jaramillo is expected to serve 243 days.

hgreza@latimes.com

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