Former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona will continue serving time in federal prison on a witness tampering conviction after a judge denied a request by the former lawman's attorneys to shorten his sentence.
Attorneys for Carona, 57, who was once hailed as "America's sheriff," argued that a 66-month sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford on a witness tampering conviction should be adjusted because of changes in the law. So far, he has served two years of 5 1/2-year prison sentence.
In a decision made public Friday, Guilford denied the request for resentencing, which could have freed Carona immediately from a prison in Colorado. Guilford said the type of fraud that Carona committed is still valid even though the U.S. Supreme Court narrowed its definition.
Guilford said he focused on Carona's "high position of trust as an elected law enforcement official," according to court documents.
During the trial, prosecutors alleged that Carona, elected in 1998, had abused the powers of his office by accepting secret cash payments, providing campaign contributors with badges and concealed weapons permits and engaging in numerous illicit affairs.