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Orange County District Attorney

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BUSINESS
April 20, 1988 | JOHN CHARLES TIGHE, Times Staff Writer
Laura Scudder's Inc., one of the West's leading makers of snack foods and peanut butter, has paid a $250,000 civil penalty after the Orange County district attorney accused the firm of selling products contaminated with machine parts and, in one instance, a dead rodent. Deputy Dist. Atty. Wendy Brough said the penalty paid by Scudder's is one of the largest ever received by the district attorney's office. As part of the agreement, Scudder's did not admit to any wrongdoing.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 16, 2013 | By Paloma Esquivel and Joseph Serna
Orange County district attorney's investigators have raided the offices of an Upland law firm accused of bullying civic leaders across Southern California in its aggressive representation of police and their unions. The search of Lackie, Dammeier, McGill & Ethir comes after the firm announced last month that it would be dissolving following a series of scandals and a lawsuit filed by Costa Mesa city leaders who alleged that the firm was harassing them for political gain. The firm has represented dozens of police unions in Southern California and has a reputation for its bare-fisted tactics and attacks on city hall.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 9, 1991 | JERRY HICKS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Reacting in part to the recent arrest of former USC quarterback Todd Marinovich, the Orange County district attorney's office announced Friday that it will file felony charges instead of misdemeanors against first-time offenders caught with small amounts of cocaine. In the past, misdemeanor charges were filed if the amount possessed was less than a gram. Chief Deputy Dist. Atty.
OPINION
May 4, 2012
Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas has spent three years defending an indefensible tactic that denies individuals the right to due process before they are named in a gang injunction. A federal judge has ruled it unconstitutional, but Rackauckas has now appealed that decision. He should abandon this costly and misguided legal battle that is little more than an attempt to bend the rules. Injunctions are powerful tools that can help law enforcement combat gangs. The theory is that by placing restrictions on the conduct of gang members - such as imposing curfews on them or limiting where they can congregate - the injunction will undercut a gang's ability to control the streets and commit crimes.
NEWS
January 12, 1998 | NANCY CLEELAND, TIMES STAFF WRITER
For six years, Susan Engelhardt prodded and pleaded with her ex-boyfriend for child support. Her efforts went nowhere, until Orange County backed her up with a tough enforcement program. The boyfriend, who lives in Utah and is the father of Engelhardt's 8-year-old son, now makes his court-ordered $350 payment on time every month and is paying down the debt that accumulated over the boy's lifetime.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 17, 2001 | From Times Staff Reports
Al Valdez, a 15-year veteran of the Orange County District Attorney's Office, has been named Investigator of the Year by the California District Attorney Investigators' Assn. Valdez, a nationally known gang expert, was the first DA investigator assigned to the office's gang prosecution unit in 1992. Before joining the DA's office, Valdez was an Anaheim police officer for 10 years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 23, 1996
The Orange County district attorney's office put one of its own investigators on the stand Thursday as its final witness in the criminal case against former county Budget Director Ronald S. Rubino. As part of his testimony, investigator Larry Lambert read some of the former budget director's responses to earlier questioning before the Orange County Grand Jury. There will be no testimony today. Prosecutor Jan J.
BUSINESS
March 4, 1993 | Greg Johnson / Times staff writer
Ranch Foods Settles Suit: Ranch Foods Inc., a Newport Beach-based company, has settled a lawsuit alleging that it sold dairy products and salad dressings in packages that contained smaller quantities than suggested on labels. The civil lawsuit brought by the Orange County district attorney was prompted by an investigation conducted by the state Department of Food and Agriculture and the Orange County Agriculture Commission. Ranch Foods didn't admit any wrongdoing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 16, 2001 | Times Staff Reports
Al Valdez, a 15-year veteran of the Orange County district attorney's office, has been named investigator of the year by the California District Attorney Investigators' Assn. Valdez, a nationally known gang expert, lectures on the subject and is the author of "A Guide to Understanding Street Gangs." He was the first investigator assigned to the office's gang prosecution unit in 1992. Before joining the district attorney's office, Valdez was an Anaheim police officer for 10 years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 29, 2011 | By Nicole Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times
Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas on Wednesday released emails and court documents used in the trial to convict 10 Muslim students on criminal charges of disrupting a speech. The so-called Irvine 11 were each convicted of two misdemeanors Friday for disrupting aUC Irvine event featuring Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren in February 2010. The students face fines, probation and 56 hours of community service. Defense attorneys say they will appeal. Charges against an 11th defendant were dropped pending completion of community service.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 23, 2011 | By Joel Rubin and Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
Before reaching the decision this week to charge a Fullerton police officer with murder, Orange County prosecutors re-created his fatal encounter with a homeless man from dozens of witness statements, footage from security cameras and cellphone videos. The piece of evidence that sealed the decision, however, came from an unexpected source: the officer himself. An audio recorder carried by Officer Manuel Ramos captured a chilling exchange between him and Kelly Thomas, in which Ramos told the mentally ill man that he was going to beat him. Those irrefutable words, said Dist.
OPINION
September 22, 2011
Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas fulfilled the highest standards of his office by conducting a thorough yet timely investigation into a homeless man's death at the hands of Fullerton police officers. The unusual nature of the charges he has filed — it is rare for a police officer to be charged with murder in the execution of his job, as one of them was — indicates the deep level of consideration that prosecutors gave the case of Kelly Thomas, who was beaten by police in July during an altercation outside a Fullerton bus depot.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 21, 2011 | By Abby Sewell and Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
The Orange County district attorney is set to announce Wednesday whether criminal charges will be filed against six Fullerton police officers involved in a violent confrontation that led to the death of a mentally ill homeless man. A coroner's report in the controversial death of Kelly Thomas, 37, was handed over late Tuesday to Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas, but the findings have not been made public. Witnesses have alleged that Thomas, a familiar figure in downtown Fullerton, was repeatedly shocked with a stun gun and beaten until he was unconscious by officers.
OPINION
May 29, 2011
Earlier this month, a federal judge put the brakes on Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas' reckless attempt to enforce an anti-gang injunction against dozens of men and women who never had the opportunity to challenge his designation of them as gang members. Injunctions are a unique kind of restraining order that bar gang members from engaging in certain activities, such as congregating, wearing particular clothes or going out after 10 p.m. Their goal is to reduce a gang's ability to control the streets by putting limits on its members' behavior — generally activities that would be legal if done by anyone else.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 15, 2011 | By Alexandra Baird, Los Angeles Times
Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas will appear before the Huntington Beach City Council on Monday to urge adoption of a municipal ordinance that would ban sex offenders from visiting city recreational sites. Last week, Rackauckas visited Irvine and urged the City Council there to enact a similar ban that would be modeled on a county law. Irvine Councilman Jeff Lalloway introduced such a proposal at Tuesday's session, saying it would ban sex offenders from city parks and playgrounds.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 23, 1999 | DANIEL YI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
After three weeks of speculation, the Orange County district attorney's office said Friday that two former top deputies who were placed on administrative leave Jan. 5 will return to work Monday. Wallace Wade and Brent Romney, assistant district attorneys under former Dist. Atty. Mike Capizzi, will return to work as deputy district attorneys and will have no supervisorial responsibilities.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 5, 1990 | GEORGE FRANK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Maurice L. Evans, a veteran criminal prosecutor, was named Thursday to the No. 2 post in the Orange County district attorney's office. Evans, 53, a former FBI agent, joined the office in 1973 as a deputy district attorney. He was promoted to a supervising deputy district attorney in charge of the office's West Orange County branch in 1979. Evans was put in charge of the special assignments branch in 1986 before being promoted to assistant district attorney that same year.
OPINION
December 24, 2010
In recent years, the unfortunate trend in California cites and counties, including Los Angeles, has been to deprive the public of information regarding the conduct of its police. Records and hearings that had been open for decades without harm to officers have been snapped shut, and efforts to reopen them have been thwarted by the bluster and bullying of police unions. Now, at least one agency is moving in the other direction. In Orange County, Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas has begun publishing detailed findings of officer-involved shooting cases, as well as investigations into the deaths of inmates in official custody.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 15, 2005 | Christine Hanley, Times Staff Writer
The Orange County district attorney's office is investigating donations made to the political campaign of a lieutenant who is trying to unseat his boss, two-term sheriff Michael S. Carona The investigation has fueled outrage among Lt. William Hunt and his supporters, who see the probe as being politically motivated. Carona is up for reelection next year, and the race has divided the department.
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