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Tony Rackauckas

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NEWS
March 3, 2002
Re "Plea Bargains in O.C. Increase in Third-Strike Cases," Feb. 15: It's great to see that Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas is allowing his deputies to dispense justice and not act as mere pawns in the administration of justice. Unlike his predecessor, Mike Capizzi, who forbade his deputies to plea-bargain third-strike cases, Rackauckas allows his prosecutors, those most familiar with the cases, to dispense justice by plea-bargaining those cases that do not warrant the severe 25-years-to-life sentence.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 15, 2014 | By Paloma Esquivel
Not even Orange County's top prosecutor himself could say with any certainty Tuesday whether the acquittal of two former police officers in a widely watched case will damage his political career or tarnish his legacy. Tony Rackauckas, who tried former officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli himself, stuck to his position that the Kelly Thomas case deserved to be brought before a jury. Still, the man who has been Orange County's district attorney for more than 15 years allowed that there could be political damage.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 2014 | By Paloma Esquivel, Adolfo Flores and Jack Leonard
Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas took the boldest move in his long career in 2011 when he stepped up to a podium for a news conference and laid out his case against two Fullerton police officers he accused of killing Kelly Thomas. "The public has been crying for justice for Kelly," he said as a television screen next to him flashed the words "TRUTH" and "JUSTICE. " This week's swift decision by a jury to acquit the officers of all charges dealt a blow not just to the family and supporters of Thomas but to the 70-year-old, four-term district attorney who put his reputation on the line by personally trying the case.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 2014 | By Paloma Esquivel, Adolfo Flores and Jack Leonard
Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas took the boldest move in his long career in 2011 when he stepped up to a podium for a news conference and laid out his case against two Fullerton police officers he accused of killing Kelly Thomas. "The public has been crying for justice for Kelly," he said as a television screen next to him flashed the words "TRUTH" and "JUSTICE. " This week's swift decision by a jury to acquit the officers of all charges dealt a blow not just to the family and supporters of Thomas but to the 70-year-old, four-term district attorney who put his reputation on the line by personally trying the case.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 23, 2005 | Jean O. Pasco, Times Staff Writer
Assemblyman Todd Spitzer (R-Orange) said Tuesday he would not run against Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas in June 2006, ending what had seemed destined to be the most expensive and nasty headbanging of the county's upcoming political season. Spitzer said the race would have cost about $3 million on both sides and split law enforcement groups, crime victims and community leaders, who would have to choose between the two Republicans.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 8, 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.
OPINION
February 7, 2011
When 11 students affiliated with the Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine disrupted a speech by the Israeli ambassador to the United States last year, they no doubt knew there would be consequences. Rather than staging a traditional protest ? by leafleting, say, or holding up signs expressing their disapproval ? they attended the event as members of the audience and then stood up, one by one, and shouted the ambassador down more than a dozen times. The university was right to punish the students, who needed to be taught that it is not an appropriate use of one's free speech rights to deny someone else the opportunity to make himself heard.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 3, 2007 | David Reyes and Christine Hanley, Times Staff Writers
Turning up the pressure on Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona to step aside, the county's district attorney on Friday urged the county's top lawman to take a leave of absence while he fights sweeping corruption charges. Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas sent a letter to the Board of Supervisors asking them to pass a resolution asking Carona to step aside and appoint a qualified member of his command staff to take over.
OPINION
February 12, 2011 | Tim Rutten
From the hysterical reaction of two local prosecutors, you'd think Southern California suddenly had become Paris in 1848 ? or, maybe, contemporary Cairo. In Los Angeles, City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, who seems to have formed his notion of prosecutorial discretion during an earlier career as a schoolyard bully, has reversed his office's policy of treating arrests during the course of nonviolent political protests as infractions that could be resolved in informal hearings resulting in fines.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 7, 2010 | By Raja Abdulrahim, Los Angeles Times
Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas has fired the man he was grooming to succeed him and, in a departure from what he promised voters earlier this year, will run for reelection in 2014. Rackauckas had previously announced that 2010 would be his last term. Five years ago, he said the same thing about the 2006 term. Todd Spitzer, a former assemblyman and Orange County supervisor, was at one point Rackauckas' hand-picked successor and has worked at the prosecutor's office since last year, moving between assignments apparently to get on-the-job experience.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2014 | By Paloma Esquivel and Adolfo Flores
Two former Fullerton police officers accused of beating a homeless man to death in a crowded bus depot  were found not guilty on all charges Monday, ending a case prosecutors said offered jurors an opportunity to send the public a "message. " Both Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli lowered their heads as the verdicts were read. The family of the homeless man, Kelly Thomas, sobbed as the court clerk read the "not guilty" verdicts. The verdict comes after three weeks of testimony but only one full day of jury deliberation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 2014 | By Paloma Esquivel
Former Fullerton Police Officer Manuel Ramos went from unprofessional to threatening in his interaction with Kelly Thomas, to the point where the mentally ill homeless man had the right to defend himself, Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas told jurors Tuesday. “He knew clearly he was out of bounds, out of bounds of his authority of proper police conduct. He knew he had created a right to self-defense on the part of Kelly Thomas,” Rackauckas said. Rackauckas presented his closing argument Tuesday in the criminal case against Ramos and former Cpl. Jay Cicinelli.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 2, 2013 | By Paloma Esquivel and Adolfo Flores
The trial of two Fullerton police officers accused of killing a mentally ill homeless man began in dramatic fashion Monday with the Orange County district attorney taking the rare step of arguing the case personally, at one point holding a wooden baton to recreate the deadly confrontation. "The conduct of these two officers who are on trial here went far beyond what is acceptable in a free society," Tony Rackauckas told jurors in a packed Santa Ana courtroom. The death of Kelly Thomas in 2011 generated national attention, marking a rare instance in which police officers are being criminally charged for an on-duty fatality.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 11, 2013 | By Paloma Esquivel
The Saudi royal princess who is charged with forcing a Kenyan woman to work for her as a domestic servant posted $5-million bond Thursday and was expected to be released later in the day. Meshael Alayban will have to wear a GPS tracking device and will not be allowed to leave Orange County without the court's permission. She is also not allowed to have any contact with her alleged victim. Alayban was arrested early Wednesday by police at her Irvine home in a gated community where they say she forced a 30-year-old to work 16 hours a day, seven days a week, for only $220 a month.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 20, 2012 | By Nicole Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times
An attorney for Santa Ana City Councilman Carlos Bustamante is asking an Orange County Superior Court judge to dismiss sexual assault and battery charges against his client, saying the district attorney made "inflammatory" statements to the media. Bustamante, who resigned his post in the county's public works department following an internal investigation into his workplace behavior, is charged with sexually assaulting women in his county office over an eight-year period. James Riddet, Bustamante's attorney, alleges that the conduct of the district attorney's office is "so egregious" that the only remedy is to dismiss the case because it denies Bustamante a fair trial.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 6, 2012 | By Nicole Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times
Orange County's chief executive officer could be terminated in response to allegations that a former county administrator sexually harassed at least seven women over the span of eight years on and around government property. In a memo Thursday , Board of Supervisors Chairman John Moorlach requested a special closed session on Friday to discuss the possible discipline or termination of Tom Mauk and the appointment of an interim county executive officer. The move comes after Carlos Bustamante, a Santa Ana city councilman and former administrator in the county public works department, was charged this week with 12 felonies, including stalking, attempted sexual battery by restraint and six counts of false imprisonment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 10, 2000 | STUART PFEIFER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Attorneys for the man accused of killing three people in a shooting rampage last year at West Anaheim Medical Center want Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas off the case because his father was a patient there shortly before the attack. By calling on the state attorney general to take over the case, the public defender's office is setting the stage for what legal experts say would be an unusual court hearing to decide when a prosecutor is too close to a case to handle it impartially.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2014 | By Paloma Esquivel and Adolfo Flores
Two former Fullerton police officers accused of beating a homeless man to death in a crowded bus depot  were found not guilty on all charges Monday, ending a case prosecutors said offered jurors an opportunity to send the public a "message. " Both Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli lowered their heads as the verdicts were read. The family of the homeless man, Kelly Thomas, sobbed as the court clerk read the "not guilty" verdicts. The verdict comes after three weeks of testimony but only one full day of jury deliberation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 4, 2012 | By Nicole Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times
A Santa Ana city councilman abused his power as a high-ranking county official by targeting and luring at least seven female employees to his office and other locations to hug, kiss and touch them inappropriately over a period of eight years, prosecutors said Tuesday. Carlos Bustamante, a former administration manager at the Orange County public works department, has been charged with a dozen felonies, including attempted sexual battery, stalking, fraud and six counts of false imprisonment.
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.
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