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District Attorney

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NEWS
July 29, 2003
In California, the district attorney is the single most important officeholder in any county. As the chief law enforcement officer, he sets the standards for all law enforcement in the county and, at the same time, creates the climate for all other officeholders. With an honest, aggressive district attorney, you have a clean county. Without an honest, aggressive district attorney, corruption and favoritism inevitably raise their ugly heads. Except in the eyes of the temperance movement, Prohibition was a disaster for our society.
LOCAL
By Lauren Vane | September 7, 2006
The district attorney will seek the death penalty for two Long Beach men charged with killing a retired Newport Beach couple, officials announced Wednesday. Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas said Skylar Deleon, 27, was the "brain" and John F. Kennedy, 41, the "brawn" behind the November 2004 disappearance of Tom and Jackie Hawks. The couple was tied together and thrown overboard their yacht, Well Deserved, investigators have said. "This couple literally watched their dreams float away as they were drowning to death," Rackauckas said.
NEWS
By Bradley Zint and Jeremiah Dobruck | October 15, 2013
Prosecutors last week raided a law firm being sued by Costa Mesa Mayor Jim Righeimer and Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger, according to published reports. The Orange County district attorney secured a warrant last week and searched the Upland office of Lackie, Dammeier, McGill & Ethir, the Voice of OC reported Tuesday . The nonprofit news organization reviewed a Superior Court log showing that district attorney's investigators raided the firm Thursday. Investigators left the office with boxes of documents, according to the San Bernardino County Sentinel , which first reported the story.
NEWS
January 10, 2002
Marian Bergeson, a former state senator and Newport Beach resident, announced this week that she will endorse Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Wally Wade for Orange County district attorney. Wade is challenging Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas. In a statement issued Monday, Bergeson wrote Wade "exhibits more of the qualities I expect out of a position with the power and prestige of District Attorney. "Wally's integrity is beyond reproach," she added. "He is known for being an aggressive and tenacious prosecutor.
NEWS
By Anthony Clark Carpio | August 9, 2013
A Fountain Valley man was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for his part in the 1995 death of a fellow Vietnamese street gang member. Giang Thuy Nguyen, 37, had been found guilty April 10, 2012, of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. A sentencing enhancement of murder to avoid arrest was found to be true, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney's office. Co-defendants Anthony Paul Johnson, 37, of Westminster, Tam Hung Nguyen, 47, of Riverside, and Truc Ngoc Tran, 36, of Santa Ana, were previously sentenced to life in prison without the possibly of parole on the same charges.
NEWS
May 24, 2005
District attorney wants alleged molester jailed The Orange County district attorney's office wants former Costa Mesa resident George Joseph England, 60, to spend at least six years in state prison. England, who fled California in 1977 after being convicted on three counts of child molestation, was arrested Thursday in Florida. The district attorney's office announced England's arrest Monday. He has yet to serve time for the convictions. "The judge allowed him to get out of jail for a few days to put his life in order and he never came back," district attorney spokesman Mark Macaulay said.
NEWS
June 14, 2013
A Costa Mesa chiropractor was convicted Friday of sexually assaulting a client during a massage, according to the Orange County district attorney's office. Dennis Durbin, 65, pleaded guilty to one felony count of sexual battery by fraud against a 28-year-old female client. In 2011, Durbin treated the victim for an injured knee at Sky Park Chiropractic in Irvine. She returned in July 2012, and Durbin offered massage therapy in addition to the standard treatment. In August 2012, during a massage, the defendant inappropriately touched her on "intimate parts of her body," a news release from the district attorney's office said.
NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck | February 11, 2014
A former board member with a Newport Beach-based charter school nonprofit is believed to have stolen $750,000 that he promised to invest on behalf of the organization, according to charges filed by the Orange County district attorney. The alleged theft would be the largest from a California charter school outfit, the district attorney's office said in an announcement Tuesday. Jeremy Landau, 43, joined the board of California Virtual Education Partners in May, and in June he allegedly asked to invest taxpayer money for CAVEP, which operates five online charter schools.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
April 1, 2014
The Daily Pilot reported that Steven Charles White, accused of tearing up a campaign sign before the 2012 election, had been acquitted after a jury trial ("Accused sign vandal is found not guilty," March 28). First, let me say that I don't condone the destruction of campaign signs by anyone, regardless of which candidate or ballot measure is involved. But the amount of attention given to this single $5 placard seems a bit out of proportion, especially given the number of signs for all candidates and positions that were destroyed citywide.
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NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck | March 26, 2014
Jury selection began Wednesday in the trial of a former Costa Mesa city employee accused of destroying a political campaign sign during a contentious election season. The Orange County district attorney's office alleges that Steven Charles White, 40, who was a city maintenance worker and Costa Mesa resident, ripped up a sign advertising a slate of candidates he disagreed with in October 2012. A private investigator working for a campaigning councilman recorded the incident, but White's attorney told prospective jurors Wednesday that it's simply a case of mistaken identity.
NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck | February 11, 2014
A former board member with a Newport Beach-based charter school nonprofit is believed to have stolen $750,000 that he promised to invest on behalf of the organization, according to charges filed by the Orange County district attorney. The alleged theft would be the largest from a California charter school outfit, the district attorney's office said in an announcement Tuesday. Jeremy Landau, 43, joined the board of California Virtual Education Partners in May, and in June he allegedly asked to invest taxpayer money for CAVEP, which operates five online charter schools.
NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck | December 27, 2013
An Orange County Superior Court judge this month refused to hold Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger in contempt of court for revealing evidence that someone surveilled him, court records show. Judge David Hoffer on Dec. 13 denied the contempt motion by the Costa Mesa Police Officers' Assn. asserting that Mensinger and his attorneys violated a court order by publicizing confidential allegations that a GPS tracking device had been placed on Mensinger's truck during the 2012 election season.
NEWS
By Hannah Fry | December 24, 2013
An Irvine construction company owner and his Costa Mesa foreman were arraigned Monday on charges linked to the alleged defrauding of employees of $330,000 in wages. Mustafa Mohamed Bdaiwi, 41, of Irvine and Antonio Naranjo Jr., 40, of Costa Mesa are charged with 11 felony counts of taking and receiving a portion of a worker's wage on a public works project and two felony counts of recording a false and forged instrument, according to the Orange County district attorney's office. They also face sentencing enhancements for property loss of more than $200,000, the office said.
NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck | November 21, 2013
The Costa Mesa Police Officers Assn. doesn't plan to sue the city after officials denied its claim asserting that the municipality is responsible for the union's legal fees. The association had sought indemnification from the legal costs of defending itself from a lawsuit by two councilmen that alleges the union was part of a plan to harass and intimidate them for political gain. A claim against a municipality can be the first step in litigation, and although the association believes the City Council wrongfully denied the request Tuesday, association President Det. Sgt. Ed Everett said, "The association will pursue all of its options and at this point has no plans to sue the city.
NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck | November 20, 2013
A UC Irvine student brought a loaded gun onto campus Monday and was clutching it close to his chest when another student spotted the weapon, a campus representative said. Within 12 minutes of the reported sighting, police had taken Manas Moole Reddy of Irvine into custody not far from the Ayala Science Library, according to UCI spokeswoman Cathy Lawhon. On Wednesday, the Orange County district attorney charged Reddy, 28, with one felony count each of possession of a loaded firearm on a college campus, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition by a prohibited person.
NEWS
November 19, 2013
A plastic surgeon in Newport Beach allegedly performed added, unnecessary procedures during a scheduled nose job in order to overbill the patient's insurance company, according to the Orange County district attorney's office. Prosecutors also assert in a news release that Dr. Jay Calvert, 45, lied under oath during proceedings related to the victim's August 2010 civil lawsuit against him over the rhinoplasty. Calvert, who also has a practice in Beverly Hills, faces one felony count each of medical insurance fraud, manufacturing documents to support the fraudulent bill and perjury under oath, the release said.
NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck | November 14, 2013
The city of Costa Mesa could soon be in the middle of a legal battle between two councilmen and the police union. For weeks, the Costa Mesa Police Officers' Assn. has requested that the city pay for its legal defense against a lawsuit filed by Costa Mesa's mayor and mayor pro tem. Now that request is on the agenda for a closed-session meeting Tuesday, raising the possibility that Costa Mesa could end up in a highly unusual legal situation of defending its employees from a lawsuit filed by two of its own elected officials.
NEWS
By Hannah Fry | October 16, 2013
A Yorba Linda man was sentenced Friday to 24 years in state prison for raping three women, including one at a Newport Beach hotel. Jason Ara Erpinar, 24, had been convicted Aug. 30, 2012, on two felony counts of rape by intoxication and one felony count of forcible rape, according to the Orange County district attorney's office. Erpinar initially pleaded guilty to the felonies in August 2011 and was sentenced to 15 years in state prison. He withdrew his guilty plea later that year.
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