Carona, 55, was elected sheriff of Orange County in 1999. He gained his proverbial 15 minutes of fame for his role in investigating the 2002 kidnapping and murder of 5-year-old Samantha Runnion. CNN talking head Larry King dubbed him “America’s Sheriff,” and Carona emerged as a bright star in state Republican politics.
Yet according to federal prosecutors, the seeds of Carona’s downfall had been sown a year before his election as sheriff. In 1998, they alleged, he solicited help from multi-millionaire businessman Don Haidl in laundering some $30,000 in campaign contributions.
Ultimately, Carona became the target of a sweeping public corruption grand jury investigation. He was indicted on federal charges of conspiracy, mail fraud and witness tampering, the latter stemming from a 2007 incident in which he attempted to persuade Haidl, who by then had become a government informant, to provide testimony before the grand jury consistent with his own. In an ironic twist, that was the only charge of which Carona was ultimately convicted. [See: PLN, Feb. 2009, p.1; July 2008, p.30].
Carona’s appeal of his conviction was denied by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on January 6, 2011. See: United States v. Carona, 630 F.3d 917 (9th Cir. 2011). Said U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford, who presided over Carona’s trial, “I believe justice has been done.”
Source: Associated Press
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Related legal case
United States v. Carona
|Cite||630 F.3d 917 (9th Cir. 2011)|
|Level||Court of Appeals|