The Michael Carona corruption case

The Michael Carona corruption case

Scolding and a stiff sentence for Carona

April 28, 2009

Scolding and a stiff sentence for Carona

Mike Carona's fall from "America's Sheriff" to convicted felon reached bottom Monday as a federal judge gave Orange County's former top law enforcement officer a half-hour lecture about honesty before sentencing him to 5 1/2 years in prison for attempting to obstruct a grand jury investigation.

Charges against Carona's wife, ex-mistress to be dropped


Prosecutors cite the 'interests of justice' and the former sheriff's acquittal on most counts in asking the court to end the cases against Deborah Carona and Debra Hoffman.
January 29, 2009

Carona convicted on one count, acquitted on five

January 17, 2009

Carona convicted on one count, acquitted on five

Acquitted of most criminal counts in a corruption case that left his badge begrimed and his once-meteoric career in tatters, the man formerly dubbed "America's sheriff" stood outside the federal courthouse in Santa Ana on Friday in an exultant mood.

January 9, 2009

Carona jurors again hear tapes of talk with Haidl

Before beginning deliberations Thursday, jurors in the corruption trial of former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona listened one last time to undercover tapes that prosecutors say capture him plotting to cover up a trail of cash and gifts from Newport Beach millionaire Don Haidl.

Corruption case against former O.C. sheriff hinges on star witness' credibility

January 8, 2009

Corruption case against former O.C. sheriff hinges on star witness' credibility

After months of testimony, national headlines and the profanity-laced audiotapes, the sweeping public corruption case against former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona may end up coming down to the testimony of one man: Don Haidl.

Unflattering portrait of Carona painted for jurors

January 7, 2009

Unflattering portrait of Carona painted for jurors

Prosecutors on Tuesday painted a disturbing picture of former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona's management of California's second-largest sheriff's department, citing testimony that he accepted secret cash payments, had numerous illicit sexual affairs, and provided badges and concealed weapons licenses to campaign contributors.

January 6, 2009

Carona trial to pick up with closing statements

Before they were interrupted by an extended holiday recess, jurors in the federal corruption trial of "America's sheriff" had listened to hours of testimony and undercover tapes that prosecutors said chronicled the alleged bawdy behavior, bribes and blatant greed that framed the indictment of Michael S. Carona.

December 20, 2008

Testimony ends in Carona trial

For all its lurid tales and allegations of unchecked greed, the corruption trial of "America's sheriff" fizzled to a close Friday.

Orange County district attorney testifies in Michael Carona trial

December 19, 2008

Orange County district attorney testifies in Michael Carona trial

Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas' testimony Friday at the federal corruption trial of former Sheriff Michael S. Carona provided the first detailed glimpse into how his office handled the prosecution of the son of an assistant sheriff charged in a high-profile sexual assault case.

December 12, 2008

Carona's lawyers attack allegation

A retired assistant sheriff testified Thursday that he did not recall the department releasing a drunk-driving defendant from jail at the request of Newport Beach millionaire Don Haidl, a key government witness who made the allegation in the corruption trial of former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona.

December 11, 2008

Carona's lawyers scramble to find witnesses

As the prosecution drew to a close Wednesday in the federal corruption trial of former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona, defense attorneys acknowledged they were scrambling to line up witnesses.

December 3, 2008

Judge separates trials of Michael Carona and his former mistress

Five weeks into a high-profile corruption case, a federal judge agreed Tuesday to separate the trials of former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona and his one-time mistress, throwing a twist into the proceedings.

November 26, 2008

Ex-aide testifies in Carona corruption trial about reimbursements

The longtime executive assistant for former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona testified Tuesday that although her boss reimbursed individuals for meals as cheap as $5 and meticulously reported gifts he received, he never disclosed the thousands of dollars or gifts he is accused of accepting from a Newport Beach millionaire.

November 22, 2008

Haidl sidesteps questions about reimbursing donations in other campaigns

A Newport Beach millionaire stepped delicately around questions Friday about whether he had illegally reimbursed political contributions to elected officials other than the donations he testified he had laundered during the first campaign of former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona.

November 20, 2008

Carona's lawyer zeros in on tapes

A federal judge expressed growing frustration Wednesday at the plodding pace of defense lawyers in the corruption case against former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona, saying he feared the criminal trial could continue past Christmas.

November 19, 2008

Carona trial witness says he used perk to win inmate's release

Lawyers for former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona moved into perhaps the most important stage of their case Tuesday, trying to attack the credibility of a Newport Beach millionaire who says that for years he plied Carona with cash in exchange for favors.

November 14, 2008

Haidl ends his Carona testimony

Prosecutors wrapped up testimony from their key witness on Thursday by playing secretly recorded conversations that they said capture former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona admitting he received cash payments from Newport Beach millionaire Don Haidl and plotted to cover it up.

November 13, 2008

Carona intervened in sex assault case, ex-ally testifies

Millionaire businessman Don Haidl testified Wednesday that former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona intervened in the prosecution of Haidl's son in a high-profile sexual assault case "as a favor" but that the sheriff's efforts succeeded only in angering the district attorney.

November 8, 2008

Michael Carona sold badges, Don Haidl testifies

Newport Beach millionaire Don Haidl testified Friday that badges were for sale under the administration of former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona, and that the shields for volunteer reserves were purposely changed to look exactly like those carried by sworn deputies because "that's what campaign contributors would like to have in their pocket."

November 7, 2008

Don Haidl testifies he gave Michael Carona monthly cash bribes

Millionaire businessman Don Haidl testified Thursday that he bribed former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona and former Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo with cash payments of $1,000 a month each for more than three years.

November 6, 2008

Ex-aide to O.C. sheriff admits making illegal donations

A Newport Beach millionaire testified Wednesday that he illegally pumped tens of thousands of dollars into former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona's 1998 campaign -- all with Carona's blessing.

November 4, 2008

Jurors observe the women in Carona's life

With tawdry moments that might play better to a Jerry Springer audience, jurors in Orange County are being introduced to the alleged sexual escapades and innuendoes that prosecutors say shape the corruption case against former Sheriff Michael S. Carona.

November 1, 2008

Witness breaks down in Michael Carona trial

The couple who were arguably closer than anyone to former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona and his wife took center stage at his corruption trial Friday.

October 31, 2008

Michael Carona's 'love nest' discussed in the ex-O.C. sheriff's corruption trial

The longtime mistress of former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona considered her law office a "love nest" for herself and Carona, and set up a savings account for the two of them under an obscure name because she thought that would help keep it secret, according to a witness at Carona's corruption trial.

Corruption case begins for former Orange County sheriff

October 30, 2008

Corruption case begins for former Orange County sheriff

Michael S. Carona, who built a national reputation as a compassionate crime-fighter during nine years as the leader of the Orange County Sheriff's Department, sat in a defendant's chair Wednesday as a federal prosecutor portrayed him as a money-hungry criminal who sold his office for profit.

6:12 PM PDT, October 28, 2008

Jury selected in Michael Carona corruption trial

Eleven men and one woman were chosen Tuesday to serve on the jury in the corruption case of former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona, clearing the way for opening statements Wednesday.

Carona loses bid to toss prosecutor from corruption case

October 28, 2008

Carona loses bid to toss prosecutor from corruption case

Former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona has lost his bid to have a prosecutor removed from his corruption case because of the prosecutor's role in the wiretapping of a government informant.

Carona trial to offer starkly different portraits of former sheriff

October 26, 2008

Carona trial to offer starkly different portraits of former sheriff

During nearly a decade as Orange County's sheriff, Michael S. Carona strove to maintain a polished image as a family-oriented, conservative and charismatic crime-fighter who could comfort victims and captivate crowds with his thoughtful words and reverent manner.

Carona trial judge allows evidence about expensive gift to wife

11:58 AM PDT, October 15, 2008

Carona trial judge allows evidence about expensive gift to wife

A federal judge said he would not stop prosecutors from presenting evidence that a millionaire businessman gave a $15,000 Cartier watch to the wife of former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona, according to a ruling made public this morning.

Michael Carona prepares for trial and reconnects with his wife

October 6, 2008

Michael Carona prepares for trial and reconnects with his wife

Michael S. Carona's life has been flipped on its side since federal prosecutors accused him of accepting tens of thousands of dollars in cash and gifts from people who wanted favors from him. Once one of the most recognizable faces in law enforcement, the former Orange County sheriff now lives largely out of the public eye.

August 9, 2008

Carona's former mistress Debra Hoffman wants relationship kept from the jury

Former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona's onetime mistress Friday asked the federal judge presiding over their upcoming trial on corruption and conspiracy charges to exclude the nature of their relationship from the case when it goes to a jury trial this year.

January 28, 2008

Carona's legal help: why free?

As former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona prepares for trial on criminal charges that he sold access to his office for cash, favors and gifts, he has retained the best lawyers money can buy.

Indicted O.C. sheriff set to return to work

January 4, 2008

Indicted O.C. sheriff set to return to work

Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona intends to return to work Monday, ending a 60-day paid leave of absence initiated after he was charged with corruption in a federal grand jury indictment.

January 21, 2006

CARONA UNDER SCRUTINY

'America's sheriff' caught Bush administration's eye, met with Karl Rove

Two of his former aides are facing criminal prosecution. Federal agents have subpoenaed his financial and administrative records. State investigators are examining his conduct with women.

January 21, 2006

CARONA UNDER SCRUTINY

A Sheriff's Rising Star Is Dimmed by Scandal

Two of his former aides are facing criminal prosecution. Federal agents have subpoenaed his financial and administrative records. State investigators are examining his conduct with women.

CARONA UNDER SCRUTINY

O.C. Sheriff Dogged by Scandals

A Newport Beach man's dream of getting rich by selling law enforcement officials on a high-tech device that could end high-speed chases has pulled top advisors to Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona into a complex tale of cash, ambition and alleged influence-peddling.

December 29, 2007

State reviews free legal aid to Carona

The state attorney general's office said Friday that it was looking into a complaint that legal aid donated to indicted Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona could violate a ban on expensive gifts to elected officials.

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