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Montebello jail suits Jaramillo, D.A.

Times Staff Writer

Former Orange County Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo will report to Montebello City Jail -- perhaps as early as next week -- to rent a cell and serve a one-year sentence for a corruption conviction, but he will not be allowed to bring a cellular phone or a laptop computer.

Jaramillo’s choice of jails was approved by Orange County Superior Court Judge Frank F. Fasel on Friday after Dist. Atty. Brian Gurwitz and Jaramillo’s attorney, Robert Corrado, agreed on the conditions of the disgraced lawman’s incarceration. Jaramillo did not appear in court.

The prosecutor said Jaramillo could be booked within days but had until April 27 to report. A spokeswoman for the company that operates the Montebello jail said she did not know when he would report.

Jaramillo pleaded no contest in January to lying to a grand jury and unauthorized use of a county helicopter. Prosecutors allowed him to pick a pay-to-stay jail to serve his sentence. Jail officials said it would cost Jaramillo $75 per day and a $100 processing fee while he is locked up -- $18,100 total, if 120 days are knocked off for good behavior, as agreed to by prosecutors.

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Friday’s negotiations went smoothly compared with last month’s, when prosecutors objected to Jaramillo’s plans to do his time at the Fullerton City Jail, where pay-to-stay inmates are allowed to bring a cellphone and computer and receive meals from visitors. Fullerton Police Chief Pat McKinley canceled the arrangement after deciding he did not have the staff to monitor Jaramillo’s computer and cellphone use as prosecutors insisted.

At the Montebello jail, Jaramillo can have one electronic item, such as a radio or video game, said Christine Parker, spokeswoman for Correctional Systems Inc., which runs the jail. The company also runs the Seal Beach jail.

Jaramillo will be housed either in an eight-man bay similar to a dorm or in a two-man cell with another paying inmate, said Parker.

Gurwitz said he was satisfied with the accommodations and convinced that “this is not a Ramada Inn situation.” He said Jaramillo would be treated like other pay-to-stay inmates and would perform such chores as janitorial work. Jaramillo will eat only jail food, but he can receive visitors daily from 1 to 3 p.m., said Gurwitz.

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Corrado said his client is ready to serve his sentence and return to his family. Jaramillo’s three-year legal struggle has seen him fall from being Sheriff Michael S. Carona’s heir apparent to a convicted felon.

He remains unbowed, Corrado said. “He is perhaps the strongest and [most] resilient human being I’ve ever met,” said Corrado.

“The public persona of George Jaramillo is different from the guy I know, who’s a real decent human being.”

Parker said Jaramillo’s monthly rent payments will be due at the first of each month.

hgreza@latimes.com


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