ederal prosecutors on Wednesday dropped one of the mail fraud charges in the corruption case against former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona, his wife and former mistress.
The U.S. attorney’s office obtained a superseding indictment no longer alleging that Carona’s wife, Deborah, failed to disclose the gift of a $15,000 Cartier watch on a conflict-of-interest form she filed as a member of the board overseeing the Orange County Fairgrounds.
Carona, his wife and alleged mistress, Debra V. Hoffman, are still accused of conspiring to sell the power of Carona’s office for tens of thousands of dollars in cash and gifts.
Prosecutors excluded the watch allegation after defense attorneys informed them it was not required because the gift came from someone who didn’t do business with the fair board.
-- Stuart Pfeifer