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O.C. Sheriff announces command staff

July 23, 2008 7:20:32 AM PDT
Orange County's top cop, Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, admitted the Orange County Sheriff's Department has a lot of work to do, but the people sitting next to her will help the department move into the future. Four people appointed to her command staff are already with the O.C. Sheriff's Department, including Assistant Sheriff Jack Anderson. He filled in as acting sheriff when the former Sheriff, Mike Carona, resigned in January after being indicted by a grand jury. Carona was accused of using his public office to acquire cash and gifts in return for favors to friends.

Anderson is the last of Carona's original command staff still with the department. Anderson said he is not concerned people that may view him as being tied to the old regime.

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"I've always said, 'I'm my own person. Judge me by my credentials not by who my boss was,'" Anderson said.

Hutchens has also brought in two people from outside agencies. She used to work with her new Undersheriff, John Scott, who has more than 35 years with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Scott said he would not have come out of retirement for anyone but Hutchens.

"We have similar management styles. We have similar goals," Scott said.

Hutchens also persuaded Assistant Sheriff Mike Hillman to come out of retirement after more than 40 years with the Los Angeles Police Department.

"I twisted a lot of arms, had a lot of conversations -- it wasn't easy," said Hutchens.

Part of the rebuilding of the department involves an audit of the Orange County Jail. Hutchens said the audit is under way after a grand jury investigation into the murder of an inmate in 2006 uncovered laziness among some deputies at Theo Lacy Jail.

Hutchens welcomes the new command staff that will serve as a fresh set of eyes on the department.

Hutchens said Scott and Hillman, who came from outside agencies, are only at the OCSD temporarily to help with the transition. She later plans to promote from within the department, but it is uncertain when that time will come.

 

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