As you know, disgraced former OC Sheriff Mike Carona is a close associate of our own Tom Fuentes (SOCCCD trustee, Lake Forest), a circumstance that yielded numerous appearances by Carona at Irvine Valley College, which once named the fellow its “Hometown Hero, “ or some such nonsense.
Carona is now cooling his heels in federal prison. Predictably, he’s been appealing his conviction. But that hasn’t gone well:
Former sheriff loses appeal (OC Reg)
A federal appeals court Tuesday reaffirmed its earlier ruling upholding former Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona's conviction of witness tampering and denied his petition for rehearing.
The three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also ruled that Carona, who is serving a 5½-year prison term, may not file further petition for rehearing before it.
The disgraced former sheriff's downward spiral from the peak of power in Orange County law enforcement landed him in a federal prison in Colorado, where he surrendered in January.
Carona was Orange County's top law enforcement officer for nine years before he was indicted, tried and convicted of trying to persuade a former top aide to lie for him during a spreading federal investigation of corruption in the Sheriff's Department.
U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Guilford sentenced Carona to federal prison in April 2009, telling the ex-sheriff he had brought shame to Orange County and had victimized the people he was sworn to serve.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in January Guilford did not abuse his discretion when he declined to grant a defense motion to suppress evidence based on what Carona's attorneys said was prosecutorial misconduct.
The three-judge panel Tuesday affirmed that ruling – amending some of the language in its earlier opinion – and denied a rehearing. There will be no hearing by a larger panel of 9th circuit judges.
"Since there was no violation of (an ethical rule), we do not need to reach the question of whether the district court abused its discretion by not excluding evidence it had found was obtained in violation of that rule, not giving a jury instruction concerning the conduct, nor imposing other sanctions on the government," the jurists wrote.
Carona can still appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.