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Troubled OC Sheriff Carona Calls It Quits

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Despite having returned back to his post just two weeks ago, today Orange County's beleagured Sheriff Michael Carona, announced his retirement from the job on the Department's blog. Carona is entwined in a mess of legal troubles that extend to include his wife and his mistress, Deborah Carona and Debra Hoffman, respectively, in its web.

His previous hiatus took place under the auspices of him working on his case on federal corruption charges, in which "prosecutors allege that Carona tried enrich himself, his wife and his mistress by trading favors for cash and gifts," reports the LA Times. Furthermore, in this case, "Carona faces conspiracy, mail fraud and witness tampering charges; his wife is charged with one count of conspiracy; and Hoffman, one count of conspiracy, four counts of mail fraud and three counts of bankruptcy fraud." Carona's annoucement on the blog focuses first on his good work in the position, mentioning many of the OC Sheriff Department's achievements in his nine years as its elected leader, then the admission that "the interests of the Orange County Sheriff's Department and the residents of Orange County would be best served if I am not distracted from my duties while defending the charges recently brought against me by the federal government." Carona then reveals his decision to step down:

With a heavy heart, I therefore announce my retirement as Sheriff, effective today. Although this is one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made, my family, my staff and my lawyers all believe that this is the right time to take my retirement. This action will permit me to focus on vindicating my name and refuting the false charges which have been made against me and my wife.
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Meanwhile, Carona named Undersheriff JoAnn Galisky as his replacement while an official search is conducted for a new Sheriff, and Assistant Sheriff Jack Anderson as the second in command and the Chief of Staff.The now ex-Sheriff, whose trial is scheduled for June, ends his annoucement with the wish that "when [his] current legal circumstances are behind [him], [he] will have another opportunity to serve [his] community." If things do not go well for him in court, however, this opportunity could present itself as something like license plate making for the fine citizens of Orange County.

Photo from the Orange County Sheriff's Department