Monday, January 29, 2007


January 29, 2007

SANTA ANA -- Contrary to what certain Coto de Caza Board of Directors may think, there is semblance of law and order in Orange County.

Former Orange County Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo, 46, Dove Canyon, was convicted today of two felony counts -- perjury and misappropriation of public funds. Jaramillo is the highest ranking law enforcement official in Orange County's history to be convicted of any felony, including political corruption. Jaramillo entered his plea before the Honorable Frank F. Fasel, in C-35, Central Justice Center, in Santa Ana, this afternoon. Jaramillo was placed on three years of supervised probation, must serve one year of custody in jail, and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $10,000 among other probation terms. As a result of his plea agreement, the District Attorney agreed to dismiss the nine remaining felony counts and not to pursue a new charge of falsifying documents to be used in evidence. Jaramillo will be barred from holding public office for the rest of his life. As an attorney, Jaramillo must report his felony convictions to the State Bar. If he violates the terms and conditions of probation, he could be sent to prison for four years and eight months. Jaramillo lied under oath to the Orange County Grand Jury about getting paid to work for CHG Safety Technology, Inc., knowing such information was false.

Jaramillo misappropriated public funds for personal use by:
1) directing his on-duty subordinates to research and visit convalescent living facilities for his mother;
2) misusing Sheriff's equipment (including a helicopter) and on-duty subordinates to facilitate his personal travel;
3) directing his on-duty subordinates to assist him at the graduation ceremony of a family member; and
4) directing his on-duty subordinates to have his personal photographs developed. Jaramillo used his position of Assistant Sheriff and the respect that position carries with it to benefit personally. "The defendant accepted the consequences because he knew he was guilty. He knew if he did not plead, he would be found guilty by a jury," stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. "In order for government to work, the public must be able to have confidence in their leaders. We must have public officials, especially law enforcement officials, that are free from corruption. In this case, the defendant put his pocket book above the interest of the public."

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