Don Haidl, the Man Who Brought Down Former O.C. Sheriff, Dies

NEWPORT BEACH (KTLA) –  Family members grieved on Wednesday night after Former Assistant Orange County Sheriff Don Haidl passed away.

KTLA confirmed Haidl died Monday night from natural causes at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach.

A controversial figure in Orange County, Haidl’s law enforcement career came to an end in 2005 when he resigned from his post to defend his son, Greg Haidl, in a now infamous trial involving the rape of an unconscious 17-year-old girl.

In 2007, Haidl pleaded guilty to tax crimes and then cooperated with federal investigators in their criminal case against former Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona.

A star witness during Carona’s federal trial, Haidl withdrew from the public eye afterward.

In a written statement released Tuesday, the Haidl family said, “Our brother passed away unexpectedly last night. He died as he lived, surrounded by the people he loved. He will be greatly missed by all who were privileged to know him.”

12 comments

  • Rockina2

    Please KTLA make it clear that Mr. Haidl was NOT a Sheriff deputy in any way. He was a local business man who got involved with a corrupt Sheriff and between the two of them did who knows what. Mr. Haidll was given the badge as a "gift" for whatever services or money he provided to Carona.

  • Art

    I knew Don and he helped more people then all you Rats together. A lot of them he didn't even know. He was always the first one to put his hand in his pocket via a group or charity and or lend an ear/ moral support and guidance. Shame on all you who try to dishonor Don.

  • no man

    He made some mistakes unlike the rest of us who seem to live perfect lives. He in my book was a man among men as he stated he took full responsibility for his actions.

    God Bless him and his family.

  • Meeche Miller

    Only rats would make terrible comments about a man who has died and a man they knew nothing about other than what they read in mostly biased newspapers. Don Haidl was a man among men – It's tragic that his name was smeared for defending his 17 year old son – how many of you rats wouldn't defend your sons? Don Haidl was a good man and doesn't deserve to be put down by you idiots who are calling him a rat – May you get the same eulogy when you die.

  • Joel

    If you didn't know Don then you shouldn't comment. Don was a kind and generous man. Was he perfect, no…but no one is. He paid dearly for his mistakes. Who are you to throw stones? Don was always kind, loving and generous to our family – he had a rye sense of humor – he will be missed. May he rest in peace.

  • mike

    Donnie was my best friend for 40 years , the guy would do anything for you if you did him right and thought the world of his family and helped them to the end . Was very well rspected in the auction industry , where he was a big success with auction lots all over the country , was a very shrewd business man Died in the middle of a giant comeback

  • dean

    for what is is worth to you people that read newspapers and listen to john and ken on hot topics and express there opinion NOT FACTS to sell papers and radio time, don went through 3 police academys i went through one at the sbso in the 1980s there are levels for reserves and he put in his time in all three,including ocsd or post would not allow you to be a sworn office,r post regulates,all officers sworn or not sworn peace officers and for drop out of school he took the ged and got a dipolma so he was not a drop out ,do research before condeming a person he built a huge company on his reputation, rip don

  • sbso

    Dean; There are no records of Don Haidl doing any SBSO academy training or POST certification. Don Haidl was not a peace officer in this state.

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