Court Filing Raises New Questions About Orange County’s Handling of Jail Snitch Scandal

Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders questions a jailhouse informant during a 2014 motions hearing. (Credit: Mark Boster/ Los Angeles Times)

Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders questions a jailhouse informant during a 2014 motions hearing. (Credit: Mark Boster/ Los Angeles Times)

A court filing made public Thursday has raised new questions about the way Orange County law enforcement leaders reviewed allegations of deputy misconduct during the jailhouse informant scandal, opening the door for challenges to a number of criminal cases filed in the last three years.

The discovery motion, filed in a drug possession case by Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders, seeks a wide array of documents related to the county’s handling of law enforcement officers whose honesty has been questioned. The move is yet more fallout from a so-called snitch scandal that centered on allegations that deputies in a special handling unit housed jailhouse informants near high-profile defendants to obtain confessions or other incriminating statements without their attorneys being present, violating their rights.

Sanders has previously claimed that deputies connected to the snitch scandal have testified in at least 146 cases in recent years without their histories being disclosed to defense attorneys.

His assertions seemed to gain some credence when Orange County Dist. Atty. Todd Spitzer recently added four deputies linked to the informant scandal to the office’s so-called Brady list, which refers to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring the disclosure of potentially exculpatory evidence to a defendant, including information that might impeach a law enforcement official’s testimony.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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