Orange County’s top prosecutor Wednesday launched an internal review of alleged misuse of informants in the county’s jails, after statements last week that the state attorney general’s office had closed its years-long criminal investigation into the scandal.
In a statement, Orange County Dist. Atty. Todd Spitzer expressed frustration with the lack of communication from Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra over the status of the state’s investigation. During a hearing in a Fullerton courtroom last week, Deputy Atty. Gen. Darren Shaffer said that the state probe into the conduct of several sheriff’s deputies had been closed, but offered no further explanation, according to county Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders.
“I refuse to wait for the attorney general to make any conclusions given this lack of communication on inquiries,” Spitzer said. “It is my responsibility as the recently elected district attorney of Orange County to move forward with my own investigation into what occurred,” and if any remaining personnel are responsible.
Shaffer’s comments at the April 19 hearing appeared to be in reference to a perjury investigation involving at least three sheriff’s deputies. He did not say when or why the investigation closed, or make any statements about possible criminal charges. In a letter sent to Becerra on Wednesday, Spitzer asked whether the district attorney’s office also remained under investigation.
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