Few can argue that four-term Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas put it on the line last year in his prosecution of two bad ex-Fullerton cops in the Kelly Thomas murder case. The LA Times had this take on it: Tony Rackauckas put reputation on the line in Kelly Thomas case (outside paywall here). Should he have been the lead prosecutor? Since he lost a slam dunk case, we can argue NO.
OC Supervisor Todd Spitzer, T-Rack’s nemesis and former ADA, chose not to run against him this year to keep peace among the Republicans. Despite his FAIL in a nationally reported murder trial of a homeless man by two badge-carrying armed thugs, T-Rack’s assured of re-election anyway. His only declared opposition now is a liberal blogger, apparently the best that DPOC could do.
After the Ramos/Cicinelli not-guilty verdicts, “Rackauckas also said the case against the third officer, Joseph Wolfe, who was indicted by the Orange County grand jury in 2012 on charges of involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force, will be dismissed” according to a January Register story.
Rackauckas has never been overly aggressive in pursuing other types of crime (like municipal corruption in Irvine, Santa Ana and Anaheim) or certain individuals (his GOP friends and political allies). But lacking any alternatives, even our OCPB Editor has endorsed him. Conventional wisdom has it that he’s only keeping the office until it’s time for his #2, Susan Kang Schroeder, to displace him when he chooses to retire. A properly timed resignation then means she wouldn’t need to run against Spitzer until 2018. Rackauckas, 71, has been the OC’s DA since 1999.
Corruption abounds in the OC — can we afford any more T-Rack? The wheels are coming off at the Great Park as $200+ million has disappeared, the Mayor of nearly-bankrupt Santa Ana is doing questionable property deals and in bed with his streetcar engineers, the Hall of Administration is rife with personnel issues (when is Carlos Bustamante going on trial?) and the Anaheim City Council as operated by the Pringle cabal needs a complete housecleaning (before Arte Moreno cleans the city out himself). T-Rack even let State Senate candidate/GOP darling Janet Nguyen off the hook — while the FBI has not.
Orange County residents and taxpayers deserve better. It’s time to let it go, Tony.