By: Todd Spitzer, Chairman of the O.C. Board of Supervisors
This week the Ad Hoc Committee examining the Office of Independent Review (OIR) met to receive a progress report from Special Counsel Michael Gennaco and to provide direction regarding the development of ordinances, polices and a model for independent oversight of Orange County law enforcement agencies.
After the Board of Supervisors expressed its intention not to renew the contract for the current provider and expressed interest in selecting a different model that allows for stronger oversight and transparency of law enforcement, the Ad Hoc Committee examining OIR was formed, and industry expert Michael Gennaco was brought on as Special Counsel to identify ways to increase the effectiveness of OIR.
At the meeting, Gennaco presented methods for strengthening the oversight model, such as adding resources to audit sheriff’s investigations and practices. Another recommendation included bringing in law students and volunteers as independent jail monitors.
Gennaco also proposed expanding the scope of oversight to include law enforcement agencies that include Child Protective Services, District Attorney, Probation Department, Public Defender’s office, and the Sheriff’s Department. Each of the agencies, except for the District Attorney, attended the meeting.
“As a County we can’t keep footing the bill on lawsuits without getting the facts and creating change to prevent the issues from occurring again,” said Supervisor Todd Spitzer.
Gennaco is anticipated to present his final report to the Board of Supervisors in early November. To review the draft report click here.