TODD SPITZER, SUPERVISOR, THIRD DISTRICT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 27, 2017
(Orange County, CA) – Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer, Third District, responded to the newly released Orange County Grand Jury Report, “Another Hostile Work Environment?
Orange County District Attorney Bureau of Investigation” by urging victim employees of the District Attorney’s office to call the County Fraud Hotline and the Board of Supervisors to adopt a Grand Jury recommendation to appoint an independent investigator to examine why the OCDA and County Human Resources Services are not being used to report misconduct in the OCDA office.
The Grand Jury report illuminates how sexual misconduct in the workplace has many ramifications, often affecting the honest, hard-working professionals that can’t turn a blind eye, nor can they report offenses due to intimidation and career-threatening retaliation.
“The report exemplifies an unacceptable abuse of power, abuse of position, abuse of women and abuse of trust,” Spitzer added.
“The findings of the most recent OC Grand Jury report is the final nail in the coffin full of mounting evidence and allegations of serious misconduct in the Orange County District Attorney’s office under the lack of supervision by Mr. Rackauckas,” Supervisor Spitzer continued.
“I am urging my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors to adopt the Grand Jury’s recommendation that we appoint an outside, independent investigator to examine why the OCDA and the County Human Resources Services Department are not being used in reporting misconduct within the OCDA office,” stated Spitzer in his call to action.
Spitzer added he will request that the Board grant the independent investigator subpoena power.
“Further, I am urging any employee of the OCDA’s office that has any complaint but has been inhibited from coming forward for any reason, to use the Orange County Fraud Hotline under the protection of the Board of Supervisors at (714) 834-2880. Tony Rackauckas may not protect his employees from sexual harassment but the County will,” Spitzer said.
These are not new allegations of an inappropriate sexual nature in the OCDA Investigation Bureau. In 2015, Supervisor Spitzer, then Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, received a written letter from a California licensed attorney who is a mandated reporter alleging sexual misconduct by OCDA Chief Investigator Craig Hunter.
Supervisor Spitzer reported this to the proper authority, the County Counsel, who contacted the District Attorney. Mr. Rackauckas was also sent a copy of the allegations in a direct complaint by the same attorney that contacted Spitzer.
Previous OC Grand Jury reports, including one from May, 2017 that echoed findings from a similar report in 2002, stated the D.A.’s office under Tony Rackauckas suffers from a lack of leadership. Those conclusions were confirmed by the 4th District Court of Appeals in the Dekraai case and in the IPPEC report by Rackauckas’ own hand-picked evaluation committee that described his office as a ‘rudderless ship’.
Supervisor Spitzer commended the Grand Jury for bringing the culture of sexual misconduct in the District Attorney’s office to light to prevent any cover-up among county agencies.
“To quote the 2017 OC Grand Jury, this ‘lack of supervision and laziness in the practice of law’ (OC Grand Jury Report, May 27, 2017, The Myth of the Orange County Jailhouse Informant Program, pg. 16) is yet another ugly example of negligent leadership in the D.A.’s office. It is imperative in the interest of ethics that the County recognize how Rackauckas has been able to get away with his perverse use of position and power for so long,” concluded Supervisor Spitzer.
CONTACT: Melanie Eustice, Chief of Staff, Phone: (714) 834-3330 Mobile: (714) 581-7784