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Thursday, 30 April 2009

Mike Carona's "America's Sheriff" convicted felon.

Mike Carona's "America's Sheriff" convicted felon. Federal judge gave Orange County's former top law enforcement officer a half-hour lecture about honesty before sentencing him to 5 1/2 years in prison for attempting to obstruct a grand jury investigation.
"I need a sheriff I can trust," U.S. District Judge Andrew J. Guilford told Carona. "Lying will not be tolerated in this courtroom, especially by the county's highest-ranking law enforcement officer."Carona prosecutors The Michael Carona corruption case.The sentence marks the final major act in a case that shadowed the state's second-largest sheriff's office for years and changed the reputation of an ambitious lawman who moved into the national spotlight in 2002 with the search for the killer of 5-year-old Samantha Runnion.Back then, Carona was seen as a rising political star. But instead, a long-running federal investigation into allegations of misconduct led to his indictment on multiple counts of corruption. After a two-month trial, Carona was acquitted in January of five charges, but convicted of witness tampering.
The judge noted that a theme of Carona's campaigns for sheriff was that he would not coddle criminals.
"What goes around, comes around," Guilford said. "There will not be any coddling here."The judge also expressed disappointment about Carona's post-verdict celebration outside the Santa Ana courthouse after the jury verdict.At the time, the former sheriff had described the verdict as "an absolute miracle" that reflected the forgiveness of God. Carona, his family, attorneys and other supporters held a party about a week later that cost $3,700 at an Orange County restaurant. The Jones Day law firm, which represented him free of charge, picked up the tab.
"I cannot understand the unrestrained celebration and proclamations of innocence and complete vindication," Guilford said of the courthouse celebration.As the judge handed down the sentence, Carona, 53, was stoic with chin up and lips pursed. His hands remained clasped on his lap. During his opportunity to speak to the court, he did not address the charges and simply thanked Guilford for his courtesy and for allowing him into the courtroom to contest the case.


Paul 30 April 2009 at 16:57  

Carona has a lot of criminal friends, like his pal Jim Gilchrist. Gilchrist gave 12 pages of space in his book to Convicted Felon Michael Carona. Then Gilchrist claims he did not know Carona, then Gilchrist shows up at Carona's trial and publicly says Convicted Felon Ex-Sheriff should walk free from his crimes. Well from the following OC Register artical we know Gilchrist has committed perjury himself, among other more serious State and Federal Crimes.

Jim Gilchrist sues illegal immigrant activists again The Minuteman Project founder said he wants to make a group of former fellow activists "as miserable as possible."


Minuteman Project co-founder Jim Gilchrist has filed another lawsuit against fellow activists, about two years after he dropped the first saying he wanted to refocus on immigration enforcement.
"We dropped it and thought they would just go on their way and they didn't," said Gilchrist of Aliso Viejo. "They pulled the shenanigans of suing me under my own corporate name."

Gilchrist's suit, filed in March under Minuteman Project Inc., names several former fellow activists, Barbara Coe, founder of California Coalition for Immigration Reform, Marvin Stewart, and Paul Sielski. Anti-illegal immigrant activist Deborah Courtney is for now excluded from the suit because she has filed for bankruptcy, but could later be included if a bankruptcy court permits her to be named as a defendant, court documents state.

The suit alleges that the group stole a donor database, about 20,000 of the organization's letterhead with Gilchrist's signature, and funds from corporate bank accounts, among other accusations.

Coe wouldn't comment for this story. Sielski, Stewart and Courtney, who have accused Gilchrist of embezzlement and fraud, said the suit is meant to be a smoke screen to confuse the public.

The lawsuit is just the latest maneuver in a string of back-and-forth suits that started in early 2007 between two groups that were once united and among the most vocal and powerful voices against illegal immigration. The infighting has left the Minuteman Project fractured, with both sides claiming they run the organization.

The trouble began in late 2006 when some group officials expressed concerns over fundraising and suspected irregular bookkeeping. Stewart and Courtney said Gilchrist couldn't address the suspected discrepancies so they and others voted him off the board of directors.

The major source of contention stems from whether Courtney, Coe, Stewart and others were executive board members as they've claimed or advisory members without the power to oust Gilchrist, as he contends. That's why Gilchrist claims that he is the rightful owner of the Minuteman Project and not them.

"They knew that all the time and they decided they would be governing board members and stole the bank accounts," Gilchrist said.

Courtney, Stewart, and Sielski contend they are the true Minuteman Project and that Stewart is the current president of the organization.

Courtney provided the Register with documents of registration of charitable organizations for the Minuteman Project Inc. in several states -- such as Oregon, Alabama and Michigan -- listing her as a "Secretary-Board Member.""He has sworn under penalty of perjury that I am a member of the board of directors," Courtney said about Gilchrist. "He was legally terminated. He should never have been allowed to file these lawsuits under the Minuteman Project."Courtney claims that Gilchrist has been embezzling money from the organization, spending donors' money to file lawsuits against the group.She claims Gilchrist dropped his first lawsuit against the group because he knew he was going to lose.

Stewart said he laments what's happened, stating that all he wanted was an audit of the Minuteman Project and transparency from Gilchrist.

"We never wanted it to get to this point right here," Stewart said. "It has truly been a black eye to those involved in the movement."

Contact the writer: ccarcamo@ocregister.com or 949-553-2906

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