Hunt Helps Defend Innocent Latino While the Union Plays Politics


I was surprised when I heard that the Santa Ana Police Officer’s Association (SAPOA) pulled their endorsement for Hunt. Something in this story just didn’t sound right so I called Bill this morning to get his take:

Bill Hunt was hired by attorney Ricardo Nicol to help look at a criminal defense case of Victor Manuel Lua who is charged with a Santa Ana assault and robbery. Early on Nicol and Hunt found holes in the prosecutor’s case. The suspect was a known gang associate of the Santa Ana street gang known as F-Troop who has a prior conviction on his record. Right there most of us would say case closed, guilty as charged. However, the justice system doesn’t work that way.

In this case, Nicol and Hunt had to look a little deeper. The suspect had completed his four years of probation without any further legal troubles and appeared to be getting his life together. Ok, no violins please. At the time the crime occurred, the suspect was not in the vicinity. Hunt says the cell phone records don’t lie.

Further the original description was of two shaven head Latinos in blue jeans on a single bicycle. The suspect on trial was wearing basketball shorts and slippers (us older folks might remember them as thongs or shower shoes). A gun was used during the crime and no gun has been found since. Lua was in his truck just 400 feet from the crime scene when the officers decided he looked like he could be one of the described perpetrators because his head was shaven much like many other Latinos in Santa Ana and he had a criminal record. Also worth noting is that Lua was “caught” in what many describe as a rival gangs turf, implying that Lua isn’t actually in a gang nor was he associating with a gang at the time the assault and robbery occurred. Simply put, this is a case of mistaken identity which the evidence in the case reportedly proves.

R. Scott Moxley reported via OC Weekly that “But Hunt disputes the assertion, saying that he was hired to work on a robbery case and recently attended a preliminary hearing but did not testify. He also says that his client, Victor Manuel Lua, is innocent of the charges based on evidence he’s developed and that the gang allegation is tenuous at best: The 20-year-old Lua, he says, grew up in a Santa Ana neighborhood controlled by a criminal street gang and thus knows members but is not one himself.”

Hunt goes on to connect the dots for us. He thinks the DA began getting nervous when he started putting the pieces together and blowing up the prosecutions sure conviction. And we all know who the number two person at the DA’s Office is: Susan Schroeder, wife of Mike Schroeder.

Yes, the same Mike Schroeder that gave us convicted felon Mike Carona; the same Mike Schroeder who is pushing hard to give us Craig Hunter, an Anaheim PD deputy chief. It’s obvious at this point that it looks like the Santa Ana PD dropped the ball with their due diligence and investigation. And everyone knows when the PD looks bad the chief looks bad and so enters SAPD Chief Paul Walters, the possibly still disgruntled former sheriff’s candidate who appears to have finally given up on running and is now supporting Hutchens. You heard me correctly, he supports Sandra Hutchens.

Moxley reports this quote, “Our members are very upset with Mr. Hunt,” one officer told the Weekly on condition of anonymity. “He testified against us in court.” Why do you suppose the anonymity? Is he or she afraid of something? What could a police officer be scared of?

No doubt Santa Ana police officers are upset and embarrassed for being called out in court over what appears to be a rush to judgment by the officers and investigators.

The real irony rests in two final thoughts. First, Bill Hunt has caught a lot of flack from immigrant rights folks who say he is a racist and anti-Mexican. This case alone clearly debunks that myth. Second, SAPOA provides assistance to its members who are charged with breaches in departmental policy and crimes. Their defense attorneys rely on private investigators to dig for the truth and protect them from wrongful prosecution and punishment. It seems highly hypocritical that this association would use their misguided logic to fulfill the political agenda of a handful of miscreants who are only concerned with their consulting contracts and political livelihood. You would think that it would have occurred to someone in the SAPOA that Hunt, as a PI, might work on criminal cases. But I suppose the SAPOA board members were too wrapped up in other matters or just didn’t care to know.

An interesting side note to the SAPOA and Chief Walters is that the SAPOA supported Hunt and the Walters supports Hutchens. Why not endorse the same candidate? Assuming the SAPOA endorses another candidate, who will they choose? Will they go against their chief by supporting the card-carrying union member Craig Hunter or will they fall in lockstep with their boss? You would think the SAPOA would realize the error of their decision and help the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs (AOCDS) elect their candidate, Bill Hunt. I suppose the various OC law enforcement associations, though, are truly disconnected from one another and don’t see eye to eye except where wages and retirement are concerned.

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  1. #1 by The Skipper Too on May 25, 2010

    Thanks for clearing this up. The unions are a slimy bunch. When their interests are aligned with Michael Schroeder, watch out!

    Kudos to Hunt for rising above the CODE OF SILENCE.

  2. #2 by Sean H. Mill on May 25, 2010

    You failed to mention that Mr. Hunt did indeed testify in July of 2009 for another known gang member. It was a domestic violence case and the guy plead guilty.

    • #3 by Flip Flop on May 25, 2010

      Sean. The “gang member” to which you refer was a 40ish white guy from San Clemente.

    • #4 by Sick of Sean on May 25, 2010

      Sean Mill,

      What an idiot! Greg didn’t “fail to mention” anything, he did a great job explaining exactly what took place in Bill Hunt’s investigation of the wrongly accused man. It’s called searching for the truth and then sticking by it – you should try it sometime.

      You’re a disturbed man much like Art Pedroza. Your jaunted, tainted, disturbed view of the world around you prevents you from having much rational thought or the ability to do anything else other than to always look for a way to tear someone down. What a sad way to live…

      You must be a very angry, depressed man when you’re alone at night in your bed looking up at the ceiling. Regardless, save this kind of dribble for the cesspool of a blog you post on. It’s not welcome here especially when you try to carry on the same kind of attack as those going after Hunt right now. Go away.

  3. #5 by Colony Drivell on May 25, 2010

    All this is really much adoo about nothing. Bill Hunt investigated and found FACTS. What the hell is the problem with that? Are we at a point where the police feel it is disloyal for anyone to mention a FACT that does not support their case? What kind of system would we have if the police did not allow facts that support ones innocence to be brought forth?

    I am tired of people that believe you can not be for law and order unless you never question the police. They have a tough job but that is what they signed up for. We all should support the police by reporting crime if we see it, obeying the law and by helping if needed as a witness etc. Turning a blind eye to information that suggests we have arrested the wrong guy hurts the system by building mistrust and ultimately weakens the system.

    Bill Hunt did nothing improper or illegal. Using his skills to discover an innocent person is being accused is exactly what our system is supposed to allow for. Good job Bill!

  4. #6 by Les Biffel on May 25, 2010

    This is why I’m voting for Hunt.

    His allegiance is not to long held law enforcement dogma but rather to the constitution.

    Unfortunately, the militant Latino community is not interested in someone who is playing it straight down the middle. There is this idea the pervades this group of “we are owed something because California was taken from us.”

    This re-conquista philosophy makes it utterly impossible to debate the issue of illegal immigration with those who subscribe to this idea.

    Hunt could have testified on behalf of some illegal immigrants and provided proof of their innocents and it wouldn’t matter.

    It is far easier to hurl the racist grenade at your opponent then try to convince others of the indefensible position to defend illegal immigration.

    Time to write Hunt another campaign donation.

    • #7 by BeyondDisappointment on May 25, 2010

      Hombre,

      What do you think? Latinos don’t distinguish between a lawman of integrity versus a good ol’ boy? Of course we do. Is this your broken record chant about Latinos? If so you’re either a plant working for the Man, or a fool or both. You have a small opinion in the possibility of good people to be persuaded and won over with the truth and merit.

      I think Bill will be helped by this story, in the Latino community. Even if we don’t agree with all of his opinions, if he’s fair and a man of his word, and puts the law above inside politics, he’s the best choice, period.

  5. #8 by Johnny Donut on May 25, 2010

    Obviously the unions are opposed to anyone who will stand against the government machine when necessary and defend the innocent. They demand strict loyalty to the system, not to facts and evidence.

    God knows that the filing cabinets in the halls of justice are chock full of police screw ups and wrong accusations. Anyone who helps to work against that monster when necessary is a friend of mine.

    • #9 by Christian on May 25, 2010

      Mr. Donut,
      I think we can all agree that Lua isn’t a role model for most children but wrong is wrong and right is right. And you, sir, are right!
      There are sufficient reasons to allow an innocent man, even if he is guilty of other crimes, face a trial without a proper defense for the crimes he has been charged with.

  6. #10 by JonT92619 on May 25, 2010

    The Santa Ana PD POA should be ashamed of themselves. I also believe Chief Walters & OCDDA Susan Kang Schroeder have just thrown their own case. Assuming that it goes to trial they have just given the defense a great excuse to have the case tossed. What a bunch of morons. But what do you expect from the pupet masters who brought us Mike Carona and now Craig Hunter. http://www.whoiscraighunter.com

  7. #11 by Flip Flop on May 25, 2010

    Holy crap. Talk about an orchestrated hit. You have the Geraldo of LA David Lopez (former Carona apoligist) who apparently had all his ducks in a row before he got here. Schroeder and Walters talking points are all lined up nice and tight and they happened to both be available. I have heard chatter that this was coming up. It’s really not a news worthy story yet at least 3 crews show up. What’s the hook? Somebody told them the Sheriff’s Union was going to dump Hunt. Who told them that? One of the Schroeders? Walters? “Geraldo” Lopez so infered. Unfortunately for the establishment it was an epic fail because most people believe that constitutional rights are more important than the “code of silence” and corruption.

  8. #12 by ocsays on May 25, 2010

    Let’s see, Dave Lopez’s brother is a Santa Ana policeman, and Santa Ana Police chief Walter’s son was hired by the OC Sheriff department after failing probation at Huntington Beach police dept. So Dave Lopez runs the story as a favor to his brother, and chief Walters endorses Hutchens for Sheriff as a favor for his son.

  9. #13 by nipsey on May 25, 2010

    Since when did the OC DA start prosecuting people?

  10. #14 by Excellent Post!! on May 25, 2010

    Bill Hunt is a private investigator he provides the facts which is a basic part of the judicial process. He is not a lawyer defending criminals just presenting the facts it’s pretty simple and very shameless smear by his opponents which failed I might add :)

  11. #15 by OCGuy on May 25, 2010

    Wow,

    OCDDA Susan Kang Schroeder, The Santa Ana PD POA, Chief Paul Walters, KCBS Dave Lopez and the rest of team Mike Carona don’t look so great now. I guess their character assassination aimed at Bill Hunt has been an epic fail… If you need to get caught up with this group’s background story, check out the following links.

    http://www.fullertonsfuture.org/2010/hunt-helps-defend-innocent-latino-while-the-union-plays-politics

    and

    http://www.whoiscraighunter.com

    Might I suggest that if you are concerned with the lack of morals of these folks and possible crimes they have committed, you should contact their supervisors and give them your two cents. I’d also consider filing complaints with their employers and regulating bodies as well. I’d use words like collusion, conspiracy, witness tampering, attempting to interfere with an election, etc.

    Orange County Deputy District Attorney, Susan Kang Schroeder
    Public Affairs Counsel
    Office: 714-347-8408

    Orange County District Attorney (For Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief Paul Walters, Dave Lopez)
    714.834.3600

    State Bar of California Attorney Complaint Hotline (For Susan Kang Schroeder)
    800-843-9053

    California Attorney General (For Chief Walters, Susan Kang Schroeder, Dave Lopez)
    800.952.5225

    Santa Ana Police Department (For Chief Walters)
    Internal Affairs
    (714) 245-8665
    Complaint Form

    http://www.ci.santa-ana.ca.us/pd/commendationorcomplaint.asp

    KCAL / KCBS (For Dave Lopez)
    Ask for the News Director
    818.655.2000

    I would also file a Federal Communications Commission Complaint against the station. Follow the link for Broadcast TV.

    http://esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm

    Santa Ana Police Officers Association (Be polite and urge them to support Bill Hunt)
    President Joe Perez
    http://www.santaanapoa.com
    714.836.1211

  12. #16 by Flip Flop on May 25, 2010

    On closer viewing of that still screen shot of Chief Paul Waters, I am convinced he is part of a gang. It’s an all white gang who are exceptionally privileged with the trappings of power, ego, money and arrogance. He’s a member of the infamous gang called the Orange County Establishment. Time to form a new gang detail.

  13. #17 by Corrupt on May 26, 2010

    Chief Paul Walters jumps on the corruption band wagon awesome! Welcome to the good ole boys club :)

  14. #18 by Vote4HNT on May 26, 2010

    At first I was not going to vote for him, but thank goodness the unions pulled a boner.
    I admire anyone who stands for a lone citizen or non-citizen for that matter.
    I am a union member in the AFL-CIO but I am not a fanatic. I see how our members have no voice and no choice, it is a microcosm of how out of control our local, state and federal politics have left us to say “What the f**k, what is the use” Now I do not think Mr. Hunt is a “Tea Party Dude” but he is one cool dude because he did not do it to be “cool” he was doing it because it was the right thing to do.
    If we had all the state legislature and all government workers who suck on the taxpayers tit and the union tit, to do the right thing we would not be in such a mess.

  15. #19 by TheRealJohnAdams on May 26, 2010

    Vote4HNT and others, you think that Hunt did this out of some political chivalry? When asked by some of his (formerly fellow) law enforcement brothers, he said it was because he had to eat, that he had a job to do and he had to do it.

    Now it’s framed as some sort of principled stand against the oppressed and the weak? Please.

    What’s worse, Hunt and his situational ethics to please himself and his ego, or the people on this board who go through mental gymnastics to find ways of framing Hunt’s behavior in a way that fits their little world view.

    The “UNIONS” didn’t pull their endorsement of Hunt out of some ulterior motive. They pulled their endorsements because THEY are principled. They didn’t feel they could support a candidate like Hunt.

    Hey Bill Hunt, how many innocent people did you arrest during your career?

    • #20 by Hollis Dugan on May 27, 2010

      The unions have no principals and suggesting that they do will not fool the masses any more. Bill is going to win this in November.

    • #21 by Greg on May 27, 2010

      No one is framing anything into something false or misleading and to state as much is itself a lie.

      I wrote this post to shed additional light on a story that was reported in the OC Register and on KCAL9/CBS2 and spun to conform to the OC establishment’s anti-Hunt campaign. With the additional facts in this case, the reader can come to some logical conclusions:
      1) The Schroeder’s will do and say anything to keep Hunt from winning.
      2) Chief Paul Walters has a stake in the Sheriffs race as he has endorsed the appointed sheriff and therefore doesn’t want Hunt to win.
      3) The POA is being hypocritical. If one of their officers was sitting at the defense table wrongfully accused of a crime, they would want a PI there to show the facts of the case that prove their innocence.
      4) The myth that Bill Hunt is a racist is just that, a myth.
      5) Everyone has the same constitutional right to their day in court and a fair trial even if you think the defendant is a scum bag.

      Further, your theory that Hunt has “situational ethics to please him as he goes” has no merit. Hunt does have a job to do and he does it in a fair and unbiased manner, unlike the DA investigators and SAPD investigators who worked on Lua’s case but didn’t bother to check out his alibi. They were lazy, ignorant, or complicit in a wrongful prosecution. My guess is that they were lazy, but I don’t really know.

      It is clear that the union pulled their endorsement because they looked like Mayberry PD and were embarrassed. They had a bad case on the wrong guy and Hunt put the pieces together to prove it. That isn’t a demonstration of principles; it is a knee-jerk reaction when somebody points out the egg on your face. A principled union would have chastised their members for not doing what many consider to be the bare minimum expected of a law enforcement agency. We have all heard the saying “a good offense is the best defense.” One would assume that the detectives would have checked into his alibi BEFORE making it this far in the case as part of their strategy for building a strong case.

      Most street cops don’t get into lengthy investigations; that’s what the detectives/investigators do. The street cops found a guy, had him identified, and then arrested. The arrest may have been flimsy but they did have some cause to arrest due to one witness fingering him. However, the whole case against Lua should have been dropped when the detectives checked his alibi, cell phone records, ALL of the witnesses that placed Lua someplace else, etc. But they didn’t. They attempted to ramrod Lua through a trial, convict him, and send him off to Chino for 10-15+ years.

      Dave Lopez talked only to Schroeder and Walters. I talked only to Hunt and Nicol (why talk to the others if Lopez already has their side?). Clearly Lopez would like to sink Hunt with the same sort of defense-lawyer crap that’s floating around OC courtesy of Harish “Harry” Sidhu, but when you talk to the parties involved, you get the whole picture, not just Lopez’s slanted version. Lopez could have talked to Hunt and Nicol. It was easy getting hold of both. Hunt has his cell phone number online so why Lopez would not have called him can only mean that Lopez, like the DA investigators and SAPD detectives in this case, did not do their job as well as the public or defendant expect they should.

      Finally, I make no apologies for being a Bill Hunt supporter nor have I tried to hide my support. Bill Hunt is the best candidate and I am confident he will be OC’s next sheriff.

      If you think Bill Hunt should be the next sheriff and would lik eto support him, please come to tonight’s event: http://www.fullertonsfuture.org/2010/thursday-bill-hunt-event-with-special-guest-chris-norby/

  16. #22 by Anon on May 27, 2010

    This post was just released by Bill Hunt on Face Book. If you know any other sites bashing Bill get up this post. We can not let the establishment take down the champion law enforcement!

    VOTE JUNE 8, 2010

    In desperation, my opponents attack my profession at the 11th hour!

    Dear Friends,

    As many may know two police associations have decided to withdraw their endorsement of me by virtue of my participation in ascertaining the true facts on behalf of a certain defendant. While I respect their decision to do so I disagree with their reasoning. Long ago I took an oath to uphold the law and seek justice above all other things. While doing so may be unpopular under certain circumstances, it is and remains a fundamental right granted to all Americans. A healthy justice system operates as a whole. The Courts, District Attorney, defense attorneys, private investigators, probation officers and bail bonds men all are integral and necessary parts to our justice system.

    The court system is designed to entertain and weigh facts without prejudice and to determine the guilt or innocence of an individual. No single component of the justice system is dispensable or should hold more sway than another. All individuals are entitled under the constitution to certain inalienable rights and fairness. There is nothing more unjust or unfair than to be incarcerated or denied liberty for a crime you did not commit.

    I believe in standing on principle as opposed to popularity and will require any individuals under my charge to do the same.

    Bill Hunt

  17. #23 by Karen A Finn on May 28, 2010

    I would like to know how the POA President came up with a 560 panel that voted to endorse The Lt? It is only a 10 or more plus team around a table that decides. So show me were you sent out the votes to every SAPD Officer Joe? Bill Hunt is a honest man who went against Sheriff Carona 4 years ago. He was made to retire early because he went againt him as Sheriff. He did what any retired cop would do, become a PI. I am sure their are retired SAPD that are PI’s. Please do not tell me thier are not either. When you blogged Joe you got me to come out. Unbecoming as a POA President don’t you think?

  18. #24 by Karen A Finn on May 28, 2010

    I fight for police and Fire every day of my life. But thier are associations presidents who put politics before the Truth and i just wish this one would do it for once. Coming from a law enforcement family i fight for police and fire pensions everyday. But it was not 560 police officers who voted it was the SAPOA Association office. I love the way a police officer who is a Lt. is blogging in here. If you supported Bill Hunt in 2006 then you know the man he was and still is from 4 years ago. I swear their are Mini Caronas all over the place and they still love him in the DA’s office to.

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