Bill Hunt on the Greg Haidl Incident

As we reported, March 1, 2010, FFFF’s Travis Kiger, Fullerton businessman Larry Lazar and myself sat down with Bill Hunt, 2010 candidate for Orange County Sheriff.  The round table discussion was an opportunity to ask some important questions that we think are on the minds of voters.  No topic was off-limits.

Hunt Speaks Out About Haidl & Co.

Back in 2003, Greg Haidl, son of Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl, was awaiting trial (where he was eventually convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious teen) when he was picked up by deputies in San Clemente after they found marijuana in a car driven by Haidl’s friend.

FFFF: “You’ve taken a lot of criticism for some events that happened a long time ago with Haidl’s son, specifically the October 26, 2003 incident.  Can you tell us what happened?”

Bill Hunt: “Here’s what happened.  At the end of the day, me and my captain were sold out by a sheriff and assistant sheriffs, Jaramillo and Haidl, who were involved in this thing behind the scenes and then lied about it and tried to hang it on me.  And you’ll remember by that time I was a candidate for the office [sheriff].”

Hunt went on to describe in great detail the events behind the criticism that eventually lead to his resignation. The following is a synopsis of Hunt’s full explanation:

Gregory Haidl was out on bail on rape charges and living with his mother in San Clemente.  On October 26, 2003 at around 10:00PM Haidl was skateboarding with a couple of friends in an industrial complex when Deputy Roche spotted them and made contact.  It seems everyone agrees that there was marijuana in a car that the teens used to get to the industrial complex.  After a brief interrogation by Deputy Roche, a sixteen-year old male confessed to possessing the pot.  Based on an audio record of the incident, it was a solid bust based on a solid confession.

Deputy Roche, knowing Haidl was involved, called his supervisor, Sergeant Richard “Dick” Downing.  Downing arrived, reviewed the circumstances, and called his watch commander.  At some point, Haidl was driven home to his mother’s house by Sgt. Downing and the sixteen-year old was allowed to leave with the third suspect in the third suspect’s car.   It is at this point that the cover up seems to begin.

Sgt. Dick Downing called his watch commander, Lloyd Downing.  Lloyd Downing then called Jaramillo who told him “Don’t log it, take care of it.” Lloyd Downing said, “It’ll be our little secret.”  Then Lloyd Downing called Dick Downing and told him not to log the event. But Sgt. Downing wasn’t dumb and he wanted to do the right thing.  He told Roche to log it in the deputy’s log and then he intentionally did not enter it into the sergeant’s log.  This way, Sgt. Downing could say he followed orders without really doing anything wrong.  Next, Jaramillo called Carona and a six minute conversation ensued.

Sgt. Dick Downing decided to call Hunt and explain that Roche found Haidl and his friends with some dope and that Haidl had been taken home.  He didn’t tell Hunt that he had already spoken with the watch commander or what the watch commander had told him.  Hunt then called his captain to let him know what happened.

Days later Hunt ordered Deputy Roche to submit his report and book the confiscated marijuana which had been stored in Sergeant Downing’s file cabinet.  Roche wrote up the report and submitted it to the shift supervisor, Sergeant Nancy Gafner, who reviewed it and determined that there are subjective opinions in it.  Roche stated that, although the sixteen-year old minor confessed to possessing the marijuana, he believed it to be Haidl’s.  Gafner felt that the opinion should be omitted because there were few or no facts to support it and asks Hunt if he concurred.  Hunt read it and decided that he wanted Roche to explain why he was so sure was Haidl’s dope.  Roche explained that he just felt that the kid was covering up for Haidl but he could not articulate exactly why.  Hunt then told Roche to omit the opinion and only include the facts.

Greg Haidl

Later, Carona and Jaramillo conspired to dump the entire case on Hunt’s shoulders.  Hunt said “So if you look at the indictment of Mike Carona, that’s on page 19.  It says in there defendant Carona, defendant Jaramillo, and co-defendant Don Haidl conspired to arrange for preferential treatment for co-defendant Haidl’s kid.  And they don’t mention me in there. But remember, the attorney general didn’t know about this. They didn’t do an independent investigation. They didn’t pull phone records.  They took a corrupt Sheriff’s word on an investigation that only looked at us and didn’t look at their involvements.  My captain went to Jaramillo several times and said ‘let me go to the media and explain it. This is a nothing deal that you let spin out of control.’  They wouldn’t let us and that’s why.  If they found out what our involvement was it didn’t make sense with what happened on the back end.  They wouldn’t be able to get the stories straight.”

All of these details come to light through the media over the course of years.  David Lopez of KCAL9 news and R. Scott Moxley of OC Weekly were able to corroborate the much of the story. Lopez ultimately caught Carona in a lie when he asked “Did you get involved with this on October 26, 27, or 28?” Carona responds, “No. No sir.”

There is so much more to this story and we encourage you to read Hunt’s own words on the case and decide for yourself.  Hunt names names and tells it like it is. Read the full transcript.


LA Times on Anderson at San Clemente City Council meeting

R. Scott Moxley “Our Little Secret”

Nancy Gafner signed affidavit

Full transcript – Hunt’s own words

An Interview with Bill Hunt – Marijuana and States’ Rights

Last night, FFFF’s Travis Kiger, Fullerton businessman Larry Lazar and myself sat down with Bill Hunt, 2010 candidate for Orange County Sheriff.  The roundtable discussion was an opportunity to ask some important questions that we think are on the minds of voters.  No topic was off-limits.

We will share with you what Hunt had to say about Marijuana, concealed weapon permits (CCW), citizen oversight, DUI checkpoints, illegal immigration, Sandra Hutchens, Craig Hunter, emerging technology, OC political insiders, controversial endorsement by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, OC jail reform, and dealing with federal agencies.

The lengthy discussion yielded too much information for us to share with you all at once, so we will be breaking it down into topics of interest.  For that matter, we will not be spelling out every single word said only because this series of posts would soon turn into a full-length novel.

First Impressions

To my surprise, Bill Hunt arrived by himself with no handlers or henchmen.  As our discussion progressed, it was clear why he came alone.  Bill Hunt told us that he does not need anyone reminding him of where he stands on any issue.  In fact, he didn’t lay out his talking points or any of the shenanigans that you might expect a typical politician to do.  Hunt is an energetic man who has spent a tremendous amount of time and thought on the development of his platform and studying what lays ahead for his political race and the Sheriff’s Department.  He is well-read and seems to possess new perspectives and insight on old problems.  Bill Hunt clearly has an in‑depth knowledge of the crisis that faces the Sheriff’s Department and jail system.  He presented some out-of-the-box innovations, leaving us with the hope that he would serve the People well.

Bill Hunt on Marijuana

No, the South County candidate for sheriff isn’t ON marijuana but we did ask him about the subject.  Bill made it clear that he isn’t in favor of legalizing pot but that he respects the will of the people.

FFFF: “If you are elected sheriff and the DEA came into OC and asked OCSD to help shut down medical marijuana dispensaries, would you oblige them with support?”

Bill Hunt: “No.  I would prevent them, it’s unconstitutional!  I’m not an advocate for legalizing marijuana but on the other hand the sheriff is elected to enforce state laws. So, if I’m elected sheriff to this county enforcing state law and I’m using federal law to circumvent state law, then I’m not really being true to my office and my oath of office. The sheriff can prevent the feds from coming in and doing that.”

Hunt goes on to say, “Medical marijuana is legal within certain parameters, just like alcohol is.  If a kid is drinking alcohol or if you’re drunk driving, it’s a violation of law and we’ll enforce it.  The same thing with people who extend beyond the legal limits of medical marijuana, we’ll enforce that. But we [law enforcement] can’t be taking a vendetta just because the general consensus in law enforcement is they [law enforcement officers] don’t like it.  The public has already ruled.  Now, I think it’s a zoning problem, a business problem, not a law enforcement problem.  The cities need to get together and regulate it just like they tattoo shops and bars just like their CUP’s [conditional use permits] provide. It’s a regulatory issue, I think, right now more than law enforcement.”

Norby Endorses Bill Hunt for Sheriff

State Assemblyman Chris Norby just told me that he is endorsing Bill Hunt for Orange County Sheriff.

Apparently Norby was impressed with Hunt’s no-nonsense position on the failed “War on Drugs”. Earlier we noted an interview with Bill Hunt in which he acknowledged that it is wrong for local law enforcement agencies to collaborate with the federal government in arresting lawful users of medical marijuana. Clearly Hunt respects California voters’ assertion that medical marijuana is a state’s rights issue.

Norby also pointed out that Hunt is the only candidate who has ever received more than 3 votes. “That’s all Hutchens ever got, and 2 of those surely regret it now” he said, referring to the current Sheriff’s appointment to the position after Mike Carona was forced to resign in 2008.

Chris also gives Hunt credit for challenging Carona in ’06, back when most of the political establishment (including Norby) still endorsed Sheriff Mike.

Chris decided to make the endorsement after he and his wife met with Bill and Debbie Hunt recently at the Twisted Vine and Continental Room in Downtown Fullerton. “They are such nice people,” he said.

Bill Hunt Talks the Talk: Liberty and Marijuana

I just came across this interview on the “Johnson for America Blog” involving OC Sheriff candidate, former Lt. Bill Hunt. Check it out. I am principally interested in this Q & A exchange on the subject of marijuana:

Josiah Schmidt: As an experienced law enforcement official, what is your opinion on the possibility that California might legalize marijuana in the next election?

Bill Hunt: It is the job of the sheriff to support and uphold the laws of the state.  As it stands now, medical marijuana is legal in this state by a vote of the people.  It is not the job of the sheriff to try to circumvent the will of the people by collaborating with the federal government.  If marijuana is legalized I will treat it just like any other legal activity such as the use of alcohol.  Responsible alcohol consumption is not a violation of the law.  However, use by minors, driving under the influence, etc., are violations of law and they are enforced.

Wow. A comprehensive, straightforward, honest answer. Liberty, state’s rights, common sense, and no bullshit about waging the counterproductive and bank-breaking War on Drugs – or any other empty chest thumping slogans. Hmm.

Well, okay. It’s just talk. But I like what I’m hearing. I like it a lot.