FROM Tony Rackauckas
Orange County D.A. Informant Scandal A special committee report released yesterday found that a “failure of leadership” at the Orange County district attorney's office paved the way for big problems with its jailhouse informants. The report also calls the office “a ship without a rudder” and describes prosecutors as having a “win-at-all-costs mentality.” We hear from Orange County D.A. Tony Rackauckas and an outside expert responding to the report.
Counties Sue Over Painkillers Two California counties are suing the pharmaceutical industry over prescription painkillers. Prosecutors from Orange County and Santa Clara County say five major drug companies are responsible for an addiction epidemic that’s plaguing their communities. The counties accuse the drug makers of illegally marketing the painkillers.
Tony Rackauckas on the Kelly Thomas Verdict There was a 33-minute video tape showing police officers beating an unarmed man, complete with sound of one officer threatening violence and the pleas of help from the victim. But after three weeks of testimony, it took an Orange County jury just two days to acquit former Fullerton cops Manual Ramos and Jay Cicinelli of manslaughter and second-degree murder in the death of homeless, mentally ill Kelly Thomas . District Attorney Tony Rackauckas brought the case.
Troubled Veteran Formally Charged with Serial Killings Former Marine and Iraq war veteran Itzcoatl Ocampo has been formally charged in the stabbing deaths of four homeless men in Orange County from December 20 to January 13. That announcement came today from Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. After enlisting in the Marines right out of high school, Ocampo came home in 2008 a changed man. We speak with the DA and with reporter Louis Sahagun, who's been following the story for the Los Angeles Times . Banner image: Anaheim Police Department
Law Enforcement in Orange County The City of Fullerton made international headlines in July, when a 37-year old homeless schizophrenic named Kelly Thomas died after a police beating. Yesterday, Republican District Attorney Tony Rackauckas made headlines of a different kind. He filed second-degree murder charges against Fullerton officer Manuel Ramos and accused both Ramos and his colleague, Corporal Jay Cicinelli, of involuntary manslaughter. We speak with the DA, Thomas' father and an advocate for the mentally ill.
OC DA Discusses Fullerton Beating Case More than a month ago a 37-year-old, homeless schizophrenic was beaten by six Fullerton police officers. Kelly Thomas died after five days in a coma, and his father, Ron Thomas, has released pictures of Kelly's face and head, horribly disfigured. Public outrage continues. At a demonstration this weekend, several hundred people demanded justice, and two city council members have called on Police Chief Michael Sellers to step down. The officers are on paid leave, and the department has said only that Kelly resisted when police approached and tried to search his backpack. Today, for the first time, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas spoke out about the charge by Kelly's father that his son was murdered, first spoke with Dave Lopez of Channel 2 News and then with Which Way, L.A.?.
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.