What will be the Political Legacy of Tony Rackauckas?

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Last Friday, outgoing Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas sent out a press release summing up his 20 years as DA, highlighting his office's fight against gangs, economic fraud, and other areas. But his legacy is far longer -- and more complex. Starting as a prosecutor in 1972, Rackauckas went on serve as a municipal court judge and also a private attorney who also was instrumental in trying to recall former California Supreme Court justice Rose Bird. Activists long criticized Rackauckas for the wrongful prosecution of innocent men like Arthur Carmona and Dewayne McKinney, and for his reticence to go after former OC Sheriff Mike Carona, who'd go on to serve time in federal prison for corruption. And he spent his last year fending off the county's so-called snitch scandal, in which prosecutors got convictions from illegally obtained confessions. How will history remember the man whom friends called Tony Rack?



Benjamin Gottlieb