A recent forum for candidates seeking election to the office of Sheriff of Orange County provided some very telling words from Sandra Hutchens.
In the first video clip, which contains audio recorded at the event, Sandra Hutchens responds to a question as to whether she should be held to the same standard as an applicant to be a deputy sheriff when it comes to revealing significant personal financial details. The puzzled reactions of those in attendance is unmistakable. For reference, see the relevant pages (Here, and Here) of the Personal History Statement applicants to become peace officers must complete FULLY and TRUTHFULLY. Did Sandra Hutchens hold herself to that same standard when she applied to be appointed Sheriff?
OCCCWS has learned that Sandra Hutchens and her former husband were the subjects of a restraining order connected with a lawsuit filed against them by Fidelity Federal Bank in 1992, which was previously reported here. The restraining order (see attached documents below), issued in conjunction with the appointment of a receiver to manage the property until it could be sold at foreclosure, instructed Sandra Anderson (as she was then known) and her former husband to “refrain from demanding, collecting, or receiving any rents”, “surrender possession of the property”, “refrain from interfering in any way with the receiver’s performance of his/her duties”, and to return “any monies presently held by them that have been received as rent”.
The initial complaint alleged that Sandra Hutchens and her former husband continued to collect rent after defaulting on the rental property, prompting the issuance of this restraining order.
This is yet another revelation which casts doubt on Sandra Hutchens’ ability to manage an $800 million budget. But it also elevates the main question which must be answered: did Sandra Hutchens FULLY inform the Board of Supervisors as to these deficiencies in her financial past during the interview process? We have heard no indication from the Board that they knew the extent of this matter.
The citizens of Orange County deserve to know if Sandra Hutchens is a person of integrity, or if she willfully concealed material facts that any person applying to be a deputy would be expected to disclose.
OCCCWS has learned that Sandra Hutchens and her former husband were sued for more than $800,000 after defaulting on a rental property in 1992. The complaint obtained by OCCCWS (see below for attached documents) alleges that Sandra Anderson, as she was then known, and her then husband continued to collect rents from the sixteen unit apartment complex even after they stopped making required mortgage payments, leading Fidelity Federal Bank to seek the appointment of a receiver by the court to manage the property until it could be sold at foreclosure.
To quote documents filed by the plaintiff: “The defendants have apparently diverted and kept for their own personal use the Bank’s collateral (rental income) for the last two months totaling approximately $13,696.34 in the aggregate.” The court subsequently appointed a receiver to take over the property. A year after filing suit, the Bank requested the action be dismissed without prejudice since it had foreclosed on the property and taken possession itself.
This property is the same one on which more than $36,000 in tax liens were filed against Sandra Hutchens and her former husband, a story that OCCCWS recently reported, making it the property that Sheriff Hutchens’ campaign consultant, Dave Gilliard, said had been ‘disposed of’. Apparently failing to make required payments and having your property taken by foreclosure counts as ‘disposed of’ in Sandra Hutchens’ world. Interestingly, Sandra Hutchens claimed she had no knowledge of the liens, but was a named party in the lawsuit. Documents also show that, despite repeated attempts to be served a summons, she did not appear in court to respond to the complaint.
This new information only adds to the already troubling questions regarding Sandra Hutchens’ fitness to lead the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and her ability to manage an $800 million budget. That she walked away from financial obligations which she willingly accepted, and has not informed the voters she asks to elect her of the same, raises legitimate questions about her integrity, as well as the process used by the Board of Supervisors to select her.