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 Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, shortly before she was promoted to the rank of Captain in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, was the subject of massive tax liens by the very county she served (see the actual documents below).
Documents obtained by OCCCWS show that Sheriff Hutchens, then known as Sandra Anderson, along with her former husband, were delinquent in paying property taxes in the amount of more than $36,000 to Los Angeles County. No public record was found showing that these liens were ever directly paid by Sheriff Hutchens and her former husband.
This raises troubling questions about Sandra Hutchens’ ability to manage not only her personal finances, but those of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. More importantly it raises the issue of integrity, as every applicant to become a deputy sheriff is expected to fully disclose any deficiencies in their financial history, and failing to do so would likely end their hope of employment with OCSD. The question must be asked: did Sandra Hutchens inform the Board of Supervisors of this past deficiency, either directly or through the search firm retained to evaluate candidates for appointment to the office of Sheriff-Coroner?
If Sandra Hutchens withheld this information, she is plainly holding herself to a lesser standard of integrity than the deputies she commands. If she disclosed this information, and was still appointed, then the process adopted by the Board of Supervisors failed the citizens of Orange County.
Hundreds of thousands of Orange County residents honor their obligations to pay their taxes, even in difficult times and through trying personal circumstances. The fact that appointed Sheriff Sandra Hutchens apparently did not, and may have concealed this from the voters of Orange County, speaks volumes about her fitness for the office she seeks.
In letters sent today, OCCCWS, acting through counsel, demanded the release of the security camera footage of the January 13th Board of Supervisors meeting under the California Public Records Act.
Documents released to OCCCWS as the result of a Public Records Act (PRA) request show that Sheriff Hutchens’ plan to “expire” the CCW Permits early has not been “on hold pending review” as she indicated to the Board of Supervisors, so much as simply waiting for the Department of Justice to finish software modifications to their system to allow this to be done.
As early as December 9th, the Department of Justice informed OCSD that it would take until March 2009 to make the required changes.
Scans of the emails between the California Department of Justice and Orange County Assistant Sheriff Jack Anderson are provided below.
OCCCWS has obtained a copy of an ‘apology’ e-mail sent by Sheriff Hutchens to an individual ridiculed in the messages released pursuant to the OCCCWS PRA. Please note that Sheriff Hutchens ‘apologizes’, and then seems to say ‘you know, if we weren’t caught, no harm no foul.’ And she lays the responsibility for this on OCCCWS.
Sheriff, the responsibility is yours. These people are under your direct command. Did you not say ‘the buck stops with me’ in a past interview? And the messages were not meant to embarrass? You are correct–they were meant to ridicule. Had we never issued a request to release this information under the California Public Records Act, would you have acknowledged this at all? Would you have acknowledged the security cameras being used to ’spy’ on the Board of Supervisors? We think we know.
Read the text of the ‘apology’ email below.
Rossmoor, the tidy 1950s-era community bordered by a red brick wall, could become the second-smallest city in Orange County — Villa Park is the tiniest — if residents vote to incorporate on Election Day.
They mostly want to see Orange County Sheriff’s Department response times — now twice that of neighboring cities — decrease under a local contract with the department.
The Assn. of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs has paid for lawn signs and mailers against cityhood. “We can’t support a utility tax we don’t think significantly improves public safety,” said association President Wayne Quint Jr.
A Blog post at Red Country thinks so.
When questioned by the Board of Supervisors, Hutchens appeared ignorant of the fact that almost 150 letters of “intent to revoke” had gone out so far. If CCW is such a critical issue to her that it’s the first thing she changed when she took the new office, why is she so disconnected from the process that she doesn’t even know the state of her own department?