Perhaps he was serious. Young is now one of Carlos Bustamante’s lawyers. You remember Bustamante? A former Santa Ana Councilman who was brought into the halls of the County of Orange and turned into a darling of the OC GOP? Only to find himself arrested and charged with multiple felonies and misdemeanors stemming from sexual harassment charges?
Here’s the deal. Bustamante now admits that he had sex with all sorts of women at the County of Orange but he says it was consensual. He has paid bitterly for his misbehavior – losing his job and his wife. But his lawyers, Young and another lawyer named Gina L. Kershaw, say that he was set up. So was he?
I don’t doubt that Bustamante is guilty and he deserves the charges he is facing but Superior Court Judge Kazuharu Makino dismissed five sex-related felony charges charges after a nearly weeklong preliminary hearing last month. OCDA Tony Rackauckas promptly refiled those charges begging the question, what is T-Rack’s beef?
Can we trace this back to the downfall of former OC Public Administrator John Williams? Remember him? He was a favorite of the local Republican Party as well. Guess who his assistant was? A gal named Peggi Buff. Apparently her hiring was a bit sketchy – and it turned out she was the fiance of the powerful Orange County District Attorney, Tony Rackauckas, who always endorsed Williams. The OC CEO at the time, a guy named Tom Mauk, apparently arranged for Buff’s employment by Williams.
Rackauckas fired one of his assistant District Attorneys, a fellow named Todd Spitzer, after Spitzer started asking awkward questions about Buff and Williams.
Later on an anonymous letter emerged outlining Bustamante’s bad behavior – and eventually the Supervisors used the fallout from the Bustamante mess to oust Mauk and others – who allegedly looked the other way for Bustamante, who should not have been engaging in hanky panky with female employees. Bustamante knew he was breaking the law. He had taken many courses on the subject but perhaps he felt he was above the law.
But what about Rackauckas? Wasn’t he also having a relationship with a County employee, in Buff? Despite that T-Rack ended up going after Bustamante. And there lies the rub. Bustamante clearly broke the law but is T-Rack trying to bury him to get rid of someone who knows too much?
And therein lies the silver lining to this entire escapade. Can Young and Kershaw use this case to blow up the corruption and bad behavior that lie at the heart of the County of Orange? The nepotism and pay-offs and selfishness and greed? We can but hope.