Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

SANTA ANA–Today, former Marine Judge Advocate Pete Hardin released the following statement after a letter surfaced from the Newport Beach Police Department to the Honorable Judge Gregg Prickett. In the letter, Court Depweg, the Acting Lieutenant of the Detective Division of the Newport Beach Police Department, accuses the Orange County District Attorney’s Office of a “cover up” wherein DA Spitzer withheld exculpatory information from the defense. That is per se prosecutorial misconduct. The letter also accuses Spitzer of violating California’s Victims Bill of Rights.

“Todd Spitzer’s racist remarks are exculpatory evidence, and his attempts to bury that evidence is the very definition of prosecutorial misconduct,” said Former Marine Judge Advocate Pete Hardin. “I commend Lieutenant Depweg for doing the right thing to notify the court in order to protect the integrity of the process and this homicide prosecution. Racist language like that used by DA Spitzer would land a patrol officer on the Brady list and effectively end their career, and it should absolutely end the career of Orange County’s top law enforcement official.

“This scandal is just the latest example of Todd Spitzer extorting victims for political gain. The Victims Bill of Rights ensures victims are treated with dignity and to be informed as a case makes its way through the process. In an effort to bury the truth and protect himself, Spitzer hid his decision not to seek the death penalty. That’s a perversion of the rights afforded to these victims. When victims of sexual harassment came forward he leaked confidential personnel information in an effort to protect himself. When a DA Investigator was investigating his corruption Spitzer fired him.

“Todd Spitzer has zero regard for law and ethics. He’s a tyrant who will steamroll any victim or whistleblower to protect himself.”

About Pete Hardin

Current Orange County District Attorney Republican Todd Spitzer’s tenure has been defined by scandal. Four women in Spitzer’s office have filed claims asserting Spitzer promoted an employee and close friend despite having been made aware of the sexual harassment complaints against him. Spitzer later allowed the employee, who was the best man at his wedding, to retire with top flight benefits. Spitzer also attempted to drop sexual assault charges against high-profile defendants, leading a judge to remove him from the case. Survivors of the sexual assault survivors were “dragged through the mud” and “grossly mistreated” by Spitzer for two and a half years, leading two of them to abandon their case.

Spitzer has been involved in an evidence booking scandal, a jailhouse informant scandal, and has defamed a victim of OC’s deadliest mass shooting as retaliation for peaceful protest. Spitzer has also defended a DNA collection program known informally as “Spit and Acquit” that coerces defendants to give up their DNA to law enforcement, a practice the ACLU has called “unconstitutional.”

Pete Hardin is a former Judge Advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps, Deputy District Attorney, Special Assistant United States Attorney, and one of Southern California’s leading litigators running for Orange County District Attorney. Pete entered public service when, in 2005, he earned his commission as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. A combat veteran, Pete served in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2011 and 2012 as a member of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. Pete is a member of the Democratic Party.

Orange County’s rapidly changing electorate has led Democrats to now outnumber Republicans in Orange County holding a 4.1% voter registration advantage.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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