ORANGE – Today, Marine combat veteran and former military prosecutor, Special Assistant United States Attorney, and Deputy District Attorney, Pete Hardin, responded to recently released data from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office showing an extreme surge of homicides since Todd Spitzer took office in January, 2019.
“Since Todd Spitzer became District Attorney our community has experienced a wave of violence not seen since the 1990s,” said Former Marine Judge Advocate Pete Hardin. “From facing at least five sexual harassment lawsuits to being kicked off a sexual assult case for mistreating survivors, Todd is evidently too distracted retaliating against victims and protecting his friends to do his job. To ensure the welfare of our citizens, we can no longer tolerate shallow rhetoric and a politician obsessed with shameless self-promotion. We need safety, not soundbites.”
According to figures released by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, 2021 homicides reached levels not seen since 1999. Department of Justice data also shows that homicides have increased every year since DA Spitzer took office in January 2019. DOJ data also shows that in the first two years of Todd Spitzer’s administration assaults with a firearm increased 29%. According to the Human Relations Commission’s annual report, hate crimes against the AAPI community jumped more than 1800% from 2020 to 2021 alone. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, since Todd Spitzer took office, homelessness has skyrocketed more than 40% since he took office.
Spitzer holds himself out as a savior of victims and portrays himself as tough-on-crime, but an independent report found that he outed the identities and exploited victims of sexual harassment in his own office. According to the independent report, Spitzer “provided an employee’s personnel information to a reporter in May 2021, to deflect the negative evidence about his own actions during the Logalbo [sexual harassment] investigation.” Spitzer also faces a lawsuit for defaming a victim advocate and maintains the dubious distinction as the first and only DA in California history, if not the nation, to be removed from a case because of his unethical treatment of survivors of sexual assault. Those survivors said that they had been “dragged through the mud” by him.
Aside from his use of victims as political props, DA Spitzer faces a sea of scandals. An investigator he fired won his job back, with the arbitrator finding that the investigator “did what any reasonable person would do by preserving the evidence of Spitzer’s suspected criminal conduct.”
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.