Paybacks a B****

Politics in Orange County can quickly become a full contact sport. Tom Umberg is suing to remove Lou Correa from the ballot, the failed bid to get the Republican Party endorsement by 1 vote for Sheriff Michael Carona, and the ongoing battle over voter registration numbers in Orange County shows just how fast Party Politics in the OC can get ugly.

I thought this would all be the least of our worries, but it just keeps getting better, and we are not even at the primaries yet!

Fired Assistant Sheriff George Jamillio stood at a press conference today and threatened to release evidence of Sheriff Carona’s misuse of the Sheriff Department’s Helicopter fleet for personal use. No doubt his sudden revelation was timed to show just how battered Carona is and how he has a lot of explaining to do to the voters before the primary. Jamillio even went so far as to argue that Carona should be prosecuted under the same charges that he is facing.

According to the OC Register, Jamillio’s evidence shows that Carona used the Department’s helicopters a total of 32 times for personal use. They were used for everything from travel to the airport, to his son’s soccer games, and even trips for his “longtime mistress.” An investigation conducted by the Register shows that the helicopters were used a total of 16 times for trips to news interviews, business retreats, and award ceremonies. Those trips cost taxpayers a total of $26,000 in fuel and maintenance.

Jamillio’s press conference can be treated as a desperate attempt by a desperate man to bring down the sheriff or they can be a sign of bigger problems in the Department. But with the race between Carona and Bill Hunt getting a large amount of coverage in the OC Political Blogosphere this is going to increasingly nasty.

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