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MEMBER ADVISEMENT: MEDIA UPDATE

Article published on January 26, 2016

AOCDS President Tom Dominguez issued the following member advisement on January 26, 2016


The Orange County Register published a front page article today with comments from a trial attorney with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office accusing the Sheriff’s Department of being lax in the way they handled an inmate and allowing him to escape along with two other inmates.
The comments made by trial attorney Heather Brown were irresponsible, uneducated and have potentially placed herself and others in harm’s way. Hundreds of law enforcement professionals have been working nonstop to locate the escaped inmates and her comments have provided an unnecessary distraction from the ultimate goal. It is extremely frustrating that investigative resources which should be dedicated to finding and arresting these fugitives must now be responsible for ensuring the safety of this trial attorney.
I reached out to District Attorney Tony Rackauckas early this morning to express my utter disappointment over statements made by his trial attorney.
District Attorney Rackauckas released the following statement regarding Heather Brown’s comments this afternoon:
“Since the beginning of the search that started Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, of three extremely dangerous defendants that escaped Orange County Central Jail, we have been working with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and assisting in the manhunt to bring these three inmates to justice and protect the community. I know that the Sheriff and her staff have been working tirelessly on tracking these inmates to bring them back to face charges.
Recently, statements were made by an OCDA prosecutor that were inappropriate, uninformed and rash. Those statements were not authorized by me or anyone from the OCDA. Those statements do not reflect the position of the OCDA. We will have no further comment at this time as we are continuing to vigorously investigate the cases on the fugitives and anyone who helped them escape and/or are harboring them.”

We at AOCDS recognize that the impulsive and reckless comments made by a single trial attorney are not representative of the professional men and women of the District Attorney’s Office.
Friday’s escape has made national headlines and we anticipate this story to continue to be widely covered for some time. I know it is frustrating to hear self-proclaimed “experts” pontificate about the situation when they truly have no idea the challenges you and your colleagues face daily working in an antiquated facility that has been jerry rigged into a state prison. Please know that AOCDS is dedicated to defending your righteous actions and the taxpayers of Orange County appreciate your unwavering commitment to ensuring their safety.
As with any major incident, it is normal to have several investigations being conducted simultaneously and for deputies to be interviewed in connection with those investigations. Please contact AOCDS at 714-285-2800 if you are contacted for an interview and we will coordinate accordingly.


Tom Dominguez
President

Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs
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Media Contact: Kimberly Edds                 
(714) 357-4654 / kimberly@aocds.org