Remarks given by Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas

Press Conference regarding False Impersonation of OCDA ADA

May 31, 2016

Prosecutors in my Office brought to my attention that Supervisor Todd Spitzer falsely impersonated an Assistant District Attorney (ADA) while engaging in political campaigning. 

It has been my honor to serve the public for the last 42 years, and I can honestly tell you that being a prosecutor is the best job, period. 

We love our job because we are tasked with protecting public safety and victims' rights, while doing justice in every case. 

That is why every person that I know of who was a member of this Office, when they leave, even criminal defense attorneys and judges, lists their time at the Orange County District Attorney's Office as one of the top, if not the top accomplishments on his or her resume.

We are calling on Mr. Spitzer to:

1) Formally apologize to the public and 300 prosecutors at the Orange County District Office that proudly hold the title of deputy or assistant district attorney;

2) Promise he will never engage in a false impersonation of an assistant district attorney again, and;

3) Make amends by contacting the same voters correcting the false identification using his own funds. 

On May 26, 2016, Supervisor Spitzer falsely claimed to be an employee of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and preceded to engage in a political activity asking County residents to vote in favor of a ballot measure by using this false identity. 

The way these “robo” calls work is that you write a script, call a number, record the message until you get it right, and the calls get made to the universe of calls the payer chooses. 

“I have always played by the rules.  As an assistant district attorney, I know that many politicians do not."

Stunning isn't it?

Not only does he falsely impersonate an assistant district attorney, he does not appear to follow campaign laws requiring: “paid telephone calls must identify the candidate who paid for or authorized the call.”

Every member of this Office, especially prosecutors, knows to not engage in political activity in his or her their official capacity. 

The rule is in place to make sure that any political position taken in their private capacity is not viewed as a position taken by the OCDA.

We all hope that Mr. Spitzer does not insult any of you or the public's intelligence by trying to claim that it’s a big misunderstanding...

No one, especially Mr. Spitzer, a career politician since 1992, would make this mistake. 

Mr. Spitzer has not been a prosecutor here since 2010. 

In 2013, Mr. Spitzer badged his way up to the San Bernardino Mountains during the serial killer Dorner manhunt.  In this TV interview, he does not say he was a reserve police officer for the Los Angeles Police Department and says he is a police officer. 

Interestingly, he does not even mention he was a former prosecutor for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.  

2014, he clearly says “I was a prosecutor in this County.” 

The irony of the unethical behavior of Mr. Spitzer engaging in false impersonation of an assistant district attorney, to engage in political activity of promoting an ethic commission, is not lost on anyone. 

There are many unanswered questions

Who came up with this idea?

Who wrote this script?

Were any County staff or equipment used?

Were any County funds used for this political campaigning?

Why didn’t they comply with the “paid for” requirement?

Who is he protecting from public disclosure?

Here is a letter that was delivered to County Counsel today. 

I will not be discussing any other investigations or complaints that are being made to appropriate agencies. 

Also, I do not think it is appropriate for me to discuss the merits of Measure A.

We thank the Media for helping to get out the message that Mr. Spitzer is NOT an assistant district attorney and that the Orange County District Attorney is not taking a political position on the merits of Measure A. 

A link to the letter delivered to County Counsel can be found at the link below, or by visiting www.orangecountyda.org and selecting the Letters tab under the Reports dropdown menu:

http://orangecountyda.org/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=23446

Links to footage of the press conference as well as video and audio clips used during the press conference can be found at the links below:

Link to the full press conference and presentation:

https://youtu.be/DxvHbYRk5xU

Link to Todd Spitzer speaking to CBS 2 News during Christopher Dorner manhunt: https://youtu.be/0MUMcOE5l7I

Link to Todd Spitzer speaking to Time Warner Cable Local Edition:

https://youtu.be/hXix2V9-QwM

 



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