District Attorney Todd Spitzer Announces Phase Two of Jailhouse Informant Reforms

District Attorney Questions Status of State Attorney General’s Criminal Probe Given No Communication With Spitzer’s Office

SANTA ANA, Calif. – District Attorney Todd Spitzer today announced he is launching an internal investigation into the use of jailhouse informants during the previous administration.

Since taking office on January 7, 2019, Spitzer has launched six critical initiatives designed to prevent misconduct from occurring in the future, including adopting a revised jailhouse informant policy modeled after the most comprehensive protocols from District Attorneys across California.

In 2015, then Attorney General Kamala Harris announced that she had launched a criminal probe into the use of jailhouse informants by then District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. Since assuming office, Spitzer has not received any requests from the state Attorney General for information related to the informant issue.

On April 19, 2019, Deputy Attorney General Darren Schaffer announced to Orange County Superior Court Judge James Rogan that the Attorney General’s perjury investigation of three Orange County deputy sheriffs associated with the jailhouse informant issue had ended. Shaffer did not clarify whether the Attorney General’s probe into the use of jailhouse informants by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office had concluded.

The District Attorney’s Office today released a letter Spitzer sent to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra inquiring about the status of the criminal probe into the use of jailhouse informants by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Read the letter here.

“I have repeatedly relied on the California Attorney General – who has supervisorial authority over all 58 elected District Attorneys – to get to the bottom of the Rackauckas scandal in Orange County,” said Spitzer. “While seeking clarification from the Attorney General, I am now moving forward on Phase Two of my reform efforts. I refuse to wait for the Attorney General to make any conclusions given this lack of communication on inquiries. It is my responsibility as the recently elected District Attorney of Orange County to move forward with my own investigation into what occurred and what, if any remaining personnel, are responsible.”