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Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Text of Carona's Leave of Absence Message
The following is the complete text of Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona's November 6th, 2007 statement regarding his decision to take a leave of absence while he fights the charges stemming from this week's federal indictment:
A message from the Sheriff
November 6, 2007 10:00 by Sheriff Carona
"This week I promised to provide the community with an operational plan for my department while I deal with the false allegations I am facing. Here are the parameters of that plan.
Yesterday was my first opportunity to enter a “not guilty” plea. Today I must look to the near future as I defend myself against the false allegations and also address my responsibilities in the long-term as Sheriff as to what is best for the men and women of my department and the residents of the County of Orange. During the past week I found myself fighting to clear my name and to prepare my defense. I am confident that once afforded the opportunity to face my accusers in a court of law I will be vindicated. For thirty-one years I have devoted my life to serving the community. As the Sheriff for the County of Orange I have devoted the last nine years to developing public safety programs and with the men and women of my department, have made the Orange County Sheriff’s Department a leader in the nation in providing public safety.
I believe in the principles of our justice system that allow me to defend myself against these false allegations. I am also realistic in understanding how much time I will need to devote to my defense. In order to do so I must consider the best interests of the community, my department and my family.
Having met with my command staff, the Undersheriff, and the Assistant Sheriffs and after careful legal research, I have concluded that it is legally possible for me to take a leave of absence. Therefore, effective November 9, 2007 I will be taking a sixty day leave of absence in order to devote my full time and energy towards battling the untrue and baseless charges made against my wife, Debbie and me.
Undersheriff Jo Ann Galisky will be taking over the day to day operations of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Undersheriff Galisky has been with the department for 23 years and is recognized as a leader in the law enforcement community. Undersheriff Galisky’s distinguished career reflects her breadth of knowledge having worked her way up through the ranks. I know that as Acting-Sheriff, Undersheriff Galisky will enjoy the full confidence of the men and women of the Sheriff's Department, as well as the support of the other members of our Department's Command Staff.
This was not an easy decision for me to make, given that I know that the charges against me are without merit, and that I am confident that I will be fully exonerated when this matter goes to trial. In closing, I can say that every decision that I have made as Sheriff of Orange County has always been with two top priorities -- a commitment to the pubic safety of the people we are sworn to protect, and making the best decisions to support the 4,500 employees of the finest law enforcement agency in America. I want to thank the Undersheriff, the Assistant Sheriff’s and the Department for its ongoing commitment to professionalism and their support during these trying times."