ORANGE COUNTY, CA — The union representing the Orange County sheriff’s deputies today blasted a decision by the Attorney General’s Office to not pursue criminal charges in a fight between a criminal defense attorney and an
Orange County District Attorney investigator.
“It is truly unfortunate that criminal defense attorney James Crawford is being allowed to get away with attacking a sworn peace officer without any consequences,” said Tom Dominguez, the president of the Association of Orange
County Deputy Sheriffs.
“We as a society should not tolerate it. As we have stated repeatedly, criminal attorney James Crawford’s one-sided version of events is simply not true. Criminal attorney Crawford and his lawyer Jerry Steering have spent the last several months doing their best to manipulate the media, the public and the criminal defense bar into publicly persecuting a district attorney investigator based on wildly inaccurate facts solely to drum up a pay day.”
Steering said he “expected” the decision from state prosecutors.
“Police are the most dishonest people in the world,” Steering told City News Service. “Nobody lies like a policeman. They apparently haven’t broken stride in this case either.”
Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office sent a letter to Steering yesterday explaining the decision following a “thorough and independent investigation.”
The Attorney General’s investigators conducted “nearly a dozen follow-up interviews with witnesses” and also reviewed surveillance video and other witness statements.
“When viewed as a whole the evidence shows two different versions of events,” Senior Assistant Attorney General Julie Garland wrote in the letter. “Both parties tell a different story about how the fight started, and both have two to three witnesses who generally corroborate their version of events. And the incident was not captured on the surveillance video.”
The attorney general had to punt because there was no way to tell if it was Crawford or investigator Dillon Alley who was acting in self-defense.
Steering said the county has already rejected a claim filed by Crawford and that he is preparing a civil suit that will be likely filed in federal court soon.
The March 9 scrum happened soon after Crawford won a new trial for a client in a murder case over allegations that prosecutors failed to turn over evidence about an informant.