Audit Finds “Systemic Problems” With Evidence Booking in Orange County

Four Orange County sheriff’s deputies have been fired and seven others disciplined after an internal audit revealed “systemic problems with evidence being booked outside policy.”

The audit was not readily shared with the public, but unearthed by the Sacramento Bee. Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer told the publication that his office only learned of the audit last week. The results of the review were also hidden from defendants, said Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders.

As part of the review, officials scrutinized over 98,000 reports and more than 27,000 evidence bookings handled Feb. 1, 2016, through Feb. 1, 2018. They found that about 30% of evidence was booked late.

Department policy requires deputies to book evidence by the end of a shift. On average, it took 3 to 4 days.

“Two of the department’s six patrol sections took more than four days” to book evidence, according to the Bee.

This raises serious questions about the evidence’s integrity and potential Brady Act violations. Sanders called it “a crisis in Orange County.” He also bemoaned the secrecy surrounding the report.

Sheriff’s officials told the Bee that “immediate measures were taken to ensure personnel were educated” on evidence policy after the audit.


Top Stories

Monday, January 27, 2020 - 06:30

NBA Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant was killed Sunday morning when a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter crashed over Calabasas. Bryant and another eight people, including his daughter Gianna, were on board.


Monday, January 27, 2020 - 04:46

Local governments’ opposition to Scott Wiener’s SB50 is already well known. But the initiative is now facing more pushback from another group: low-income residents and their allies.


Monday, January 13, 2020 - 07:11

Likening the proliferation of illicit marijuana cultivation to a “raging forest fire,” Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey is once again urging the governor to declare a state of emergency.


Monday, January 13, 2020 - 07:26

Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled a $222.2 billion budget proposal for 2020-21 on Friday – the second annual spending plan he has presented as governor and the largest in state history.