OC: Sheriff’s coverup investigated by Grand Jury –

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OC: Sheriff’s coverup investigated by Grand Jury Posted on December 16, 2003 at 04:04:20 PM “Grand jury exploring if officers tried to hide run-in with assistant sheriff’s son, who faces a rape trial. The Orange County Grand Jury is investigating whether deputies covered up a second brush with the law for a top Sheriff’s Department official’s son who already faces trial for rape. Gregory Haidl, the 18-year-old son of Asst. Sheriff Don Haidl, was driven home and not cited for possession of marijuana, after an encounter with deputies in late October. Had he been cited, his $100,000 bail on the rape charge would have been revoked and he likely would have been jailed. At the center of the grand jury probe is a taped radio transmission in which the watch commander seeks advice from Asst. Sheriff George Jaramillo, one of Don Haidl’s friends, on how to handle the situation. The tape captures a series of conversations between officers after Haidl and friends were stopped while skateboarding in San Clemente. Authorities say a small bag of marijuana was found in their car. A copy of the tape, which was obtained by KCBS-TV Channel 2 reporter Dave Lopez, was played during news broadcasts Friday. On the tape, Jaramillo and the watch commander are heard agreeing that the incident will not show up on the daily log and the media should not be told about Gregory Haidl’s latest entanglement with the law. Lt. Lloyd Downing, the watch commander, tells Jaramillo that the incident will remain “our secret.” Gregory Haidl and two other teenagers are charged with raping an unconscious 16-year-old girl on a pool table and videotaping the assault during a 2002 party at his father’s Corona del Mar house. The three youths face up to 100 years in prison if convicted on all charges. Trial is set for March. At the beginning of the tape, a sheriff’s sergeant tells Downing that Haidl was caught with marijuana. Later, Downing tells Jaramillo that Haidl was caught “smoking pot,” and that Lt. Bill Hunt ordered that he not be arrested. Hunt serves as chief of police services for San Clemente, which contracts with the Sheriff’s Jaramillo was earlier accused of trying to protect Gregory Haidl by telling the 18-year-old not to talk with Newport Beach police detectives, who at the time were investigating the alleged rape. Jaramillo, who is also an attorney, said he was simply advising Don Haidl of his son’s constitutional rights. In the latest incident, the audio broadcast by KCBS seems to illustrate the extraordinary caution taken by several sheriff’s officers as they try to shield the teenager from further public scrutiny. “So, I did the right thing and you did the right thing,” Downing says to an unidentified deputy. Department for police services. But sheriff’s officials insisted that Haidl did not have any marijuana with him and was never seen smoking it. The only suspect cited was Haidl’s 16-year-old friend, who allegedly told a deputy that the marijuana found in the vehicle belonged to him. At no time on the tape aired Friday was there any concern expressed by Jaramillo or the others for the two other teenage boys detained with Haidl, who was driven to his mother’s house in San Clemente by a deputy. Last week, the OC Weekly — an alternative newspaper — printed a partial transcript of the police tape that includes some wording not heard on the tape aired by KCBS. In this version of the conversation, Jaramillo warns that “the press will be all over this,” and then is quoted as saying, “So we got to make sure that this gets buried.” Sheriff’s officials said the marijuana incident began when a patrol deputy came upon Gregory Haidl and two friends skateboarding at an industrial park in San Clemente on Oct. 26. After the deputy learned Haidl’s identity, he called Downing to ask for Don Haidl’s telephone number. The deputy said he had caught the younger Haidl with marijuana. “Great,” Downing said sarcastically. After talking with Don Haidl, the deputy called Downing back and said that “he’s not happy.” The deputy told Downing the incident would not be entered in the log and “no one down here is going to say anything.” Wayne J. Quint Jr., president of the Assn. of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs, said marijuana infractions generally would not be recorded on the watch commander’s log. Quint, whose union represents 1,800 sworn deputies, investigators and sergeants of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the district attorney’s Bureau of Investigations, said only noteworthy incidents make the log, such as if a deputy gets hurt, a long chase, suicides and murders. As for Gregory Haidl being driven home, Quint said that it is not unusual for deputies to take a person home, whether or not they have an affiliation with law enforcement.” Source: http://b4.boards2go.com/boards/board.cgi?action=read&id=1071608660&user=SoCA

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