SANTA ANA (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld former Orange County Sheriff Michael Carona’s conviction for witness tampering.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals released its 21-page ruling on Thursday.
Carona was convicted of one count of witness tampering in 2009 and sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison but has been allowed to remain out of custody while his appeal was pending.
Carona’s lawyers argued that prosecutors broke an ethical rule when they arranged for ex-assistant sheriff Don Haidl to secretly record an August 2007 conversation despite knowing Carona had retained a criminal defense attorney.
A federal attorney argued that the government used what he called “permissible decoys.”
Carona was acquitted of conspiracy, mail fraud and a second witness tampering count in a sweeping public corruption case.
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