SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens announced today she will not seek another term and plans to retire.
Her announcement came hours after the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California released a two-year study that, according to the nonprofit’s Jails Project, found “violent, abusive and unhealthy conditions in Orange County’s jails system, and a record of denial and indifference by the officials in charge, most notably Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.”
Hutchens, 62, was appointed sheriff by the board of supervisors in June of 2010 following the resignation of Sheriff Mike Carona, who was convicted of witness tampering in 2009.
Hutchens won election in 2010 and won an uncontested reelection bid in 2014.
She will step down at the end of her term next year.
In an emailed statement announcing her plans, Hutchens endorsed county Undersheriff Don Barnes to succeed her. Aliso Viejo Mayor David Harrington also plans to run for the seat next year.
“At the end of my current term, I will have spent almost 40 years in law enforcement and over 10 years as sheriff of Orange County,” she said. “It has been a great honor and privilege to serve as sheriff and I would not even consider retiring if there was not a highly qualified and electable candidate ready to serve.'”
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