Erika Aguilar Orange County Reporter

Erika Aguilar
Contact Erika Aguilar

Erika Aguilar covers Orange County for KPCC. Prior to that she was the station's crime, courts and public safety reporter.

Erika joined KPCC in 2012 after four years reporting on environmental issues for public radio station KUT in Austin, Texas, where she earned recognition for her work covering the 2009 shootings at the Fort Hood Army post in Killeen, the 2011 Texas wildfires and the state’s ongoing drought. Some of her reporting has been featured on NPR and American Public Media’s "Marketplace."

Before joining KUT, Aguilar worked in TV news as an assignment editor and assistant producer for the CBS affiliate in Austin. She’s a journalism and history graduate of Texas State University.

Any tips or story ideas can be sent to Erika by email at

Stories by Erika Aguilar

Expert panel report leaves California’s desalination future in limbo

The fate of a water desalination plant remains uncertain after a panel of experts has concluded that it would be too expensive to build it using intake pipes under the sea floor.

Expert panel leaves fate of proposed Poseidon desal plant uncertain

The panel concludes that subsurface intake pipes would be too expensive. That was the approach favored by the state coastal commission.

Orange County's beach cities see more unsheltered homeless

They're less visible, sleeping in parks, open spaces and vehicles. Most are adult men; there are no emergency shelters for them in the area.

Report: Former Fullerton cops violated policy in Kelly Thomas beating

The formerly confidential probe was never introduced as evidence in the criminal trial of officers involved in the 2011 death of the mentally ill, homeless Thomas.

There are more homeless living on Orange County streets

Census results show a jump in homeless adults but decreases in the chronically homeless and families. Those who are unsheltered or living in cars and on sidewalks jumped 30 percent.

Long Beach vault explosion: Officials mad at Edison over outages

Edison said it would send crews to inspect vaults downtown starting at 10 a.m. and anticipates power would be back for all customers by 6 p.m., according to Long Beach police.

Long Beach suffers another vault explosion

Another vault explosion has knocked out power for some Long Beach residents. Southern California Edison spokeswoman Susan Cox says 30,000 customers are impacted.

SoCal cities debate the pros and cons of police oversight models

From Anaheim to Los Angeles County, elected officials are weighing which models would best help law enforcement improve its performance and avoid excessive use of force.

OC Sheriff: AG informant probe has not questioned my deputies

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said she's "not confident" in the state attorney general's investigation into alleged withholding of evidence regarding jailhouse informants.

Experts call for beefing up OC's sheriff oversight

Experts told the Orange County Board of Supervisors that its current Office of Independent Review is doing an adequate job, but should be given more staff and power.

Orange County seeks a new model for sheriff oversight

Orange County supervisors say the current oversight model isn't independent enough. They want a new one but aren't sure what's best.

Federal grand jury investigating Santa Ana police beating

A federal grand jury is investigating a group of Santa Ana police officers who are seen on surveillance video punching and hitting a man during an arrest last year.

Anaheim approves 30-year tax exemption deal for Disney

The city council agrees to exempt Disney from the admission tax in exchange for a $1 billion expansion of Disneyland Resort.

Outside panel to review OC DA's use of jailhouse informants

An independent committee will review the district attorney's polices on using jailhouse informants after allegations of misconduct in the Dekraai case and others.

Disney to Anaheim: We'll invest $1B for no new taxes for 30 years

Disney says it will invest $1 billion in its Anaheim theme parks if the city promises not to tax it for the next 30 years. A 20-year no-gate tax deal expires next year.