Appeals court rules former OC sheriff can remain free on bail

Former Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona won't be turning himself in to serve jail time anytime soon. KPCC's Susan Valot says a federal appeals panel today ruled that Carona can remain free on bail until his appeal of a single witness tampering conviction is settled.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal says Carona isn't a flight risk and doesn't pose a danger to the community. So the court says he can remain out on bail until his appeal works its way through the courts. Carona's attorneys want the witness tampering conviction overturned. The conviction centered around secret recordings with Carona by his former second-hand man, ex-Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl.

Carona's attorneys say prosecutors violated a California State Bar rule that prohibits lawyers from contacting someone in a case who already has an attorney. Carona's lawyers say Haidl had an attorney when prosecutors approached him to wear the wire. Prosecutors deny they did anything wrong. A jury earlier this year acquitted Carona on five other corruption charges, convicting him only of a single count of witness tampering.

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