According to the Los Angeles Times, one of the key witnesses against indicted Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona is Donald Haidl, a close associate of Carona who used his appointed position as head of the Orange County department’s reserve corps to enlist his friends, relatives and employees into the program. Carona is accused by federal prosecutors of peddling access to his office for hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and gifts. He has denied the charges.
Haidl, who made a fortune auctioning used vehicles from lease fleets and government motor pools, was named assistant sheriff by Carona, who allegedly performed political favors for him. When Haidl needed help for his son, Gregory, in a 2000 gang sexual assault case, Carona tried to intervene in the investigation, the Times says. Similarly, Gregory Haidl received preferential treatment in a marijuana case, prosecutors say.