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Mike Carona Election Foe Wins Lawsuit

Former sheriff's lieutenant Bill Hunt, who headed San Clemente police services, was demoted after running against then-Sheriff Carona. Now, a judge rules he should be reinstated with back pay and calls Carona's actions "despicable."

Former OC sheriff's lieutenant Bill Hunt, who once headed police services in San Clemente, has won a lawsuit against the county over his demotion after running for sheriff against Mike Carona in 2006, the Orange County Register is reporting.

A judge ruled Hunt should be reinstated at his former rank and given back pay.

Hunt lost the election against Carona. Afterward, he was demoted to deputy and assigned to patrol in Stanton. He retired rather than take the demotion.

Orange County Superior Court Judge David T. McEachen, in his Dec. 7 decision, also fined the county $50,000 and said Hunt was entitled to attorney fees.

The judge said "Carona's conduct was egregious and despicable," and regretted that he was "unable to award any damages payable by Carona himself."

Hunt's attorney said his client plans to return to work at the department.

Read the full Register story here.

Andromeda December 13, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Yep, the County oligarchs screw up AGAIN and the peasant taxpayers pay through the nose. Isn't that how it ALWAYS works? Are any of the REAL guilty parties (like the County officials who approved of Hunt's demotion) fired or forced to pay anything out of pocket toward his backpay? NOPE!!! The innocent taxpayers are handed the bill ONCE AGAIN. It's a DIRTY, FILTHY system where the innocent are punished and the TRULY guilty parties walk away unscathed.
Larry bales December 13, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Good going Hunt You suffered much for exercising your right to run for office
Andromeda December 13, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Larry, point your fingers where they belong.....at the idiots who demoted him (and not just Carona - the County officials who approved Carona's recommendations as well). For they are the jerks who got us into this mess. And they are the jerks who will transfer their sins to the taxpayers in form of backpay and settlements. I am amazed at the number of posters who erroneously blame the wrong parties on a host of various subject matter on the blog boards.
Richard Weed December 13, 2012 at 05:54 AM
I'm happy he prevailed. Monetarily, he can not be compensated for having his livelihood and reputation stripped from him. Nothing can make him whole for the emotional and psychic trauma he sustained during the course of his legal battle. He can return to law enforcement, but the scars left by the Carona administration will never heal. God Bless, you won a well deserved victory.
Shirley December 13, 2012 at 07:21 AM
This county has screwed up royally...many times...I do wonder when things will shape up. Yes, we will pay, however Hunt should have never been fired just because he ran against "The King" that's in prison.
John Webb December 13, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Bill Hunt, it was a long journey. I am pleased with your success and appreciate all you've done for Orange County over a great career. I also personally appreciate your help over the last year. The SO will be the better for your return.

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