Orange County DA Candidate Calls for Current DA to Recuse Self from All Police Use-of-Force Cases

(Photo by Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images) (Getty Images)

By Carson Eschen

SANTA ANA, CA – Pete Hardin, a candidate for Orange County District Attorney, has called for current DA Todd Spitzer to recuse himself from every police use of force case

Hardin’s statement follow comments Spitzer made to the New York Times, in which he said “To go back and open up all the cases, because you have an absolute grudge against police officers and you’re trying to carry a badge of honor — ‘Look at me, look at me, I’m going to prosecute police officers, I’m going to hold them accountable’ — is turning the table completely upside down.”

Spitzer further added that, “These counties where the ‘woke DAs’ are elected, they are utterly destroying police morale. They are making it impossible to recruit police.”

In his response, Hardin stated, “As a Marine Judge Advocate I reviewed incidents where fellow service members were involved in potential violations of the rules of engagement and international law of armed conflict.”

“My experience was that Marines welcomed the reviews, because accountability for service members who broke the law helped validate the mission of the law-abiding service members among most Afghans. Any failure to hold ourselves accountable for human rights violations would have blurred the legitimacy of our efforts to liberate the Afghans from the Taliban’s oppression and atrocities,” he added.

Hardin also noted, “…I know that the vast majority of police serve and protect our communities with distinction. But when they break the law we must hold them accountable, as we do anyone else in society, to ensure justice for victims, and to validate the mission of the good officers in the eyes of the public. Failure to do so destroys community trust, which ultimately endangers law enforcement officers. “

Hardin said that Spitzer is unable to be impartial on police use of force cases, and therefore should recuse himself.

His demand is the latest in a brutal race for District Attorney, filled with personal accusations of sexual deviancy, professional misconduct, and criminal activity.

Back in October, Spitzer expressed belief in a blogger that accused Hardin of resigning from the military to narrowly avoid being dishonorably discharged following an act of adultery.

The blogger further claimed that Hardin was forced to resign from Orange County DA’s Office following allegations of attending sex addiction classes and “hitting on victims” as a prosecutor. However, there is no evidence supporting these accusations.

Meanwhile, Hardin contends that Spitzer hired “criminals” to work on his campaigns, referring to political analysts John Thomas and Venture Strategic, who between them have been involved in various investigations of overbilling, profiteering, and fraud.

However, both federal and independent investigations have failed to result in any charges or reveal any evidence of wrongdoing.

About The Author

Carson Eschen is a fourth year Political Science and Philosophy double major at UC Santa Barbara. He plans on becoming a lawyer.

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