O.C. Sheriff Hutchens seeking treatment for medical condition
Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens will announce Monday that she is seeking treatment for “a recently diagnosed medical condition,” according to the sheriff’s office.
Hutchens assumed command of California’s second-largest sheriff’s department in 2008, succeeding Michael S. Carona, who is now in federal prison for witness tampering.
Sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino did not specify Hutchens’ ailment, but said it won’t affect operations of the department.
“She’s going to continue to work,” Amormino said. “When appropriate, the command staff will fill in for her.”
The Orange County Register, citing a memo Hutchens sent to her staff, reported the sheriff was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.
Hutchens, a former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy, was widely viewed as an outsider when the Board of Supervisors appointed her sheriff by a 3-2 vote in 2008, following Carona’s indictment on corruption charges.
But in 2010 she won election to the post with nearly 52% of the vote. She is widely credited with cleaning up a department ravaged by scandal.
“What I found was a department that did not have modern policing policies, did not have systems of accountability, a risk-management system,” she once told The Times. “That was the biggest surprise to me when I came in.”
Photo: Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens in 2009. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times