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78 months in federal prison recommended for Carona

March 24, 2009 |  1:32 pm

Carona1 Probation officers have recommended that former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona be sentenced to more than six years in prison for witness tampering, according to court documents filed today.

The probation report has been sealed. But the recommendation that Carona serve 78 months in federal prison was revealed in a footnote of a motion filed by prosecutors in response to attempts by Carona’s attorneys to have the conviction thrown out.

Carona was convicted of one count of felony witness tampering in January and acquitted of five other felony charges related to allegations that he misused the powers of his office to enrich himself and others, including his wife and a longtime mistress.

The witness tampering charge relates to Carona's attempts to have former Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl lie to a grand jury that was investigating the sheriff's administration.

The cases were later dropped against the women, and Carona’s attorneys have filed several motions seeking to have the witness tampering conviction thrown out, or at a minimum, a new trial ordered on that lone count.

-- Christine Hanley

Photo: L.A. Times