Former California Sheriff Settles Workers’ Comp Cases

April 23, 2013

Former Orange County Sheriff Michael Carona, who is serving time on a witness-tampering conviction, has settled two workers’ compensation cases for more than $37,000, a newspaper reported.

A doctor examined Carona before he reported to a Colorado prison in January 2011 and determined he suffered permanent injuries on the job.

Carona accepted $22,165 as compensation for back, hip and leg injuries he suffered in 2005 when the sheriff’s car he was riding in hit another vehicle, according to state records reviewed by the Orange County Register in Saturday’s editions.

The lawman once dubbed “America’s sheriff” also agreed to an extra $15,510 for cumulative wear and tear during his 32-year law enforcement career.

The settlements were approved last year by a workers’ compensation administrative law judge. The newspaper reviewed the workers’ compensation documents after filing a public records request with the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.

Carona was convicted in 2009 of felony witness tampering and sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison. He was indicted in a sweeping public corruption case that included allegations of marital infidelity, pay-to-play schemes and money-laundering. He was acquitted of other charges filed by prosecutors.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review Carona’s appeal. Carona had argued prosecutors breached an ethical rule when they had an assistant sheriff secretly record him in 2007, and that he was charged under the wrong federal statute.

Carona stepped into the national spotlight during an investigation into the 2002 kidnapping and murder of 5-year-old Samantha Runnion. CNN’s Larry King dubbed him “America’s Sheriff.” The nickname stuck and even appeared on Carona’s official biography.

Carona continues to collect more than $218,000 a year in pension payments, according to the Register.

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