Tuesday, June 10, 2008

There's a new sheriff in town

The photo above shows Sheriff Theo Lacy's family and a few others standing outside the old Orange County Jail. The "footprint" of the jail can be found today in the parking lot behind the Old Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana. I'm guessing this photo was probably taken around 1899. (The inset photo is a close-up detail from the same image. Click to embigulate.)
Today, the Orange County Board of Supervisors appointed Sandra Hutchens as Orange County's 12th sheriff. This is the first time our sheriff has been appointed (rather than elected), as well as the first time we've had a woman as sheriff.
The Board's voting procedure was unusual too. The Register's Peggy Lowe wrote:
"In an odd move, [Supervisor Janet] Nguyen asked for a vote on paper, perhaps as a way to pose a secret ballot. But county lawyers stepped in and said secret ballots are forbidden. So the supervisors wrote their choices on a slip of paper, the clerk placed those in a coffee cup, and they were then read aloud. "
.I also received this background information from a local historian friend:
"Until 1975, when Jim Musick retired undefeated, every Orange County Sheriff... was defeated at the polls. In 1974, Sheriff Musick's endorsed choice for Sheriff, Brad Gates, was elected and served until he voluntarily stepped aside in 1998, when Mike Carona bested Paul Walters to become Sheriff. When Carona resigned, he became the first Orange County Sheriff not to serve out his term."
.For a list of past O.C. Sheriffs, follow this link to the Orange County Archives website.


itsnotaplace said...

That is the fanciest, nicest looking jail I've ever seen!

Its style looks so much like the old county courthouse that I was surprised that it was not a part of the county courthouse! So... it was near the courthouse location, but was torn down when the courthouse was built?

Chris Jepsen said...

The jail stood from 1897 to 1925. The Courthouse was built in 1901. There is now a parking lot where the jail was located (behind the Courthouse).

Biblioadonis aka George said...

Beautiful building. A lot of the courthouses from that time period have a similar look.

itsnotaplace said...

Ahh..the satllite view on Google maps shows the footprint of the old jail in the parking lot very well.

Anonymous said...

Too bad your unnamed local historian friend didn't know the immediate former Sheriff spells his surname CArona, not COrona (like the RivCo town across the county line).

Chris Jepsen said...

I've made the same typo many times myself, so who am I to judge? Anyway, I corrected the spelling. Thanks for pointing it out.

ockid said...

Sad to say, today's paper notes the death of Elynore (Lacy) Barton on June 2nd, at age 87. She was a granddaughter of Sheriff Lacy and a longtime supporter of the Old Courthouse Museum and other historical projects in Santa Ana.