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So. Cal. sheriff faces judge on corruption charges

With wife and alleged mistress, Mike Carona hears charges. A federal magistrate sets bail at $20,000 each for the lawman and his wife, and $10,000 for his mistress.

By Garrett Therolf, Christine Hanley and H.G. Reza
Los Angeles Times

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. — As Michael S. Carona sat handcuffed in federal court Wednesday, Orange County officials faced the problem of fighting crime while their sheriff fights corruption charges.

Carona's federal indictment has made some county officials uncomfortable with him remaining in office, but they said they had few options. County Supervisor John Moorlach proposed a ballot measure Wednesday that would allow the board to remove Carona, but it would take four months to get it before voters.

Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona, second right, holding his wife Deborah's hand, second left, and accompanied by members of the defense team Jordana Boag, left, and Andrea Jacobs leave the Ronald Reagan Federal Building in Santa Ana , Calif., Wednesday. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
California law allows Carona to remain in office unless he is convicted, although only two elected sheriffs in recent California history have done so -- and both ultimately resigned.

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