Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cease and Desist Order from Orange County Government

Accredited paid for a mailer to be sent to county citizens to educate them on the $1.7 M dollars currently allocated to fund the pretrial services/release program at the Orange County jail. Several prior attempts had been made to encourage all County Commissioners, the Mayor and other county executives to have dialog with Accredited to discuss our concerns regarding the amount of tax dollars being used to release and supervise defendants charged with serious offenses who never see a judge for their release.

With the exception of Commissioner Mildred Fernandez, no other Commissioner or county leader publicly expressed any concern whatsoever regarding the use of taxpayer funds to release criminals from jail vs. letting the private surety bail industry do its job using no taxpayer funds. So we felt it necessary to educate the citizens on how their limited tax dollars were being spent. The response from outraged citizens has been tremendous.

So what do you think the reaction from Orange County has been? Well, we received a Cease and Desist order from the County Attorney's office stating that, "it had come to their attention that we had made an unauthorized use of the Orange County Government logo in a recent publication and the publication appears to urge individuals to petition against the county's funding of a pretrial release program." The order stated that we must immediately cease use of the logo per a 1997 Orange County code and that the county requires the destruction of all unused and undistributed copies of the publication. Finally, if we do not fully comply with this order, "the county will take appropriate action to enforce it's rights."

Not a sentence said regarding the issue of $1.7 M of your tax dollars being used to fund the pretrial release program to release defendants charged with serious offenses. In other words, the county was more concerned that we misused, in their opinion, the Orange County logo in a publication that they did not want distributed. Yet all of the county logos are on the county's website for anyone to download; are they saying they want to "approve" the use of every instance in which one of the logos will be used or are they "selectively" determining when to enforce an old county code when the message may make the county look bad?

The attempt by Orange County to change the subject by focusing on the issue of the logo rather than defending the use of taxpayer funds for the pretrial release program and its practices is a desperate attempt to change the conversation and hide the real truth!

We trust none of you will fall for that tactic! Let your voice be heard at the September 24, 2009 public hearing on the budget.

1 comment:

  1. Very good mailer. Not surprised Orange County would rather change the subject.