A Message to Orange County Law Enforcement

Dear Orange County Law Enforcement Officers, Deputy Sheriffs, and Members of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office: 

Over the course of the past year of my campaign for Orange County District Attorney I’ve enjoyed talking with people from all corners of our great county.  But I want to take a minute to talk directly to our law enforcement community.

I have served throughout my career to protect our county and our communities.  I worked towards our national security as a Marine Corps officer in garrison and at war in Afghanistan.  And I worked towards the safety of our communities as an Orange County Deputy District Attorney and a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California. 

You have undoubtedly heard or will hear my opponent make some absurd and offensive claims that after a lifetime of advancing national security and community safety I would turn around and advance an agenda that would make us less safe.  This is nothing more than politics at its worst – my opponent has no policies or results to offer you, so instead he gives you fear mongering rhetoric. 

Sheriff Barnes, Police Chiefs, and all our deputies and officers: I have and will always be a staunch supporter of law enforcement.  I’ve worn the uniform of this country and know what it’s like to carry a weapon every day, step outside the wire, and put your life on the line in service of others.  I know you are tired of our revolving door justice system and of arresting and re-arresting the same people only to see crime and homelessness skyrocket.  I will work with you to address the underlying issues that endanger our communities, to get you away from responding to mental health and addiction related service calls and the dangers they pose, and to get you focusing on what you do best – community policing and catching violent offenders.  Moreover, I know what an incredibly difficult time in American history this is to wear the uniform and I am more committed than ever to earning your trust, listening to you, and supporting you.  When you are unfairly targeted and painted with too broad a brush as bullies because of the wrongful acts of a few, I will stand up to the pressure and I’ll be above the politics to clear your name. 

For my friends and former colleagues at the District Attorney’s office, I am running to restore trust in your professionalism and your discretion.  Contrary to concerns that I would come in and clean house, I intend to build a cabinet and office structure that includes some of the great prosecutors and dedicated public servants among you, because I know that I have a lot to learn from you.  Contrary to concerns that I would hamstring you with restrictive blanket policies, I know you are not automated drones as people or prosecutors and that you do not need blanket policies to guide you.  You were hired for your good judgment, and I will work with you, not against you, to listen to you, learn from you, and put your good judgment to work for the people of Orange County. 

Let me address a couple of other gross misrepresentations my opponent has made.  I have not and will not accept a dime from special interest groups or political influencers.  You can see this for yourself at the OC Registrar of Voters, go to OCVote.gov and you can look up our financial disclosure statement.  You can also look up my opponent’s financial disclosure statement and see the tens of thousands of dollars he has accepted from special interest groups. 

Let me also be clear that I have only ever served our country and communities with honor and that as a prosecutor I only made disposition decisions in the interests of safety and justice.  Suggestions about my campaign policies, and character that infer otherwise are simply untrue. 

My opponent intentionally sows these untruths to distract you from the abject failure that his time in office has been.  Crime has risen dramatically in every category across the board, with homicides reaching a 22-year high.  Homelessness is up 41%.  That’s not your fault, it’s his for choosing showmanship over leadership, and failing to address the underlying issues that have led to the uptick. 

He is drowning in a sea of scandals, including five lawsuits for enabling sexual harassment and retaliating against those who complained, another lawsuit for political corruption, and now calls for his resignation following racist remarks.  He made knowingly false statements to a judge in an attempt to keep his racist remarks from the public.  That’s a crime and a violation of his ethical obligations as an attorney.  It took a brave law enforcement officer to come forward and call out this cover up.  

My opponent has lost endorsements from the top law enforcement officials of every major county in California.  They don’t want to be associated with this man or what he stands for, and his perch atop the criminal justice system has and will continue to jeopardize prosecutions and the fair administration of justice. 

I will never embarrass Orange County or the law enforcement community the way Todd Spitzer has. 

The people of OC deserve better, they deserve our leadership and professionalism. 

Let’s give it to them. 

Best,

Pete Hardin

Building bridges and working with our law enforcement community is imperative to me.  Be in touch anytime at