Amidst fentanyl overdose crisis, TV Todd exploits victims for a publicity stunt in which he makes promises he can’t keep.


ORANGE, CA – Today, former Marine Judge Advocate Pete Hardin called on Todd Spitzer to apologize for his attempts to exploit victims for political gain amidst the growing fentanyl overdose crisis. Mr. Hardin released the following statement:

“In perhaps the most shameless ploy we have yet seen from Todd Spitzer, his plan to address the fentanyl overdose crisis is to exploit victims for media coverage and make promises he can’t keep,” said former Marine Judge Advocate Pete Hardin. “Absent intent to kill, there simply is no legal mechanism for a murder charge in overdose deaths, and when these cases fail he will pull the rug out from vulnerable, grieving family members hoping to see accountability. Unethically using victims as props for his own personal and political gain is classic Spitzer, but his antics have caught up with him. Orange County wants leadership, not showmanship.

“Over 40-years of data from America’s failed drug war demonstrates clearly that stiffer penalties do not deter drug sales or drug use. Rather than finding a way to address our addiction epidemic and reduce overdose deaths, TV Todd has once again demonstrated through these shallow antics that he is only trying to find ways to get on television. This isn’t how we achieve safety or justice, it’s just grandstanding.

“Spitzer needs to apologize to the victims he exploited, and should return to the drawing board in concert with experts and community leaders to develop a solution that doesn’t come at the expense of the survivors he has sworn to protect and serve.”


Current Orange County District Attorney Republican Todd Spitzer’s tenure has been defined by scandal. Four women in Spitzer’s office have filed claims asserting Spitzer promoted an employee and close friend despite having been made aware of the sexual harassment complaints against him. Spitzer later allowed the employee, who was the best man at his wedding, to retire with top flight benefits. Spitzer also attempted to drop sexual assault charges against high-profile defendants, leading a judge to remove him from the case. Survivors of the sexual assault survivors were “dragged through the mud” and “grossly mistreated” by Spitzer for two and a half years, leading two of them to abandon their case.

Spitzer has been involved in an evidence booking scandal, a jailhouse informant scandal, and has defamed a victim of OC’s deadliest mass shooting as retaliation for peaceful protest. Spitzer has also defended a DNA collection program known informally as “Spit and Acquit” that coerces defendants to give up their DNA to law enforcement, a practice the ACLU has called “unconstitutional.”

Pete Hardin is a former Judge Advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps, Deputy District Attorney, Special Assistant United States Attorney, and one of Southern California’s leading litigators running for Orange County District Attorney. Pete entered public service when, in 2005, he earned his commission as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. A combat veteran, Pete served in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2011 and 2012 as a member of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. Pete is a member of the Democratic Party.

Orange County’s rapidly changing electorate has led Democrats to now outnumber Republicans in Orange County holding a 4.1% voter registration advantage.