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For week ended January 3, 1999 Posted 21 Jan 1999
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Mormon selected as Assistant Sheriff

Summarized by Rosemary Pollock

Carona choice eager to prove his worth
Orange County CA Register 28Dec98
By Kim Christensen: The Orange County Register
Register staff writers Bill Rams, Teri Sforza and Tiffany Horan
contributed to this report.

George H. Jaramillo, 38, has education, experience and drive, but some in the department see him as an interloper.

George H. Jaramillo has recently been appointed to one of four assistant-sheriff slots in the Orange County Sheriff's Department. He will assume this new job next month, bringing with him more than a dozen years of police experience, a law degree and some criticism from his position as point man in Mike Carona's sheriff's race.

"Sure there's going to be some people looking at me sideways," he said. "There's going to be some people who are older, more experienced- more tenured if not more experienced - who are going to say, "What is this about?...I'm simply saying look and watch and then make a judgement."

Jaramillo's 38 years have seen him accomplish much. Born in Quito, Ecuador, he moved with his mother, Betty, and his twin brother, Julio, to the United States fives years after the death of his father. "My mother provided well for us," Jaramillo said. "We had to keep our grades up, we had to be involved with the church, we had to stay away from gangs....It was very strict but, all in all, I think it paid off."

Prior to serving a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Washington, D.C., Jaramillo graduated from Saddleback High School and earned a Bachelor's degree from the University of Redlands. Afterwards, he married and earned his law degree from the Western State University of Law in 1992, while serving with the Garden Grove police department.

"You have to admire a guy that worked hard, raised a family and still put himself through law school while working as a cop," said Frank Kessler, a former Garden Grove police chief and mayor. Jaramillo also made a few friends in the sheriff's deputies union during Carona's campaign fight against Paul Walters, the Santa Ana police chief. The campaign included a lawsuit. No stranger to controversy, Jaramillo previously settled a racial discrimination lawsuit for $l40,000 and a set of lietenant's bars, when he was passed over for a promotion.

"That was a battle that had to be had and everybody wound up getting their noses bloodied," Jaramillo said, when referring to the Union fight during the campaign. "I think we're all taking great strides to make sure that any hatchets that needed to be buried are buried."

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information