Former Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens died Monday after a practically decade-long battle with breast tumor, officials announced. She was 66.
Hutchens helmed the division more than a decade after being appointed in 2008, overtaking in an interval of tumult following her predecessor Michael S. Carona’s indictment on federal corruption charges.
She was the twelfth sheriff to lead the section, but the first female to hold the role.
Hutchens was initially diagnosed with breasts tumors in November 2012, but stayed on as sheriff until 2019.
“She courageously fought this disease while still leading this team. Her deal with was successful for eight years,” current O.C. Sheriff Don Barnes said in a declaration. “Unfortunately, the cancer lately came back and Sheriff Hutchens passed [Mon] day with her family members by her aspect.”
Hutchens is survived by her man, Larry, in line with the Orange State Register.
Hutchens also served as chief executive of the Major State Sheriffs of America, an advocacy group representing police in the largest U.S. counties, a job in which Leader Donald Trump said she was “famous” and “acquired great service.”
In his statement, Barnes praised Hutchens for putting the O.C. Sheriff’s Team “back on the right track” after the “public’s trust have been destroyed by the prior sheriff.”
Carona eventually served jail time after being convicted of see tampering, and as Hutchens overran the team faced allegations of rampant prison abuse.
Barnes wrote that Hutchens “restored our pleasure, gave us rear our dignity and rebuilt trust with the people we help. She retained her oath, kept her guarantees, and concluded her amount of time in office leaving this agency better than when she began.”
In 2017, Hutchens said she’d not seek reelection as she faced pressure from an American Civil Liberties Union report alleging inhumane treatment in county jails – released shortly before Hutchens was to testify in a jailhouse informant scandal.
“There will be some controversy occurring in a law enforcement agency. I’ve faced storms before, and you understand I don’t back down from an issue,” Hutchens told the LA Times of her decision. “I am not moving down from office. I am here for 1 . 5 years.”
Corresponding to Barnes, Hutchens “bravely sealed her life” with the same “courage, grace and dignity” with which she led the department.
“When I previous spoke to her she was strong, maintained her love of life and continued to truly have a deep love and appreciation for the folks of Orange County,” he said. “Her legacy will withstand for quite some time through those she mentored and entrusted with aiding her lead the Orange State Sheriff’s Office.”
You will see no memorial service, commensurate with Hutchens’ wishes, officials said. Her family wanted donations be produced in her name to Medicine Use is Life Abuse or the Susan G. Komen Base.