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Drunk Driver Leads Police in a Pursuit through Orange County

A drunken man led Orange County Sheriffs from Stanton to Anaheim in a pursuit that began in a fast-food restaurant drive through lane and ended when a deputy opened fire on the suspect. The pursuit ended on Ball Road and Gilbert Street in Anaheim early Saturday morning.

Orange County Sheriff’s deputies chased a drunken man Saturday morning after he passed out in a fast-food restaurant drive-through lane and rammed a patrol car trying to escape, authorities said.


Deputies arrived at a McDonald’s, 11097 Beach Blvd., at 3:07 a.m., and found the man, Lt. Joe Balicki said.


When authorities attempted to talk to the driver, he woke up and became uncooperative, authorities said. The man then hit an occupied patrol car, escaping the drive-through lane.

Authorities said the man drove north on Beach Boulevard, turning east on Ball Road. Deputies managed to stop his vehicle near Ball Road and Gilbert Street in Anaheim.


During the pursuit on Ball Road, an officer fired one or more shots at the driver just before Dale Street, Sheriff’s Capt. Steve Doan said.


Authorities did not confirm whether the man was shot, but Orange County District Attorney officials are investigating at the scene, as it is protocol for all officer- involved shootings, Doan said. No deputies were injured, but the driver was taken to a hospital. He is expected to survive. Upon being released from the hospital, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department arrested him on felony DUI and assault with a deadly weapon charges for ramming the patrol car.

 

If you are facing a criminal charge in Riverside or Orange County, contact an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney to assist you in fighting and/or reducing your charges. Do not hesitate and contact Don Ho, today!


Published by Don Ho Law. Don Ho is a criminal defense and employment attorney in Orange County, CA. 

DUI Checkpoint - Lake Forest, February 15, 2013

A DUI checkpoint announcement has been issued by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for the City of Lake Forest on February 15, 2013 from 6:00pm to 2:00am.

If you or a loved one is arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, contact an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights. Don’t hesitate and contact Don Ho today!


Published by Don Ho Law. Don Ho is a criminal defense and employment law attorney in Orange County, CA.

Former Reporter Sues KTLA for Workplace Discrimination

Kurt the CyberGuy, real name Kirt Knutsson, filed a lawsuit against KTLA, the Tribune TV station in Los Angeles, and at least eight other TV stations, for breach of contract, misappropriation of his name and likeness, unfair competition and age discrimination.

Knutsson says in the suit that he started his relationship with KTLA in 1995 after he established himself as an expert reporter on technology. He agreed to provide his services and reporting in return for exposure and technical support, for less than his usual fee. Within two years, his reports were also being syndicated to about two dozen other TV stations.

He signed a five-year deal with KTLA in 2008, but in December 2010, Knutsson says his contract was suddenly terminated. He says two KTLA executives told him they would renegotiate but he would be paid less. Instead, in February 2011, he got a phone call from KTLA news director Jason Ball and Tribune human resources who told him he would no longer appear on the station at all, and that they would notify the other stations that his relationship with them had come to an end.

Despite being let go, Knutsson says his name and image continued for some time on the TV station’s websites, but when a viewer clicked on the link, they were shown consumer technology reports by Rich DeMuro instead, that were broadcast from the same studio as CyberGuy, with the same format and style. Knuttson charges “the decision to terminate Knutsson’s employment was motivated … particularly during the last years of his employment by a company bias against age, specifically with regard to on-air talent.”

If you have been the victim of workplace discrimination based on your sex, race, or gender, contact Don Ho Law today for assistance with your case.

Published by Don Ho Law. Don Ho is a criminal defense and employment law attorney in Orange County, CA. 

OWN Network Sued For Sex Discrimination

Carolyn Hommel, a former executive at OWN, has filed a lawsuit against Oprah Winfrey‘s network claiming she was a victim of sex discrimination.

In the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Hommel claims she was hired in 2010 as senior director of scheduling and acquisitions at the network. Hommel says her duties were reassigned to a temporary employee because of her pregnancy and pregnancy-related medical conditions.

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (Canada)

Hommel’s direct superior at the network had reportedly given the former senior director of scheduling and acquisition positive performance reviews prior to her pregnancy and negative and untruthful performance reports following. Hommel says her duties were gradually taken away from her and given to the temporary employee, and she was later excluded from numerous meetings when she returned to the office.

The complaint alleges that on March 19, 2012, a month after Hommel gave birth to her daughter, Hommel was told she was being laid off. Further, the complaint alleges her position was eliminated due to restructuring and she was passed over for a position as a vice president in favor of the temporary employee.

The former OWN employee claims her demotion and layoff are a direct result of her becoming pregnant and requiring a medical leave. She is seeking unspecified damages.

If you are an employee who has been a victim of discrimination in the workplace, contact Don Ho at (714) 748-7715. Don Ho is an experienced attorney who focuses on employment law matters who can discuss your options with you.

Published by Don Ho Law. Don Ho is a criminal defense and employment law attorney in Orange County, California.

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Backyard Bones, Santa Ana Man Charged with Murder

A Santa Ana resident, Larry Thomas Dominguez, 65, was charged with fraudulently collecting more than $100,000 of his deceased father’s Social Security benefits, after bones believed to be those of his father were found in the backyard of his former home. The bones were found when a family in the neighborhood had bought the home and begun renovations. 

Dominguez was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon on a felony count of theft by embezzlement, with sentencing enhancements for aggravated white-collar crime over $100,000. Dominguez lived in the home with his father and mother since the late 1960s. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office allege that Dominguez collected more than $1,100 a month between his father’s death in May 2005 and January of this year. If convicted, he faces a maximum of four years in prison.

Construction Workman.

Authorities began investigating Dominguez on Sunday after a human skeleton was discovered during a renovation project at a home he used to own. Though an autopsy did not immediately identify the remains, they were believed to be those of Dominguez’s father, Wallace Benjamin Dominguez.


There is no death certificate for Wallace Dominguez and authorities do not know how he died. Investigators were able to pinpoint May 2005 as his date of death but did not elaborate as to how. Larry Dominguez’s mother also lived at the home, but investigators have a death certificate for her.


Larry Dominguez was originally arrested on suspicion of homicide, but prosecutors filed the embezzlement charges as authorities continue to investigate the manner of death.


If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, contact an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights. Don’t hesitate and contact Don Ho today!

Published by Don Ho Law. Don Ho is a criminal defense and employment law attorney in Orange County, CA. 

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OC Probation Employees Fired

Six Orange County Probation Department employees were fired and an additional seven others were suspended after an investigation into security lapses at a juvenile facility, which was prompted by reports of two youths in custody having sex.

The details were released Friday in a report by Orange County’s Office of Independent Review, which said it had been monitoring the probation department’s “large and significant investigation into staff diligence” at a juvenile detention facility in Orange.

The investigation began after two teenagers were found having sex in one of the dormitories of Juvenile Hall’s Unit T when the “staff theoretically should have become aware of the issue as part of its routine monitoring protocols,” according to the report. During the internal investigations, officials found that routine checks were supposed to be done on minors every 15 minutes repeatedly were skipped in the high-security unit, where the most serious underage offenders are housed. The two offenders involved in the sex incident both had been arrested for violent, gang-related offenses but had been left unsupervised for hours in one of the rooms of the coed unit.
Since the incident, the man has since been transferred to state prison, and the woman was transferred to the county’s women’s jail.

The investigation also found that electronic logs meant to keep track of the checks “had been filled out inaccurately to cover for this lack of due diligence,” according to a previous report from the Office of Independent Review.
No claims or lawsuits have been filed in connection with the sex incident.

The report, signed by Office of Independent Review Executive Director Stephen J. Connolly, said the department responded “quickly and assertively” in its investigation. It identified 16 employees who had potentially failed in their responsibility to keep tabs on the youths in custody.

Of the 16 officers placed on administrative leave, two later left the department on their own. Four were found to have committed lower levels of misconduct and were allowed to return to work but were disciplined in the form of suspensions.

The department initially decided that the performance of 10 employees warranted termination, the report said.  But after an appellate process, three were brought back, although they faced “significant” suspensions. One person’s case is still pending.


Published by Don Ho Law.  Don Ho is a criminal defense and employment law attorney in Orange County, California.


12-Year-Old Charged In Murder of Neo-Nazi Father

A judge ruled Monday a 12-year-old Riverside boy was found responsible for the second-degree murder of his father, a regional director of a neo-Nazi organization. Along with the murder count, Riverside Superior Court Judge Jean Leonard found true sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations. A “true” or “not true” verdict is the juvenile-court equivalent of guilty. The case was heard without a jury.

Leonard acknowledged the boy’s “long history of abuse and neglect.” Leonard agreed with a psychologist who testified during trial that for the boy, “the potential for violence could have been predicted” based on prenatal substance abuse by the mother, domestic violence between parents and the father’s neo-Nazi philosophy. Leonard said she considered the boy’s age, the circumstance of the crime, the boy’s experience, including family and mental condition, and his understanding of the crime.

The judge laid out the morning of the crime: Before dawn on May 1, 2011, the boy got the family’s .357 Magnum out of his parents’ room while everyone was asleep. He walked downstairs to where his father, 32-year-old Jeff Hall, was sleeping on the couch. He put the gun to his father’s head and pulled the trigger with both hands. The boy then went up to his room and hid the gun under the bed.

Through the course of the trial the young boy admitted that he knew what he was doing wrong at the time of the crime, and that he knew about hate. Leonard said the boy’s statements made within the first 24 hours following the crime were “the most believable.” Those statements gave “a clear picture of whether he understood whether what he did was wrong,” the judge said. The judge said after the crime, the boy – who pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity – told police, “if you want to kill someone, you shoot them in the head.”

Prosecutors maintained Hall’s white supremacist beliefs had nothing to do with the crime. The father was a regional leader of the National Socialist Movement, which promotes white separatism. His other children have been taken into protective custody. Prosecutors noted the boy had a history of violence that dated back to kindergarten when he stabbed a teacher with a pencil. The boy was expelled from approximately eight schools, Leonard said. Prosecutors also said the boy told his younger sister two days before the shooting that he planned to kill his father.
The young boy’s defense attorney said his client grew up in an abusive and violent environment and learned it was acceptable to kill people who were a threat. Hardy contended the boy thought if he shot his dad, the violence would end.

“He was kept in an environment where he was conditioned to use violence. He learned that from his dad,” Hardy said, referring to Hall’s neo-Nazi activities and alleged penchant for “slapping, hitting and yelling” at his oldest child. “This young man never had a chance,” the attorney said. “He was genetically programmed to commit violence.”

A dispositional hearing was scheduled for Feb. 15. The county Department of Probation was directed to draw up a pre-sentencing report listing options for the 12-year-old’s placement. The boy is expected to be incarcerated to age 23. 

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, contact an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights! Call Don Ho Law at 714-748-7715.


Published by Don Ho Law.  Don Ho is a criminal defense and employment law attorney in Orange County, California.

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Five People in Custody in Connection with Nordstrom Rack Robbery

Three men and two women were in custody today in connection with a hostage takeover at Nordstrom Rack in Westchester last week.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department Office website, on Thursday, January 10th around 11:00 pm., three armed suspects confronted the employees as they were leaving the closed business.  The suspects forced the employees back into the store and held them hostage while the suspects robbed the business.


During the incident, one of the employees called a relative to inform him that the business was being robbed. That relative then notified the Los Angeles Police Department inciting the immediate response of Pacific Division patrol units.


Based on initial witness statements and the observations of the first officers at scene, it was believed that armed suspects were inside the business and holding the employees hostage.  When members of LAPD’s Special Weapon and Tactics (SWAT) team entered the location, they searched for suspects and rescued the employees.  None of the suspects were found at the location and it was later learned that they left the location in a white Sport Utility Vehicle as patrol units were arriving.


During the course of the robbery, one of the suspects stabbed a female store employee whom he found hiding in a break room.  That employee sustained a non-life threatening stab wound to her neck.  A second employee was sexually assaulted by one of the suspects.  Both victims were treated at a local hospital and released late Friday morning.


Robbery-Homicide Division assumed responsibility for the investigation and more than twenty detectives were assigned to the investigation.  They worked relentlessly for the next forty-eight hours scouring the crime scene, reviewing evidence and identifying the suspects.  By Saturday evening, detectives had identified and arrested the three suspects who committed robbery inside the Nordstrom’s Rack.  Two additional persons were arrested for their actions after the robbery.

Four of the suspects are currently in custody in LA. Sherman is being held in Phoenix without bail. All five suspects are residents of Los Angeles, according to police.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, contact an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights! Call Don Ho Law at 714-748-7715.

Published by Don Ho Law.  Don Ho is a criminal defense and employment law attorney in Orange County, California.


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California Will Be Ringing In 2013 With New Laws

Governor Jerry Brown signed approximately 900 bills into law in 2012, most of which take effect January 1st, 2013. The legislation encompasses a variety of topics such as: pension changes for public employees, new funding mechanisms for the state park system, and new employment laws.  

Homeowners will have increased protections from foreclosure under some of the hundreds of state laws taking effect with the new year.

Meanwhile, lower-income, private-sector workers whose employers do not offer retirement plans may be able to take advantage of the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program.

SB1234 and SB923 would require employers to withhold 3% of their workers’ pay unless the employee opts out of the savings program. But the program cannot start enrolling workers until it receives final authorization from the Legislature.

Pensions for public employees will be reduced under a separate bill, a change that is expected to save taxpayers billions of dollars over the coming decades. AB340 increases retirement ages for new public employees, caps annual pension payouts, prohibits several practices used to inflate pensions and requires public-sectors workers to pay more if they are not already contributing half their retirement costs.

The pension changes were sought by Brown as part of an overall plan to reduce government spending.
Several other laws respond to recent news developments.

Coaches and administrators in K-12 schools as well as higher education employees who have regular contact with children will be required to report suspected child sexual abuse. AB1434 and AB1435 were prompted by the scandal involving former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys. Authorities say some former co-workers knew of the abuse but failed to report it to law enforcement.

“Caylee’s Law” is named after the 2-year-old daughter of Florida’s Casey Anthony, who was acquitted of the girl’s murder in 2011 despite waiting a month before telling authorities that her daughter was missing. AB1432 makes it a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail if a parent or guardian fails to report the disappearance or death of a child under the age of 14 within 24 hours.

Attempts to pass similar laws in some other states failed because lawmakers were concerned the changes would be too broad.

AB45 is named after 19-year-old Brett Studebaker of San Mateo, who died in 2010 after drinking on a party bus and crashing his own vehicle while driving home an hour later. It holds party bus operators to the same standards as limousine drivers, making them legally responsible for drinking by underage passengers.
California employers will be required to comply with a number of new laws in 2013. 

Employers Must Accommodate Religious Dress and Grooming (AB 1964/Government Code 12926 and 12940): Employers must accommodate an employee’s or job applicant’s “religious dress” or “grooming practices.”  Religious dress includes the wearing or carrying of religious clothing, head or face coverings, jewelry, and artifacts.  Religious grooming practices include those pertaining to head, facial, or body hair that are part of the observance by an individual of his or her religious creed.  This new law specifically provides that segregating the employee from the public or other employees is not a reasonable accommodation. 


New Regulations Related To Pregnancy Disability Leave:  New pregnancy regulations redefine the number of days that employees may take for pregnancy disability leave.  Instead of the previously defined “four months” of leave, the leave is now defined as 17 1/3 weeks to account for the uneven number of days in certain months.  Employers are also required to notify employees in writing when a medical certification is required for the leave of absence.  In light of these changes, employers are required to post new notices in the workplace that notify employees of the changes. 


Employers Must Provide Employees Written Commission Agreements, But Some Exceptions Apply (AB 2675/Labor Code 2751): Employers who pay regular commissions must provide employees with an executed written contract setting forth both the formula for calculating commissions, as well as the method of payment.  Failure to comply with this new law may subject an employer to penalties under California’s Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”) in the amount of $100 for each affected employee for an initial violation and $200 per employee for each violation thereafter.  The term “commissions” does not include:  (1) short-term productivity bonuses such as those paid to retail clerks; (2) temporary incentives that increase commissions; or (3) bonus or profit-sharing plans, unless they are based on a fixed percentage of sales or profits. 


If you or someone you know believes they have a workplace complaint, call Don Ho Law at 714-748-7715 to speak with an experienced employment law attorney who can discuss your options with you.
Published by Don Ho Law.  Don Ho is a criminal defense and employment law attorney in Orange County, California.




Robbery Suspect Who Caused Cal State Fullerton Lockdown In Custody

English: This is the seal of the California St...

On December 12, 2012, five suspects entered Empire Jewelry and Loan in Moreno Valley about 3 p.m. on Dec.12 and shot an employee, then fled in a dark Lexus, according to the Moreno Valley Police Department.


The men took authorities on a high-speed chase that ended in Fullerton and led to the lockdown of the Cal State campus for more than eight hours.

Two Los Angeles residents, Damine Lavonte Banks, 30, and Jerome Renard Allen, 23, were arrested after they ran from the Lexus after the car chase, according to a police news release.

A third suspect, Traevon Cortez Vidaud, 24, of Compton, allegedly carjacked a second vehicle as he was being chased by officers and led them on a pursuit to Los Angeles, police said. There he stopped and dashed into the midst of a Los Angeles Police Department toy drive, where Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck and other officer were distributing gifts to underprivileged youth. He was apprehended at the toy drive. All three were booked on suspicion of attempted murder and robbery, police said.


Recently, a fourth suspect has been arrested in a Moreno Valley jewelry store robbery and shooting that triggered the police chase and lockdown at Cal State Fullerton.

Roosevelt Andrew Fernandez, 26, of Compton, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, robbery, conspiracy, gang association, parole violation and the use of a firearm during the commission of a robbery.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Departmentinmate database says Fernandez was arrested Dec. 21 by the Long Beach Police Department without incident.

Fernandez’s alleged cohorts are facing 20-plus years in prison if convicted of attempted murder, robbery, and gang activity charges with multiple sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.

They will be arraigned at the Riverside Hall of Justice on January 3, 2013. 



If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, call Don Ho Law at 714-748-7715 to speak with an experienced and aggressive attorney who can discuss your options with you.


Published by Don Ho Law.  Don Ho is a criminal defense and employment law attorney in Orange County, California.


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