Onetime Carona Aide Don Haidl Dies

The Newport businessman, who served as an assistant sheriff, played a major role in convicting the former sheriff of corruption. Haidl, who had criminal problems himself, was 61.

Funeral services were pending Wednesday for former Orange County Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl, who cooperated with federal authorities and helped ensure the eventual conviction of then-Sheriff Mike Carona.

Haidl, 61, died last night of natural causes at Hoag Hospital Newport Beach, according to Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino.

Haidl was a wealthy businessman who earned most of his money from his Nationwide Auction Systems, which he later sold, along with real estate and other interests. He gave Carona hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and gifts and in return was appointed assistant sheriff, though he lacked any real
law enforcement experience.

He eventually cooperated with federal authorities in their corruption probe of Carona, and he wore a wire during three meetings with the sheriff. Based largely on a conversation that Haidl secretly recorded when the two met in a Newport Beach restaurant Aug. 13, 2007, Carona was convicted of witness
tampering and eventually sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison. Carona appealed, but his conviction was upheld, and he began serving his prison term in January 2011.

In 2010, Haidl was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service for filing a false 2002 tax form. He admitted he took money from various trusts and partnerships to pay for his son Greg's defense on sexual assault charges but did not claim the $534,374 as adjusted gross income.

Greg Haidl was convicted for taking part in the gang rape of an unconscious 17-year-old girl. He served a prison term and was released.

In a statement to the Orange County Register, Haidl's family said, "He died as he lived, surrounded by the people he loved. He will be greatly missed by all who were privileged to know him.''

-- City News Service

JustUs December 19, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Hmmm...looks like the devil finally called him home, eh? One of Carona's gang members. What good are his multi-millions net worth and his latest gadgets and toys worth to him now? May God have mercy on your soul.
Tony Estrada December 19, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Hey, justus, I would be willing to bet that all you really know about Don Haidl is what you've read on the Internet or seen/heard on the news, yet you make such hateful comments. What did Mr. Haidl EVER do to YOU? Again, I'd be willing to bet the answer is NOTHING. I'm sure you are just another one of those sanctimonious, self-righteous, "holier-than-thou" Orange County-types who are quick to judge, yet slow to show empathy. Do not misunderstand, if Mr. Haidl broke the law, then he should have, and DID, pay for his crimes. However, ignorant comments such as your "the devil finally called him home", are a little much, don't you think? I mean, c'mon, tax evasion, and you are ready to condem his soul to hell... really???? Who died and made you Pope? RIP Mr. Hiadl
DT December 20, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Donnie was many things, one being a very big hearted and generous man. He loved his family dearly and made sacrifices for them. That's the point, this man had a family. Leave them alone to deal with their grief. Leave them alone and go tell God how perfect you are and may He have mercy on you.
JustUs December 20, 2012 at 01:08 AM
Sorry, Tony. Haidl held a position of high public trust. He let us down bigtime, man. He used his position and tried to play games to protect his kid who was convicted of some pretty heinous acts against a young woman. Corona was a real piece of work. Haidl was one of his right hand men. You hang with dogs and you catch fleas, man. IMO just because someone dies you don't have to respect him. I never played that old game. Haidl didn't respect us when he was alive. Why should I respect him when he's dead? Answer that, Tony.
JustUs December 20, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Why didn't Haidl respect us when he was living and held a position of high-public trust? Do you think Corona is crying in his prison cell tonight???
Eric Bergstrom December 20, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Natural Causes? 61 years old?
JustUs December 20, 2012 at 02:37 AM
It's hard to know the truth. Unfortunately one really can't turn to the media for the facts anymore. We have seen examples of that from coast to coast. I guess it's really none of our business anyway. Personally, I couldn't care less. Let the family and the insurance companies figure that out.
M December 20, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Agreed justUs. You reap what you sow. How long was his sons prison term?
Tony Estrada December 20, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Justus, you miss my point: there is a fine line between justice and judgment. Your comments clearly show that you are not simply interested in justice. You want to pass judgement. That character flaw is one commonly shared by police officers/deputies. I can tell, you are probably a deputy. Here is some free advice: the sooner you understand that line of division, the sooner you will become a compassionate human being. Unfortunately for you, you probably associate compassion with weakness. Again, another character flaw shared by many officers/deputies. I understand we need law enforcement, we just DON'T NEED HATEFUL LAW ENFORCEMENT. Best of luck to you.
JustUs December 20, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Tony, your false assumption speaks volumes. Because I couldn't stand Haidl I have to be a cop? hah. For God sakes man, grow up. When we have facts I'll pass all the judgment I want. And like I told you before ..... if I didn't like somebody alive I'm sure not going to be a phony and claim I respect them after they're dead. So I don't buy into your phony, plastic philosophy, sir. if you want to live your life in that way, knock yourself out. But don't expect the rest of us to follow suit. Got it?
Tony Estrada December 20, 2012 at 08:02 PM
"justus", sorry man (or, am I mistaken about that too, I suppose you could be a woman, right, "Justus?) I gave you too much credit. At least, if you were a cop, I could understand your over abundance of hateful ignorance. As it stands, you have no excuse, you are just hateful and ignorant. Grow up, "justus". Just because people make mistakes does not give us the right to pass judgment. Let the judicial system do its thing ( which, in the Hiadl case, it did). Lastly, for simple-minded-people, like YOU, I will state the obvious, I believe ALL who break the law should be punished according to our laws, regardless of what that punishment may be. Let it go now, "justus". TAKE A DEEP BREATH! Relax. Or, go live your apparent perfect, mistake-free life, but understand this, (if you are capable): judge not, lest ye be judged. Merry CHRISTmas, "justus".
JustUs December 20, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Tony, I know my common sense and rational thinking left you without much of a comeback so you had to resort to insults, straw man arguments and false assumptions. That's okay. It's the holidays and I forgive you. Dad taught me that every man has his own story, even the village idiots. So I try to be as tolerant as I can. Enjoy your holidays, Tony. Why not spend an afternoon at the Zoo? I bet you'd like that. Don't they have a petting zoo in Santa Ana these days? See ya, Tony.
Tony Estrada December 20, 2012 at 08:25 PM
El Toro Resident December 20, 2012 at 11:49 PM
While I don't choose to banter with others on here, my opinion is as such. Mr. Haidl made his own wealth, did very well for himself and his family but he spoiled that rotton little s.o.b. to the point of no return. His kid had brushes with the Sheriffs department so many times, they could no longer count. These were not minor offenese. They were for drugs, alcohol, tresspassing, stealing,etc. These all went unreported because the sheriff deputies at that time would have to call Carona and they were told just to take the kid home because his Dad was a big endorser to Mike Carona. Mike Carona was doing Father Haidl a favor. Mr. Haidl never was a father to that little bastard kid, he just fueled more evil in him. I hope Greg Haidl takes a long walk off a short pier.
KK December 21, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Reading the conversations and ignorant rants about people you know nothing about, confirms my beliefs that the media can/will form Your opinions. Were any of you present during any of the trial proceedings?...No Did any of you know the Haidls before, during &/ after the any of the trials?...No Don was the kindest, most generous, thoughtful, & hilarious man I had the privilege of calling my friend. Don't fault a Man that came from nothing, pursued the American Dream, & took care of his family & those closest to him.
jeanne flippin December 22, 2012 at 12:30 AM
well ok ok... I didn;'t respect Haidl, seem him interviewed about that son of his and he was an enabler, no doubt about it. But hey, the man is dead, nobody should rejoice in another man's death, just my opinion
jeanne flippin December 22, 2012 at 12:31 AM
well ok ok... I didn;'t respect Haidl, seem him interviewed about that son of his and he was an enabler, no doubt about it. But hey, the man is dead, nobody should rejoice in another man's death, just my opinion
Sue Westfall December 23, 2012 at 11:38 PM
If you didn't know Don you should not comment. He was a kind and generous man - was he perfect...no, no one is. He took responsibility for his mistakes and paid dearly for them. He was always kind, loving and generous to our family and he had a rye sense of humor - we will miss him. May he rest in peace.


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