April 30, 2004
Deputies Recognized
For Achievements
As he stepped out of his patrol car on that rainy March night, Deputy Sean A. Howell never expected that the routine domestic violence call would lead to a life and death confrontation. As Deputy Howell approached the Yorba Linda residence, he found the suspect holding his girlfriend hostage with a knife to her throat while threatening to kill the rest of the family as well.

Refusing to drop the knife, the suspect advanced toward Deputy Howell and the recently arrived Brea Police Officer. Subduing the suspect by other means proved fruitless. Realizing that their lives were in imminent danger, Deputy Howell had no choice. He fired his weapon at the advancing suspect who fell, mortally wounded. The girlfriend, family members and the two law enforcement officers were safe.

For his courageous actions on that March night, Deputy Howell was awarded the Medal of Valor at the 16th annual Sheriff’s Medal of Valor luncheon on April 1. In addition to Deputy Howell, nine other Deputies were awarded for their outstanding achievement and exceptional performance.

Medal of Valor -- Awarded for conspicuous bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of law enforcement service in response to criminal situations involving extreme danger to the officer.

Deputy Sean A. Howell -- Awarded for his actions AT THAT Yorba Linda domestic violence call.

Medal of Courage -- Awarded for the display of bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of law enforcement service in response to non-criminal situations.

Deputy Daniel P. Missel -- Awarded for his actions during a vehicle hit and run investigation.

Medal for Lifesaving--Awarded for conspicuous actions while effecting, or attempting to effect, a lifesaving rescue.

Deputies Frank Liu and John R. Angello -- Awarded for saving the life of a male inmate who was found slumped over in a court holding cell. The inmate was not breathing and had no pulse. They began CPR and restored his vital signs.

Deputy Joseph E. Warner -- Awarded for saving the life of a man who was in cardiac arrest, had no pulse and was not breathing. He began CPR and continued lifesaving efforts until paramedics arrived.

Deputies Jamie L. Vogel, Kenneth L. Binning and Steven D. Armand --Awarded for their efforts to save the life of a male found hanging from a second story banister inside a residence. The subject was lowered to the ground where they began CPR and continued lifesaving efforts until paramedics arrived.

Deputies Stephan A. Shandrick and Christopher Corn -- Awarded for their efforts to save the life of a female drowning victim whom they found during rough seas. They pulled the unconscious woman onto the boat and began CPR while en route to the dock where paramedics were waiting.

“The Medals of Valor, Courage and Lifesaving are distinguished awards that are given only to well deserving individuals,” said Sheriff-Coroner Michael S. Carona. “The recipients this year are truly remarkable people.”
Volunteer Efforts Save County Millions
hen Volunteer/Intern Coordinator Jane Dawson was hired seven years ago, she had a vision that the County of Orange would become a broadly recognized source for a wide range of
volunteer opportunities. Spurred by Supervisor Jim Silva’s commitment to volunteerism, Dawson enthusiastically worked with agency and department volunteer coordinators to develop the current program which now boasts 26,000 volunteers.
As the program grew exponentially in the first year, she saw another need. Dawson gathered cohorts from the agencies and departments and designed a Board recognition ceremony to serve twin purposes. A representative group of volunteers would be individually honored on behalf of all the volunteers, and the attention would encourage others to find their volunteer niche with County programs.

On April 21, the Board of Supervisors continued the tradition and honored two volunteer groups and 52 individuals. Volunteer contributions to the County in 2003 totaled an estimated 943,000 hours of service and the equivalent of $24 million in avoided costs.

Volunteers come from every walk of life and every phase of life. Below are a few examples of the County’s outstanding volunteers.
  • Most people start curtailing activities at age 62, yet Mollie Burke of Dana Point began volunteering at that age at the San Juan Capistrano Regional Library. She’s 82 now and still volunteering. Burke began volunteering at the library when it first opened. She took the initiative to organize a guided tour program to provide visitors with a more in-depth understanding of the library’s history and architecture. Twenty years later, the tours are still an important part of the San Juan Capistrano Architectural Walk, and proceeds are donated to the Friends of the Library to support library services and programs. As a tribute to her dedication and many years of service, the bookstore has been renamed the “Mollie Burke Bookstore.”

  • Since 1996, Sister Rose Marie Redding of Orange has dedicated her time to the mission of the Catholic Detention Ministry. Sister Rose Marie has volunteered more than 3,640 hours and made 8,570 contacts with incarcerated individuals. She visits minors in all the juvenile facilities throughout Orange County. Each week, she counsels and provides spiritual guidance to the youth and tries to encourage good choices to build more secure future.

  • Michael I. Zedek was honored for his 400 hours and five years of service to READ/Orange County. Zedek dedicates countless hours troubleshooting computer programs via telephone and e-mail. To enhance computer operations for the program, Zedek redesigns databases to compile statistics and he develops systems to capture learner progress. His technical support helps reduce the time that staff spends on administrative functions and allows them to concentrate on the development of the participants.
"Our valued volunteers have many different backgrounds, interests, careers and reasons for volunteering," said CEO James Ruth. "Because of this diversity, they bring an array of experience and expertise to their roles and enhance our existing services and programs. I commend them all for their generosity and dedication."
New CFO Joins County
ounty Executive Officer James D. Ruth has appointed Edward Corser as Deputy CEO/Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Corser follows Interim CFO Fred Branca who has served in that position
for the last 12 months. Corser will begin work on May 17.

Corser has previously worked for the City of Los Angeles as Assistant City Administrative Officer where he helped manage the City’s budget. Most recently, he was Finance Director for the County of Riverside. While at Riverside County, Corser led the long-range financial planning, prepared and administered the annual budget, and managed the debt issuance program. In addition, he worked with and supervised various department managers.

Corser has more than 37 years of experience in the field of public policy, finance/budget and administration. He received both a bachelor’s degree in political science and public administration as well as a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California.

“Selecting a talented and experienced candidate for this position is the cornerstone of effective, financial management for the County,” said Ruth. “In these challenging times we are particularly fortunate to have a professional like Ed joining our team. Fred Branca has been a stand-out performer. He did exceptional work at SSA and then agreed to help us in the CFO’s spot. As Fred gets ready to retire, I’m confident that Ed Corser will bring strength to our organization and be a real asset.”
Q. Are there any plans to develop a system of equal opportunity for all managers to be selected for the Leadership Academy?

A. The Leadership Academy is a long-range tool that will be used to develop the County’s future leaders. The current class ends June 11, and another will start shortly thereafter. Contact your manager to express interest in participating.

If you have questions about the future of the County, a suggestion about providing service more efficiently or an idea that improves customer service, send it along to this regular feature in your new, online County employee newsletter.

All questions and suggestions will be reviewed by CEO staff and shared with the appropriate department. CEO Jim Ruth will respond in this newsletter to the most representative ones.

All questions must be signed, but names will not be printed in the newsletter. You may submit items by email to ask.the.ceo@ocgov.com. You may also fax to 714.796.8426 or pony to County Connection, third floor, Hall of Administration. Read the next issue of County Connection for the first Ask the CEO.