Tony Rackauckas

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Anthony Joseph "Tony" Rackauckas, Jr. (born March 18, 1943) is the current District Attorney of Orange County, California and a former Superior Court judge. He was elected on June 2, 1998 and is serving his fourth term in office.

Early life[edit]

Rackauckas served in the United States Army as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division from 1962 to 1964. After completing his service in the army, he attended California State University, Long Beach from 1964–1968 while simultaneously serving in the United States Army Reserve. After earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from CSULB in 1968, Rackauckas attended Loyola Law School while simultaneously serving as a social worker in the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services. He graduated from Loyola in 1971, earning his Juris Doctor degree.


In 1972, Rackauckas left the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services to become a Deputy District Attorney in the Orange County District Attorney's Office, where he served until leaving in 1988 to enter private practice. While in private practice, Rackauckas authored Proposition 115, which appeared on the June 1990 ballot.

Rackauckas left private practice in 1990 when he was appointed by California Governor George Deukmejian to be a municipal court judge. Rackauckas served as a municipal court judge until March 1993, when Governor Pete Wilson appointed him a Superior Court judge, a post in which he served until becoming District Attorney[1] of Orange County.

Rackauckas won the support of 59% of Orange County voters in the June 1998 election[2] for District Attorney against Deputy District Attorney Wally Wade and took office in January 1999. He won the support of 62% of the voters in a March 2002 rematch with Wade.[3] He was unopposed in his June 2006[4] and 2010[5] bids for a third and fourth consecutive term, winning 100% of the vote in each year.

In February 2014, Rackauckas filed documents required to seek a fifth term in office. He raised $419,000 during a fundraiser at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach for his re-election campaign.[6] Rackauckas won re-election in 2014 with support from 73.3% of the voters.[7] Rackauckas has indicated that he intends to run for re-election in 2018.[8]

Rackauckas has been heavily criticized for his office's mis-handling of jailhouse informants which has created difficulties in convicting and sentencing defendants due to the violations of defendants' constitutional rights.[9][10][11][12][13]


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