A former county executive accused of cornering women in his office and sexually assaulting them has sought to have the entire District Attorney's Office disqualified from trying his case.
Carlos Bustamante argued in court papers filed this week that District Attorney Tony Rackauckas had been "assassinating" his character in the media and could not lead a fair prosecution. He suggested, through his attorney, that his behavior amounted to nothing more than a misdemeanor crime.
Bustamante faces 16 criminal charges, most of them felonies. He is accused of sexually assaulting seven women who worked for him in the county Public Works department. Bustamante also was a Santa Ana councilman when he was arrested in July.
He argued in his latest court filing that the District Attorney's Office has an "ax to grind" against him that means he cannot get a fair trial. It asks a judge to take the unusual but not unheard-of step of removing the entire office from the case, in which case the state Attorney General's Office would take over.