Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer Friday criticized a Superior Court judge’s ruling allowing home confinement for an inmate in an insurance fraud case who tested positive for COVID-19.
However, an attorney for Dr. Randy Rosen accused Spitzer of seeking a “death sentence” for his client.
On Thursday, Orange County Superior Court Judge Sheila Hanson granted a motion releasing Rosen from Orange County Jail so he could be placed on GPS monitoring and sent home.
Rosen will be confined to his home in Brentwood for up to 30 days as he awaits trial in what prosecutors allege is a nearly $29 million insurance fraud scheme involving sober living patients.
Rosen, 57, is to report on his “current medical condition” on Jan. 4, according to Hanson’s ruling.
Rosen is next due in court in the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana on Jan. 19 when he may appeal for a further extension of home confinement, Hanson ruled.
Spitzer argued in a news release that Rosen is a “significant flight risk.” His office claimed Rosen has “millions of dollars in assets still available to him.”
Spitzer said Dr. C. Hsien Chang, the medical director for Orange County’s Correctional Health Services, filed a declaration supporting Spitzer’s view that Rosen should remain in jail.
Chang said she believed Rosen’s medical condition can be “appropriately” managed in jail.
Spitzer has railed against another Orange County Superior Court judge’s ruling last week ordering that the county jail population be cut in half by year’s end so social distancing could be better implemented.
Since last week, jail operators have grappled with an outbreak in the jails with 615 inmates infected as of Friday, including 35 from new bookings.
Friday also marked the first time an inmate has died from COVID-19 when 68-year-old Eddie Lee Anderson was pronounced dead at UC Irvine Medical Center about 5 a.m.
“We are watching the theater of the absurd,” Spitzer said in a news release. “The criminal justice system shouldn’t have one set of rules for people who are wealthy and a separate st of rules who aren’t.
“Poor people who pose a low risk to society shouldn’t have to sit in jail because they can’t afford to get out while wealthy people who have demonstrated they have no regard for the law or the lives of other human beings and have nothing to lose walk right out the front door of the jail.”
Rosen’s attorney, Harland Braun, fired back that “The district attorney wants the death penalty” for his client.
Braun noted that his client is overweight and smokes, two significant underlying conditions that make him especially vulnerable to COVID-19.
“Dr. Rosen is neither a flight risk or a danger,” Braun told City News Service.
Rosen surrendered his passport when he was arrested.
“He’s not a danger because he’s given up his license to practice (medicine), and no insurance company will pay him,” Braun said.
“He has four children here. And he’s in a receivership, so they have all of his property, so the idea that he has all this property is preposterous. He’s perfectly capable of being home and monitored. This is what bail is all about — not punishment.”