Hardin’s admitted sexual and professional misconduct, along with incompetence and lack of experience, make him unfit for office
(ORANGE COUNTY, CA) – Criminal attorney Pete Hardin was repeatedly reprimanded for prosecutorial misconduct by a federal judge after he botched a case involving a naval corpsman who was recklessly shot in the eye by a Marine.
In U.S. v. Santiago, 987 F.Supp.2d 465 (S.D.N.Y. 2013), Hardin is repeatedly and harshly chastised by name for what the Judge describes as “deliberate (not inadvertent)” failures in the handling of the case.
“The more we learn about Pete Hardin – whether it’s admitted sexual and professional misconduct, lying on his resume, courtroom incompetence, or his woke pro-criminal agenda – the more apparent it becomes that Hardin represents an existential threat to public safety in Orange County,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “I will never let Hardin destroy the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and turn us into Los Angeles.”
Here are notable excerpts from the case highlighting Hardin’s incompetence and misconduct:
“In fact, Hardin's motive for suggesting administrative separation was more likely a desire to “punt the case” than to “grease the skids.” COL Kelly had promised COL Hitesman a ready-made team to “hold this service member accountable.” Hardin, by contrast, insisted in his testimony that “our” resources at the Judge Advocate's Office were “limited” (Tr. 29), and that the logistics involved in arranging a court martial—including, finding available defense counsel and a Marine or Naval Judge—were overwhelming. (Tr. 11). It is painfully obvious that [Hardin] wanted nothing more than to pass the case along to someone else.” Id. at 482.
“The evidence demonstrates at least four deliberate (not inadvertent) decisions by Marine Corps personnel were intended to delay the case in the hope that it would simply go away... (4) the deliberate decision by CPT Hardin to back burner the case until military jurisdiction expired, even though the Defense Department had insisted (properly, in this court's view) that the matter be prosecuted by court-martial.” Id. at 493.
“CPTs Lee and Hardin behaved no differently than the officers who were criticized in COL Bourdon's February 2009 report... No sooner had his successor, Hardin, received the file than he dreamed up a way to get the case off his docket. When that did not work, he simply ignored the matter until it went away of its own accord... In Hardin's case, the decision was made with the expectation and intent that the delay that would last long enough to divest the Marines of jurisdiction over the matter. I cannot agree that these were not “tactical” decisions; they were a tactic to get rid of the case without having to do the hard work of prosecuting it.” Id. at 494.
“Hardin's decision to back burner the case came in the face of pressure from Singer, who was urging the Marines to proceed. But Singer was not in Hardin's chain of command. I am convinced that Hardin knew perfectly well that more senior officers would never monitor the matter.” Id.
“Hardin, who seems to have been the final Marine decision-maker, could be perfectly comfortable that his deliberate decision to let the matter end would meet with no resistance or recrimination within the Marine Corps. Of course, Hardin believed that Singer and civilian authorities would do the Marines' work for them once UCMJ jurisdiction lapsed. But Hardin did absolutely nothing to help that happen—not even advise Singer that he (Hardin) was leaving MARFORRES or place DoJ in contact with his successor to facilitate the movement of the case back to the civilian sector. By that time, it was too late.” Id. at 495.
Paid for by Todd Spitzer for District Attorney 2022. ID# 1397615