Ohio readers may be interested in the story of hundreds of national wiretaps approved by a California county that may be ruled inadmissible because they were not properly approved by the district attorney as required by federal law. The violation could undermine up to 738 wiretaps used in drug cases as far away as Kentucky and Virginia.
Riverside County, which is a suburb of Los Angeles, approved nearly 20 percent of all U.S. wiretap requests in 2014. However, an investigation by USA Today and The Desert Sun discovered that hundreds of wiretap requests were reviewed by lawyers other than the county's district attorney. This is an apparent violation of a federal law that requires wiretap approvals to be personally requested by a top prosecutor to ensure the invasive measure is judiciously used. Congress enacted the law after the FBI secretly monitored civil rights leaders in the 1960s.