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Name: Hambarian v. Superior Court of Orange County
Case #: S097450
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 04/18/2002
Subsequent History: Rehrg. den. 6/12/02

The trial court properly declined to disqualify the prosecutor’s office, which had accepted the services of a forensic accountant employed and compensated by the City, who allegedly had been defrauded by its trash collection company. The entire complex of facts must be reviewed to determine whether the convict make fair and impartial treatment of defendant unlikely. Despite the fact that the accountant had been paid over $450,000 by the City, the court distinquished this case from People v. Eubanks (1996) 14 Cal.4th 580, where the district attorney had already incurred expenses of $13,000 and then asked the victim to pay the debt, thus creating a possible sense of obligation which would influence the prosecutor’s discretionary decisions. Moreover, even assuming the accountant was biased (because he was assisting the police and had an interest in the investigation), he was not directing the course of the investigation.