Reasons Why No DA Charges On Kavanaugh & His ‘Copter….What’s Up With a 2 1/2 Year Wait on the LASD Rape Case? …& Hermosa Beach Chief ChosenAugust 1st, 2013 by Celeste Fremon
DA’S OFFICE EXPLAINS WHY THEY ARE NOT FILING CHARGES IN THE CASE OF THE RICH GUY’S ‘COPTER LANDING ON AN LASD HELIPAD
The District Attorney’s office announced Wednesday morning that Hollywood studio head Ryan Kavanaugh (of Relativity Media) will not face criminal charges for landing his helicopter on a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department helipad in early February of this year.
To recap: film company executive Kavanaugh was being investigated by the LASD for possible felony charges, the idea being that Kavanaugh’s ‘copter landing interfered with the then emergent Christopher Dorner investigation.
In announcing that they were not filing on Kavanaugh, the LA District Attorney’s office put out a fascinating narrative detailing how the case came about, why they didn’t file in February, and why they weren’t filing now.
You can read the DA office statement here. But in brief, here’s the deal.
1. According to Kavanaugh, he was legally empowered to land at the LASD Biscailuz helipad because he had an Oct. 6, 2010 letter signed by then-Aero Bureau captain Louis Duran saying that Kavanaugh was an “Aero Squadron Volunteer” and, as such, he could land at any FAA approved helipad as long as he had the proprietor’s prior approval.
(Just to remind you, Aero Bureau is an elite LASD division that oversees the department’s aircraft—–mostly helicopters. We wrote previously about some reported shenanigans at Aero Bureau here and here.)
2. Kavanaugh maintained that, before he landed in this instance, he talked to his pal Paul Tanaka by phone to request permission, and Tanaka texted him back with the okay to land at the LASD helipad.
3. As for all that “interfering” business, there were two LASD helicopters nearby but they weren’t occupied and their rotors were not turning, so it appeared that the Kavanaugh ‘copter did not impede anything. Or so concluded the DA’s office.
4. Louis Duran said he was contacted about the February landing, and he sent the message back that, no, in fact Kavanaugh couldn’t land, thereby, one assumes, suddenly rescinding his earlier letter on LASD stationary.
5. Paul Tanaka too said he told Kavanaugh he couldn’t touch down.
6. When the DA’s people investigated, however, they found that the LASD investigators admitted that no message from Duran ever reached Kavanaugh, telling him not to land. Plus they provided zero evidence that Tanaka had told him the film studio guy “no.”
7. Kavanaugh’s attorney, in contrast, provided an email, supposedly from Tanaka, dated this July, saying that, indeed, he’d given Kavanaugh permission to land that night. And presumably the purported text could be traced, if it came to that.
Anyway, the tale goes on from there.
From the tone of the report, one suspects that the DA’s folks felt they had better things to do than spend time on this he said/he said nonsense, in a case where, in essence, a big fat perk was given to a rich guy, and then that same big perk may or may not have been withdrawn from the same rich guy for a labyrinthine weave of reasons.
It should be noted that, when this story first broke in the LA Times, Kavanaugh’s people suggested that the reinvestigation of the ‘copter landing might be politically motivated because Kavanaugh, who has reportedly in the past given money to one or two of the sheriff’s causes, is now a political supporter of former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka and his much-rumored-but-not-yet-announced candidacy for sheriff.
Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said this theory is preposterous and that Sheriff Baca wasn’t even aware of the investigation. “It has nothing to do with politics.” Moreover Baca is fine with the fact that the DA isn’t bringing charges, said Whitmore. “The sheriff doesn’t care.”
Frankly, at this point, we don’t care either.
ON THAT 2010 ACCUSATION OF RAPE AGAINST AN LA SHERIFF’S DEPUTY, WHY DID IT TAKE UNTIL 2013 TO FILE?
We do care to know, however, why charges are just now being filed in the case of LASD deputy, Jose Rigoberto Sanchez, who allegedly raped a woman while he was on duty, and attempted to coerce her and another woman (in a separate incident) into sexual acts with various threat and bribes—and was accused of doing all this and more back in September 2010.
(Here’s a link to the Daily News story on the case.)
LASD spokesman Whitmore said that the delay wasn’t caused by the sheriff’s department, which he said finished its investigation into the matter in six months, and handed it over to the DA in January 2011.
When, on Wednesday, we asked at representative from the DA’s office she said that that they conducted a “very thorough investigation,” and that now they are bringing charges. As to who or what caused the delay, the DA’s spokesperson would not elaborate.
LAPD’S SHARON PAPA IS HIRED AS NEW HERMOSA BEACH CHIEF OF POLICE
It was announced late Wednesday that, out of two finalists for the position of Chief of Police for Hermosa Beach, City Manager Tom Bakaly chose former LAPD Assistant Chief Sharon Papa.
Papa has had a breadth of law enforcement managerial experience including serving as the Chief of Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s police department until the agency merged with the LAPD in 1997. (Papa is currently a commander in the LAPD, a rank she returned to in the change of regime between Bill Bratton and Charlie Beck.)
The other finalist for the job was Cecil Rhambo, who is an assistant sheriff at the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, and a close friend of former undersheriff, Paul Tanaka.
Controversy erupted briefly during the selection process when Hermosa Beach Mayor Kit Bobko abruptly announced last week that he strongly supported Cecil Rhambo. Since the final selection of the chief is left up to the city manager, the endorsement was characterized by many as an inappropriate attempt to influence the manager’s selection process.
In any case, WLA wholeheartedly congratulates Sharon Papa whom we know to be very smart, capable, personally engaging, and an all ’round terrific choice. As an LAPD insider put it when we talked this week, “she has great instincts, does not put up with the old boys network, and is an agent of change.”
The Daily Breeze has more on Papa’s choice as HBPD Chief.