Jim McDonnell LASD

LASD Supervisors’ Union Endorses Jim McDonnell for Sheriff, A Nod That May Come With a Nice Pile of Cash

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon
On Thursday, the Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association (PPOA)—the main union for the LA County Sheriff’s Department’s supervisors– announced that it has endorsed Jim McDonnell for a second term as sheriff.

This comes after a June primary in which McDonnell was expected to cruise to an easy victory—despite two contentious challengers.  There was, however, no easy victory at all.

 Instead, a retired department lieutenant named Alex Villanueva managed to get 33.20 percent of the vote, to incumbent Jim McDonnell’s 47.87 percent—suddenly turning the so-called easy cruise into an aggressively contested horse race.

McDonnell’s numbers were not helped by the fact that candidate number three, Bob Lindsey, got a respectable 18.9 percent of the vote, buoyed by a strong following among the rank and file of the LASD, plus  $330,000 in his war chest, and additional $410,000 from a group of independent supporters.

This past July, when WLA talked to PPOA President, Brian Moriguchi, about the race, he told us that he believed Villanueva had a real chance at an upset.

“Alex did what we never thought he could do,” Moriguchi said. “So now we see this as very competitive race.”

Since then, however, PPOA has conducted a thorough examination of both candidates, which included an extensive video interview with each man, and a lively debate between McDonnell and Villanueva hosted by the union, which featured outright shade-throwing from both of the candidates.  Post debate, the union polled its membership for their views on the two contenders.

The result was, out of  7,389 ballots mailed to members, 394 endorsed McDonnell, 365 endorsed Villanueva, with 115 marking their ballots as “no endorsement.”

PPOA then took one more step by hiring a professional firm to do a public poll, hoping get an idea of how both candidates were faring with regular voters.

All of these elements reportedly factored into PPOA’s endorsement committee’s final decision..  (This year’s committee consisted of 21 PPOA members “from a variety of classifications,” both sworn and civilian.)

“We believe Jim McDonnell is the best-qualified candidate for sheriff,” said Moriguchi in a statement that accompanied the union’s announcement. “His executive experience as the incumbent sheriff, chief of Long Beach Police Department and assistant chief at LAPD far exceeds that of his opponent and is necessary in leading a department of this size.”

In our own exchange of emails with Moriguchi, he explained some of the additional nuances of the decision.

“We are aware there are some employees who are unhappy with Sheriff McDonnell,” he wrote. “But our decision is based on who, of the two candidates, is best qualified to run the largest sheriff’s department in the world.

There were still many issues that need to be addressed, Moriguchi admitted, “such as recruitment, unfair treatment of employees and the promotion process.”  But the union leadership is “confident” that McDonnell “will address these concerns” in his second term.

“We conducted a thorough process to come to our conclusion,” Moriguchi wrote.  He was proud, he said,  of PPOA and the endorsement committee “for examining every aspect of both candidates, and coming to a just conclusion on who is best to lead this department.”

It is important to point out that PPOA’s endorsement is not a small matter, especially in that the committee gets to decide whether PPOA wants to give money to its candidate of choice, and if so, how much?

(PPOA has a seven figures worth of funds it could theoretically offer to a candidate.)

Thursday evening Moriguchi told us that, yes PPOA definitely would be giving Sheriff McDonnell some funds, But they had not yet decided how much.  But it would be “a reasonable amount.”

As the race heats up later this month and next, we’ll keep you posted on further developments.


  • I’m completely shocked, but will respect the position if he wins again.

    Wonder how long it will take Brian to get that second bar?

  • With no offense to Alex Villanueva, Alads does not have a valid voting process because all deputies (LASPA & Fee Payers) could not vote. Don’t know if the SCOTUS decision changed that, it should have. ALADS, to the anger of many within that organization, chose to endorse Villanueva to spite Bob Lindsey and Jim McDonnell. I can say that all PPOA members received a ballot to vote, unlike ALADS. Go figure

  • POPA will sadly live to regret this choice. But, typical that those who actually perform the hard dirty work support Alex Villanueva and those who don’t do anything went for McDonnell. The POPA vote was too close to make this endorsement viable to any voter.

    • At least PPOA had a legitimate vote, can’t say the same about ALADS. Respect was lost when Lindsey had the most votes and ALADS totally ignored him. Love how they make their unilateral decisions for their own personal satisfaction, which I ask what was their “Board” vote? ALADS V.P. downplayed his part in the Dispatcher.

  • It is very upsetting to see that people who should care, actually don’t. You talk to sheriff’s department members, nurses, custody assistants, deputies, supervisors, and no one has anything good to say about the way the department is being managed. Yet they could care less when they have a chance to send a message. Here is the vote:

    “In the discussion, the endorsement committee also considered the following results of membership balloting:

    Total ballots mailed: 7,389
    Endorse JIM McDonnell: 394
    Endorse ALEX VILLANUEVA: 365
    No endorsement: 115”

    Only 29 votes were the difference, which means that all the upper brass, kissing McDonnell organized to make sure he won, but come on, 394 out of 7389?

    So it should be clear, that deputies have only each other to take care of themselves, the brass is on the side of McDonnell, they want the next bump in rank, and pay, eyeing their near retirement.

  • Thanks Brian you just drove an oak stake right through the hard worrking members that support PPOA.. This decision now splits us even more. You need to go.

    • Wow! Some ALADS members are saying the same thing. The whole LASPA issue ruffled their feathers. Alex hit them with the one-two punch. Nice!

  • Let’s face it. This all boils down to politics. Did you watch the news yesterday re: Crimes with Guns if prosecuted regardless of over crowding in the jails they will have to serve full sentence. How convenient, especially before elections. All I am saying is that it’s all about timing and endorsements. How many L.A. County constituents actually vote, what Counties do Deputies live in? can they vote? Food for thought.

    I hear both sides of the stories. Alex is for Deputies the little guy-McDonnell for the Department. Pay to Play II continues… The Department is completely polarized with old school/new school mentality. This is not uncommon. It happens in Corporate America and even the Armed Services. Seen it many times. CHANGE is inevitably, its happening.

    My opinion, If you do not like the way things are, then make a change. That also means change of job too. I like Alex’s ideals along with McDonnell’s, but I believe that the incumbent has more experience.

    For those of you who think that we are going to go back to the ways things were before on the street or jails…OPEN YOUR EYES. It will never happen. I hope Alex wins for the underdog and the hard working deputies. But lets face it, there a plenty of slugs on the department too. Let’s see what 11/6 brings.

  • With such a poor response, I agree that the enforcement is dubious at best. I also believe another takeaway is the fact no one cares anymore or deals they can effect change at there level and have just given up. PPOA doesn’t just represent supervisors either.

    Maybe it’s members figure, like in many elections, will my vote really matter anyway. I’m not saying its the right way to view things in a Democracy, but it does have a basis in reality.

    Folks are also busy and the mailed ballot could have been set aside and forgotten. If the union really wanted to put forth a real effort to get a more representative vote, they could have sent out another reminder or joined the 21St century and done it electronically.

  • To those who were just too lazy to vote, you just endorsed McBuckles. You’re going to get four more years of the last four because that’s exactly what you asked for with your no-ack. So slurp up that bowl of shit soup you just poured yourself and when you’re done, you’re gonna get another bowl and another.

    By the way, Moriguchi not only shoved that shank right into Alex’s back, but he twisted it, real slow.

    • Ask to be invited to ALADS representative meeting and get the pulse of WHO made the decision to endorse and why. Many Reps and former Board Members are incensed that the Co-founder of LASPA recieved ALADS backing. It’s really weird so you have to go to a meeting where you’ll get their reasoning. Ron-boy can tell you.

  • Brian Moriguchi, are you gonna use any of those 7 figure funds to support the sergeants, lieutenants and ca’s who have been railroaded by your new best bud…….you really want to Make captain. God forbid you do it based on your ability.

    You are weak. It’s time for you to go. Time for someone with some courage to fight run for Moriguchi spot.

  • Nothing learned. The top of the food chain never has and never will care about the bottom of the chain. The department used to be captains and above vs lieutenants and below. Sad to say it’s sergeants and above vs deputies and below. Truly a catastaphy. Too many spineless fish in the pool. As a line guy, never cared who was at the top. It never had any effect. Stay within the laws and somewhere within policy, okay. Policy itself is a joke and has crushed the proactive spirit. Good luck buckles. Respect is earned, you don’t get any.

  • Quit your whining. Police work is over. S K Dub called it years ago and he was labeled a “malcontent”. Now look around you, he was a revolutionary, saw the writing on the wall. The only thing that you should be focusing on is what Pinky Lee is doing, collecting green slips and counting down the days to retirement.

  • I accept the criticism for the decision of PPOA being I am the president. There will always be haters. But let me be clear. I did not make this decision. An endorsement committee reviewed a plethora of information and came to a conclusion and the PPOA board supported that decision. If you want to blame anyone, blame the 88% of members who failed to cast a vote.

    You can call for my recall, claim I am doing this to make captain (the same complaints I heard about me 9 years ago), and any other reason you want to manufacture because you disagree with the decision, but my job is to carry out the decision, not make it. I told both candidates I will support either one of them depending on what the organization tells me to do. That is my job. You can hate me for not “fixing” the election to satisfy your wants, but that is just not how I operate, nor is it how PPOA does business. If Villanueva does get elected, we will support him and try to help him be a good sheriff. We will do the same for McDonnell.

    • Time to call BS on you Moriguchi. When you interviewed with the LA Times, you could have simply wished Villanueva the best and call it a day. Referring to him as the equivalent of a drive through teller is an insult to both Villanueva, a PPOA member, and all lieutenants on the department. You showed your true colors. You had the opportunity as the president of PPOA to show leadership, but instead you chose self-interest. Let me know how that “position of influence” you are seeking works out for you. I talked to Villanueva’s camp, and they did the right thing by turning down your demand. Shame on you.

    • Mr. Moriguchi,

      I appreciate the fact you were brave enough to comment using your real name, most of us don’t, because the immediate and swift punishment Buckles McDonnell would inflict upon us. The message you wrote, seems sincere that you almost got me to believe it. However, it did not pass the smell test, and the decision by PPOA to support and endorse McDonnell stinks like “play to play” politics, the Tanaka type.

      I was very surprised that Buckles McDonnell appeared to debate Alex. back in June or July, shortly after the primary election. I was surprised, because McDonnell had refused to debate Alex, and still refuses to do so. Yesterday, for instance, McDonnell refused to debate Alex at the AME church, a debate organized by the ACLU. The moderator was debating Alex, possibly paid for by McDonnell’s campaign.

      So now it is clear to me, McDonnell appeared at your debate because the “pay to play” deal between you and him, had been agreed upon. I may be wrong, however, I doubt it.

  • Brian,

    You, and PPOA as a whole, are almost entirely worthless. And you know it. This is not some emotional attack, just the truth

    PPOA has no weight or influence when negotiating for contracts. You can try and convince everyone that you and the negotiating team went to war, but everyone knows that 2 First Year Explorers could get us the scraps we’ve seen the last few contracts. It’s not entirely your team’s fault, as we can’t strike and the county knows it. But don’t you dare make it seem like you jumped into a Foxhole for us. You always do by the way.

    Your powerless against the department and you know it. That Membership Concerns/Holding the Sheriff Accountable was Fucking Laughable!!! I’m sure after you presented your list to the Sheriff, the whole floor at HOJJ had a great laugh. I know this cause NOTHING HAS CHANGED!!

    Hiring is still a net loss
    Still can’t hear my Fucking radio
    Morale is shit
    Mandatory 4 spots of OT a month and still getting drafted
    Patrol cars won’t work
    Computers go down ALL THE TIME
    CAD goes down ALL THE TIME
    Self Dispatch is the norm

    I could go on and on and most of this isn’t your fault or creation. But when you make it seem like you and PPOA are taking this mighty stance against the department and are holding them accountable, most of us know it’s total Bullshit. You’re virtually powerless and you know it.

    The pathetic ballot count should have been voided. And not because they favored Buckles. Such a dismal return, while disgusting, is not a reflection on the membership’s views because of what’s going on. Again, not your fault.

    So you’re left with indisputable actions taken by the department. See the list above and you see pure incompetence and a total lack of priority.

    Your only choice was to endorse Alex and you blew it. Buckles had his chance and failed!! And you want people to just accept 4 more years of this shit?? Sorry Bro, not gonna happen.

    The only thing that will keep PPOA afloat is the legal representation it provides. Fear is what will keep members from dropping and just Fucking sad.

    You and PPOA are worthless.

    • @Ownership
      Spot on sir. See the title in the below LA Times Article


      McDonnell is a no show. Funny I work on the department and live in LA County, so as a voter would have like to seen the 2 candidates debate about how they can make things better. But I guess my union (PPOA) would rather back a candidate who does not show up.

      Ownership is right Brian, not all these problems are PPOA’s or your fault. However, stop acting like your so noble. You are not. If what is said is true, that you tried to get a promotion behind getting behind Villanueva, then you are truly a POS.

    • Ownership: Your juvenilistic tirade is indicative of a “Salty Sgt” in addition to speaking with a forked tongue from your 1st comment to your last. Anyone with true “Ownership” would not hide like a coward throwing rocks from the back of a crowd but would instead send Brian an email spewing your distaste. Converse as an adult to get any respect.

  • Lt.

    Done that too.

    Stay behind your desk and let the line figure this shit out. As a Lt. you don’t have shit to say. You’re not getting drafted, you don’t have mandatory OT every week and you don’t have to listen to the crap they call radios. So again, stay behind your desk and shut the fuck up.

    • Your reply is a typical one assuming that I sit behind a desk. Assignments while working “the line” is what qualified my position. You should channel your pent-up aggressions via other avenues. If you did correspond with Brian then no need to act like a blowhard on this website. If you work as much as you talk, you’d be Sheriff.

  • Amazing how the cyber lynching continues. In the past 6 months I saw the following LASD personnel at the gallows, Alex Villanueva, Ron Hernandez, Brian Moriguchi. ALADS & PPOA
    has also taken a hit. Yesterday it was Obama, today it’s Trump. All of this proves that people will bitch and moan about anybody or anything. More than enough reasons for anyone wishing a start in law enforcement, should avoid LASD.

  • Wow, the more you dig the uglier it gets. It turns out Moriguchi secretly donated $50K from PPOA’s coffers to an unknown PAC named Latinos Progresivos that was then funneled to another PAC called Mothers for a Safe Los Angeles For Bob Lindsey during the primary. There goes all of what little credibility Moriguchi claimed to have about an above the board process.

    It gets worse. Two large law enforcement associations were set to endorse Villanueva on August 15, and the endorsements were held up because PPOA was the only hold out. PPOA’s endorsement of McDonnell nixed the endorsements of the two associations for Villanueva, and they will now remain neutral, McDonnell’s goal.

    On Saturday, September 15, McDonnell failed to show up for a face to face debate against Villanueva at the Ward AME Church, hosted by the ACLU. This is a first for an incumbent sheriff to refuse to publicly debate his opponent in a runoff election. Maya Lau covered the story on that day for the LA Times, but it was then pulled from the paper’s website quickly.

    A closer inspection of PPOA’s endorsement process revealed that their Political Endorsement Committee failed to interview either candidate, something very unusual as that is the top priority for most, if not all organizations that endorse political candidates.

    I think it’s time for Moriguchi to resign.


    Dear “Fed Up,”

    Just FYI, PPOA did interview both candidates extensively as part of the endorsement process, then posted the interviews online a bit before the candidates debate that the union hosted. You can find them here: https://ppoa.com/2018/08/la-county-sheriff-candidate-interviews/

    And Maya Lau’s story about Sheriff McDonnell being a no-show for the ACLU debate was not pulled from the LAT website. It’s still right here: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-sheriff-mcdonnell-debate-20180915-story.html


  • Sorry Celeste, but videotaped interviews with Moriguchi only, and not in the presence of the Political Endorsement Commottee, is not normal. In fact, that negated the ability of the committee to hear and judge the truthfulness of the candidates responses and to ask their own questions.

    The article from September 15 has been removed from the website, it’s only available by googling it. Curiously, the older article from September 13 with PPOA’s endorsement now reappeared and the newer article is gone, evidence that the Times is fully in the tank for the incumbent.

  • C: McDonnell should have showed up. POPA has always had a very low voter turnout. If POPA directly or indirectly gave money to Lindsey then Fed Up has a strong point. My family has decided to vote for Alex Villanueva. Regardless of what POPA says or does wont effect the outcome, I hope?

  • Mr. Moraguchi, you were very quick to jump on this thread and talk big. Why don’t you respond to the allegation about funds to the Lindsey campaign or the claim that you asked Alex for a spot In his administration?

  • OWNERSHIP: I agree with your concerns about all the things that need to be fixed with the department. But I disagree with your statement about our contract. The last contract (which PPOA led) was a 10% COLA and PPOA was successful at getting more (a 3.5% Supervisory POST bonus). This contract (which ALADS led) was a 7% COLA with several “extras”. Most of our supervisors are getting a 7.5% raise effective July 1. We also have outstanding medical coverage from the county. So I think we are doing pretty good as far as contracts. As for whether you contacted me or not, I don’t know since I don’t know who “ownership” is and I get a lot of emails. Feel free to email me if you want but it is not necessary if you are concerned about revealing your identity.

    CLAM CHOWDER: I don’t come hear often because of the rhetoric and hostility, but since I am here today, I will gladly respond to your request. Yes, PPOA gave money in support of Bob Lindsey. He was a former board member for PPOA and an all-around good guy. We gave him money, but not an endorsement. The request to give money to Bob and which IE to give it to came from someone who now is assisting Alex so I am not surprised to hear about it now as an attack against me and PPOA.

    Regarding trying to get promoted, the opposite is true. I told the person who contacted me on behalf of Alex that I would like to know who his “team” would be if he were elected sheriff . I would feel more comfortable knowing that he had a solid team. I was asked if I would come back to the department if Alex was elected sheriff. I was told I would likely get promoted. I said I would not come back to the department unless I came back in a position of influence which to me would be a chief or higher. I said I could help him better as PPOA president rather than as a captain or commander (I still feel that way today regardless of who is sheriff). He called me back and said if I supported Alex, I would have “a good chance” at becoming a chief or higher and would be on the transition team. I think if a promotion was my goal, I would have “manipulated” PPOA’s endorsement process to endorse Alex, right? So I am a little confused about accusations about doing things to get promoted. I could have come back to the department as a captain many times even when Baca was still our sheriff but I felt I had greater influence as PPOA president than any captain position on the department. It’s not about nobility. It is about trying to make the biggest difference possible.

    I understand why folks are upset about the endorsement. They are frustrated as are we. There are many things that need to be fixed on this department. The difference in opinion might be who is capable at making things better and that is debatable. I respect those who support Alex for the right reasons. If he is elected sheriff, let’s hope he does a good job. We are all after the same thing regardless of who is sheriff: a quality department we can all be proud of.

    • Wow. So essentially the rumors are true. You are weak. Your statement, “I would not come back to the department unless I came back in a position of influence which to me would be a chief or higher”. The arrogance of that statement. So you should skip 2 or 3 ranks cause your that “good”…..what a loser. Being ppoa president does not make you a good captain, commander, chief or whatever for patrol, custody or anything else on this department.

      And for giving the Lindsey camp money but not an endorsement, did you run that by your members ? I thought ppoa’s money was its members money, not Brian Moriguchi’s money to do what he wants with.

      • So Clam Chowder, u just made the case why Alex should not be sheriff. He would skip ranks from lieutenant to sheriff. Hey if Alex can go from lieutenant to sheriff, lieutenant to chief isn’t so bad, right?

        • Lame. I did vote in primary’s and it wasn’t for Alex. I voted for lindsey if you must know. As for now, yeah I will vote for Alex, because McDonnell has shown that he is incapable of running this department.

          As for me moraguchi statement, he said he wanted to know who would be on “Alex’s “ team…this is the problem, there should be no teams or camps. Your work product should dictate a promotion and if you think being the ppoa president merits a promotion, I guess we have different views of merit and what make a good leader

        • @Standard business
          Your argument falls flat. Alex and Brian, are two different cases. Alex is running for Sheriff, which is an elected position. Voters will have the opportunity to look at Alex’s resume, and make their own determination if him only being a Lieutenant is now good enough to take over. They can way the pro’s and con’s of both candidates and make their own decision.

          In Brian’s case, it is not an election to make “Chief” or position of influence as he liked to say. That is appointed. If he becomes the chief on South Patrol division, did the people that live in the communities patrolled in that division have a chance to look at Brians qualifications? Nope. They got stuck with him.

          And lastly, the fact that Brian would come on here and even mention the fact that he was having conversations with any candidate (Mcdonnell, Villanueva, Lindsey or whoever) about being promoted is sad. As the head of the union, the fact that you are talking about your on promotion with any candidate is unethical and sad.

          • Clam chowder, Alex approached Brian according to his statement, on the issue of his future. Yah, lets elect Alex who attempted to buy an endorsement. Sounds like you are confused.

  • All I can is Brian you and your cohort on the Board, are both Pompous Asses. You didn’t get Lindsey and now you want to leave us with this mess. you have wrote article after article blasing the Sheriff and now you endorse him. Yes I truly believe you and your cohort helped influence this decision. Rumor has it that more votes came back for buckles from the retired and DAI’s, yet the working members of the LASD voted for Alex. I still have a few years left and if we are stuck with this guy, I will blame PPOA for this endorsement.

  • Wow, lieutenant to chief if he supports him. Really. Lieutenant to sheriff for election. There is a lot more to running a department that your our thoughts, especially at a low level command position. It would almost be like having a sheriff or chief who’s head is in the clouds. Moonbeam. We saw what that got us. Simply no viable candidate. Like all other voter positions, it comes down to the lesser of two evils. How ******* sad. No good candidates. Spiral down the bowl.

    • I agree. The Sheriff’s Dept and the County residents have no choice now. Retired Commander Bob Lindsey would have made a great Sheriff…he had the experience, integrity, and compassion. So sad for our Dept.

    • Successful businessman to President of the United States. Who would have thought that would happen. POTUS is a much more important office and the current elected office holder isn’t doing to bad, even with all the “haters”. Maybe a new set of “fresh eyes” looking at things from a “low level command position” is just what the Department needs. The current sheriff and several of the last outside Assistsnt Sheriff’s have all been mere figure heads and “place holders” that are out of touch with the masses who could care less about the rank and file Department members, and are only their to serve themselves and their political masters

  • Ret. Lt. Villanueva is going to make Ret. Cmdr Ray Layva his Undersheriff. A man that sued the department and left with a medical retirement. So he can’t work as a Cmdr but he can come back for Alex. They both have an ax to grind. Hypocrisy is alive and well. The new “car” is the Villanueva. Before it was Banaca, now it will be Villayva.

  • If Alex is elected you will see a department run not by Alex but by everyone but Alex. A lieutenant has no business jumping ranks to being a sheriff.
    All Alex will bring is a shadow administration who knows and can do more than the guy at the top.

  • Isn’t that exactly what the current Sheriff did (though behind the scenes in a civilian capacity) and what all new executive leaders do when they came me into a office? Mr. Villaneuva is more than qualified to run the Sheriff’s department and I’m sure he will find qualified folks he trusts to fill his executive ranks.

    Jumping ranks.. really. The number of boot licking, un-qualified executives is not an apparition or phantom but a fact. Once you rise the lieutenant we all now captain and higher is merely a political popularity contest and who knows who selection.

    Let’s not kid ourselves, we all no the reality and no better.

  • Youth: You know not of what you speak. If you had any time on, you would know that then Captain Ray Leyva had the audacity to run against Sheriff Lee Baca for Sheriff of Los Angeles County. As a result, he was retaliated against and prevented from promoting. After he sued the Department , he was subsequently promoted to Commander. Anyone that knows Ray will verify his integrity and commitment to the Department. He would be an outstanding Undersheriff…. since the current one is just a reflection of the corrupt past. Get your facts straight before you start sounding off…..

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