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LASD INVESTIGATIONS: Friends of Paul Tanaka – Campaign Donations, 2009

February 7th, 2012 by Celeste Fremon

As those of you who have been following Matt Fleischer’s LASD INVESTIGATIONS Dangerous Jails series know, we have received quite a number of requests from people working for (or retired from) the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department asking us to post The Friends of Paul Tanaka campaign contributions lists that we acquired for WitnessLA/the LA Justice Report through public records act requests.

In response to the increasing number of appeals we received, we published the 2008 campaign donations list late last month.

We intended to hold the rest of the lists until Part 5 of Dangerous Jails. However, we decided to go ahead and post 2009 today—mainly because the matter of campaign donations came up at several points in yesterday’s story about the Sheriff’s Department decision to launch an investigation into whether or not retired custody commander Robert Olmsted was blocked from from correcting problems at Men’s Central Jail that he said he repeatedly reported to command staff.

In particular, the story cited Captain Dan Cruz’s 2008 and 2009 donations to then Assistant Sheriff Paul Tanaka’s campaign, and a 2009 donation by Commander Joseph Hartshorne.

For some reason or other, the 2009 list itself is divided into two documents. (And due to a sudden late-night attack of persnicketyness on the part of WLA’s Word Press software, it was easier to post both PDFs at Scribd—and link to them—rather than host them on WLA’s own site. Please forgive the resulting ads)

Here is Part 1 of the 2009 donations list.

Here is Part 2.

You’ll note that both Cruz’s and Hartshorne’s names turn up on Page 7 of Part 1 of the 2009 list.

Dan Cruz’s name also appears on the 2008 list.

As reported in Part 3 of Matt Fleischer’s Dangerous Jails series, a long list of department insiders have suggested that there are correlations between LASD promotions and donations to Undersheriff Tanaka’s mayoral campaigns. (The undersheriff also serves as the mayor of the city of Gardena.)

LASD officials deny the possibility, according to the LA Times story on the Olmsted investigation:

Sheriff’s officials, including Hartshorne in his interview with Olmsted, reject the suggestion that small donations affect personnel decisions.

So does the money matter? After all, in some cases, both deputies and supervisors gave only $100 to the undersheriff’s campaign. In other cases, LASD personnel gave a lot more, or they gave multiple times—or both. (In fact, in one intriguing instance we happened to notice in this round of posting, a Sheriff’s department supervisor gave $250 in January 2009, while in December of 2008, the supervisor’s wife gave to the legal limit of $1000.)

Thus what meaning—if any— should we take away from these lists? In future posts, we’ll pull apart the issue in far greater detail.

In the meantime, as always, we welcome the continuing input, tips and thoughts from the men and women—present and former—who serve the people of Los Angeles County wearing the badge of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

Posted in LA County Jail, LASD, Sheriff Lee Baca, THE LA JUSTICE REPORT | 65 Comments »

65 Responses

  1. Fascinating Says:

    Even if u are blind and dead u can see the folks forking over cash got promoted. Co-inky-dink? I think not. So, who’s doing this investigation? Hartshorne? C’mon, Lee…let’s see Whitmore spin this one. He’s worse than Baghdad Bob. There were no troops in Baghdad and there’s no connection here.

  2. Morning Buzz: Tuesday 2.7.12 | LA News Talk Radio Says:

    [...] Here are the 2009 campaign donations to sheriff’s official Paul Tanaka’s Gardena mayoral campaign. Witness LA [...]

  3. You Can't Handle The Truth Says:


    Well, as I said in my posting (#79) under Part 4 of Dangerous Jails, the dots would connect and they definitely have. Remember these are only two small listings so far of the Public Records Act for the last 6 months of 2008 and the first 1 ½ months of 2009. Here’s my statement from my previous posting. “Hopefully Part 5 will disclose the Public Records Act information that we have been awaiting. Really curious to see how the dots connect to the below information I will discuss and the now deleted Executive Staff Meeting email site that was in the Department’s Outlook email system. I’m sure there will also be numerous donations and people who paid for their promotions and coveted positions that will not be covered in any Public Records. Shall we call this “Pay Gate?”

    Celeste and Matt, I hope that you post the names from the Executive Staff Meeting email group that was mysteriously taken out of Outlook when this investigation began. Ironically, you will find those names match the campaign donors, cigar club and coin members, and the huge majority of recent and repetitive promotional recipients and coveted job assignment recipients. It should also be noted how many in that email group of 75-80 people were not executives, but were soon to be. Following the names of Kevin Hebert, Diane Walker, James Ritenour (another major right hand for Tanaka like Cecil Rhambo), Robert Tubbs, James Hellmold, Robert Wheat, Patrick Bearse, Troy Ewing, Matt Dendo, and so many more, will give you a good matrix of the nepotism, favoritism, cronyism that has been going on.

    Also, as I stated in my earlier posting (#79), “Some very ethical and outstanding Lieutenants (and Sergeants), with more than 10 years of experience as Lieutenants/Sergeants, and with outstanding performance, well rounded experience, and advanced education, have been constantly passed over for promotion to Captain and or assignment to prime positions. A review of Sergeant and Lieutenant transfers and promotions for the last 10-12 years with Personnel Administration Bureau records will reveal this trend.“

    This is a simple connect the dot investigation that even a brand new probationary investigator could solve in minutes. This is even simpler than doing my family’s genealogical tree.

  4. Yours truly Says:

    Front passenger seat of the car =$500
    Back seat of the car =$200
    Trunk of the car=$100
    Under the hood of the car=$50
    Not in the car=$0

  5. Verum Fans Says:

    Something to consider ! Between the two lists that have been published, at least 19 of the people on the list have been promoted to the rank of Captain or higher and at least 31 have been placed in “coveted” positions. Furthermore, how many of the (sworn) donors actually live in the City of Gardena? None that I am aware. The question therefore begs to be asked, why would someone donate to a candidate who doesn’t represent them? This is like someone in California who doesn’t own property, nor has no intention of ever owning property/living in the State of New Mexico, donating money to the New Mexico’s Governor race. In other words, what’s the benefit? When it comes to donating to Tanaka, the answer is pretty clear!

  6. InterestedParty Says:

    With rumor swirling that Tanaka is melting down and will soon step down, that leaves the question: What now? Even if Leroy, Cecil and Marv ALL join Tanaka and pull the plug too, there’s still hundreds of Tanaka Loyalist cancerous cells populating the Chief, Commander, Captain, Lieutenant and even Sergeant and Deputy ranks that may carry the malignant corruption torch long after the top four are gone. Without taking any personal shots at existing individual execs below the A/S rank, most anyone in those ranks got there by playing Tanaka and Leroy’s game the last dozen or so years. And they really can’t be trusted to “do the right thing” in a post-Tanaka/Baca/Rhambo/Cavanaugh world because most of them shed their ethics and personal integrity years ago to please either Tanaka or Leroy. All of these folks have sat back and failed to speak out, to step up, or they wouldn’t be where they are; sad but true. Bob Olmsted and a couple others are very rare exceptions. So how do we remove the cancerous culture when they’re gone? Chemo and radiation?

  7. DOE INC Says:

    Look to those who have survived.

  8. Question Says:

    So It seems that Tanaka definitely referred to ths list before promoting or placing people in coveted positions. My question is what about the people that have donated that have not received any favors. Why not them? Is there another litmus test one must pass? Also, a few have been promoted that never donated like Mannis,Fraser, Ryan, Gooden. How did they manage a promotion? Oh and I’m not trying to be funny with my questions I don’t know the answers and thought a more enlightened person on this blog could answer.

  9. Dirty Dealings Says:

    I don’t see Patrick Jordan on the list. He managed to run the Transit Services Bureau into the ground before making Commander. Maybe he will be on the 2010 list. Someone should check into the shady dealings going on there. It has been the dumping ground of the Department since it’s inception.

  10. OCCUPY LASD 2012 Says:

    Make it a R/C hook and find the victims later.

    OCCUPY LASD 2012

  11. LAB (Laughing at Burnouts) Says:

    Lets use same format as #4 Yours Truly with a twist of reality:

    Baca didn’t buy your begging for a promo = Backstab him and claim he’s out of touch.

    Tanaka checked your ass for being lazy = Make allegations of favoritism against those who actually work.

    Deputies had no respect for you = Allege deputies are gangsters and thugs since you couldnt handle your business.

    Enjoy your few minutes of “FAME” on this objective journalistic website. At the end of the day, the real police will still be taking devils to jail, and you and the other do-nothings will call the “Chief” do-nothing to whisper about your next gossip, with no regard for your “partners” who do honest work. Grown men? So Pitiful.

  12. Matt Says:

    Interested Party:

    I think Tanaka is too arrogant to even think of stepping down. I call b.s. on that rumor.

  13. wewillrocku Says:

    Can’t wait to see the 2010 & 2011 lists of contributors. Those should really solidify the existence of Tanaka’s “Pay to Play” scheme. “Pay to Play”…isn’t that what landed former Illinois Gov. Blagojevich a 14 year prison sentence? C’mon Feds, for all the times you’ve gone after good cops who didn’t deserve it, here’s a chance to redeem yourselves.

    And the way that Baca & Co. flame out and exact their vindictive revenge whenever anyone dares challenge them, (ala: Ken Masse, Pat Gomez, Ray Leyva…and others), isn’t that the epitome of hypocrisy? After all, didn’t Baca & Co write the Disloyalist’s Handbook. Didn’t they successfully commit the ultimate act of Treason? Yes, they ran against the incumbent and won. But here’s the thing, at the time, most people on the Department were at least passively supportive. Why? Because it was time for a change.

    Sheriff Baca, or should we say Sheriff Banaka, it is again time for a change. While you may have started out with the best of intentions, you have turned your back on the good and honorable people of the Department. LASD is no longer an elite, professional organization. Your refusal to deal with Tanaka and his underhanded corrupt tactics mandates action.

    Perhaps Maximus said it best, “The time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end.”

  14. Just in Says:

    In part one of the donation list. A company listed as HSK Secuity Systems donated $1,000 to Tanaka. The company’s president is listed as Howard Fuchs. Deputy Howard Fuchs, now Sergeant Fuchs, was a barely competent deputy at the Air Unit. He promoted to Sergeant not to long after this thousand dollar donation.

  15. wewillrocku Says:

    Can’t wait to see the 2010 & 2011 lists of contributors. Those should really solidify the existence of Tanaka’s “Pay to Play” scheme. “Pay to Play”…isn’t that what landed former Illinois Gov. Blagojevich a 14 year prison sentence? C’mon Feds, for all the times you’ve gone after good cops who didn’t deserve it, here’s a chance to redeem yourselves.

    And the way that Baca & Co. flame out and exact their vindictive revenge whenever anyone dares challenge them, (ala: Ken Masse, Pat Gomez, Ray Leyva…and others), isn’t that the epitome of hypocrisy? After all, didn’t Baca & Co write the Disloyalist’s Handbook. Didn’t they successfully commit the ultimate act of Treason? Yes, they ran against the incumbent and won. But here’s the thing; at the time, most people on the Department were at least passively supportive. Why? Because it was time for a change.

    Sheriff Baca, or should we say Sheriff Banaka, it is again time for a change. While you may have started out with the best of intentions, you have turned your back on the good and honorable people of the Department. LASD is no longer an elite, professional organization. Your refusal to deal with Tanaka and his underhanded corrupt tactics mandates action.

    Perhaps Maximus said it best, “The time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end.”

  16. Just in Says:

    Traci Duran, married to then Lt. Duran, on 1/06/09 donated $100 to Tanaka. Now Captain Duran, who was promoted in 2009, is the Captain at the Air Unit.

  17. Matt Says:

    Breaking news. Leyva is going to be promoted to Commander. The timing of this is just comical. Baca is truly pathetic. I’d rather have a trained seal running this department.

  18. The Godfather Says:

    Is Patrick Bearse part of the Tanaka’s car? So are you saying his wife made band one and got promoted to Sergeant because she paid for the promotion? The rumor is that in the academy she barely made it the second time around, but scored way over 90% on the sergeant’s written exam…mmmmm I want to pay and play…lol

  19. STUDY HARD Says:

    It sure sucks to be the poor deputy who busted their butt studying for the Sgt’s test who couldn’t get promoted because they did not donate.

  20. Investigative mind Says:

    I can hardly wait to see 2010 and 2011 list myself. I heard on the last Sgt test, absolutely no one had been given answers to the test. Bull Sh*% on that one…..I still believe top brass really think the rest of LASD deps believe the test was legit. LOL………

  21. FS Says:

    Very interesting news right off the press. As soon as leroy returns to the united states. Tanaka will be demoted to the rank of Commander and will be assigned to region 2. Cecil will be demoted back to commander. Lopez will be demoted and will be made to pay the price for his evil deeds from Century Station. Betkey will be force to retire as a chief. All of tanaka’s followers will all be identified and demoted for being corrupt. But hopefully the FBI will step in and offer some of these guys minimal jail sentences if they tell the truth about tanaka and leroy.. Bernice will be the fist to roll because she is afraid of her new girlfriend in federal prisoner.

  22. Aero guy Says:

    Howard Fuches wow…now that had to be pay to play..kicked out of stations ,didn’t show up to work most of the time, was on his way to being kicked out of aero, when all of a sudden the Tanaka camp showed up, took care of him, promoted him. Best 1000 dollars he ever spent through his fake company HSK.

  23. LAFORII (Laughing at Region II) Says:

    LAB, this is for you. I’ve noticed you have an unhealthy obsession with what you perceive to be “work,” and “handling your business.” I’m going to guess, based on your previous posts, that you look down your nose at the other field operations regions, and brew your coffee through Tanaka’s jockstrap. Whatever makes you feel better to cope with your insecurities, more power to you, dude.

    Memo to deluded individuals like you: Many of us worked the “ghetto” long before you came on the department, and we didn’t need to pad stats by working the “grey” either. We didn’t bother bragging about going 10-15 in places where the crooks jump into your backseat. Handling “business, at least back then, meant proactively looking for bad guys, getting them off the streets permanently (no DA rejects), AND handling your calls for service, not kissing them off.

    Now back to your hero, Tanaka. You are probably one of those deputies/sergeants/lieutenants who got punked to donate or walk a district in Gardena for Paul because of your perceived interest in the municipal affairs of Gardena. What your keen police mind failed to appreciate was that when you were approached by another member of the Department, they were committing a crime punishable by 6 months in jail. You should look up the Government Code one day and expand your horizons.

    The fact that both Baca and Tanaka have raised tens of thousands of dollars from the very people they will be making employment decisions on may not trouble you, but it does the other 90% of the department AND the public. And maybe had they surrounded themselves with smart people that can actually pass a test without cheating we wouldn’t hear about all these testing scandals.

    In closing LAB, Tanaka has never worked an honest day in his life, so that does not make him an expert on work ethic.
    Both Baca’s and Tanaka’s days are numbered, along with the 10% of the department they’ve infected with their corruption. See you in 2014!

  24. Fly on the Wall Says:

    To all those deputies who payed into Tanaka’s fund; shame on you. Why would you donate money to a campaign fund that does not affect you. You lack morals and ethics. Now you have to live with yourself knowing everybody knows you payed for your promotion.


    BTW, any chance they’ll reimburse me and others for the $100 that we were ordered/sstrong-armed by Mr. Tanaka to contribute to the “Tom Spencer” Retirement Fund to buy the Harley Davidson? Chief Spencer didn’t know me from Adam, and I wasn’t even asked if I wanted to attend his exclusive retirement luncheon. Yes, I’m still sore about it ’cause for sure I didn’t, and still don’t want, an overnight transfer to Wayside to work for Captain Leyva.
    That was a hundred dollars that I could buy an expensive dinner to treat my family!

  26. Matt Says:

    Still Proud of the Badge ……

    That’s Commander Leyva now.

  27. Just in Says:

    The question is, where are the voices of the union leaders. Why have the Presidents of ALADS and POPA failed to speak out about the issues, which are increasingly being exposed. Why do these representatives of so many sit silent? The ALADS and POPA Presidents should step up as leaders and meet their responsibilities to their members, or they should step down. If they fail to meet their obligations as spoke persons for their members, it can only be for one of two reasons. Are they intimidated by Baca and Tanaka, or are they are in bed with them.

  28. Fed Up Says:

    “Just In,” ALADS and PPOA traded their ass and soul to Baca and Tanaka years ago. Promote my wife to captain, promote me, do this for me and I will do that for you. A majority of them are gutless and spineless wannabe politicians. How many self-serving pictures and letters do you see within each addition of their rag? Moriguchi wouldn’t say shit if he had a mouth full. While his membership have been lead to the slaughter by Tanaka and his cutthroat suck butt sicophants, Brian sits at Tanaka’s feet and fetches him cigars. His carefully crafted zin like editorials telling Baca to pay a little more attention to “Paul” is pathetic for a so called union leader.

    If this were lapd, their Protective League would be raising hell with examples of misjustice in their Thin Blue Line publication, holding press conferences exposing the corruption and taking out full page ads in the LA Times. The PPOA has our blood on their hands. They simply wipe themselves with our monthly dues.

  29. wewillrocku Says:

    Excellent point “Just in”. Unfortunately, the unions seem to have become as much political as they are protective.

  30. sucks Says:

    reiterating here: alads is pathetic bunch of shady slimy thieves. i would love to see a class action suit to refund everyone they shamalamed money from over all these years. rumor is they won’t even represent you if you’re facing criminal charges – really? why the hell are we paying dues then? they seem to be pretty good at getting people’s jobs back (the ones who never should have been hired). they made michelle collins a rep? i think that just about sums up their credibility right there. if alads was legitimately good and worth it, they wouldn’t have needed to run LASPA out of business.

  31. I love LASD Says:

    To LAB Comment # 11 LAZY? Actually work? meaning those of us who picked going home to spend quality time with our family instead of kissing up to the U/S and being on his leg 24/7? LAFORII, great rebuttal!:) The names on the 2008 & 2009 list are sickening! Shame on all of you! What do you see when you look in the mirror? Are you happy with your career move? Was it worth having your name splattered on the web for all your peers and subordinates to see? I have just one simple question: WHY?

  32. robert Says:

    Sheriff Baca’s legacy with the LASD is about to be written in stone forever. Paul Tanaka et al (Rhambo, Cavanaugh, Goran, Hellmold, Fennell, Guyovich, Tubbs, Duran, etc., etc.) cannot be trusted and serve only themselves at Tanaka’s command. Tanaka’s pay-to-play has been no secret for years, but it’s good to finally see it coming into the light. Tanaka, his pay-to-play, his tattoo, his exclusive cigar patio, his 3000 boys, his relieved-of-duty captains, his manipulation of internal affairs and other units, has become a HUGE distraction. Something has to give.

    For those that are still trying to buy your way into a promotion (Ken McWaid, Chris Marks, Crystal Miranda, Robert Wheat, etc.), I think that ship has sailed. Try earning it on merit instead. Most of us know that’s not in your character. Take a long, honest look in the mirror.

  33. Dulce Says:

    Hey “study hard “. If you were smart enough to make band 1, you wouldn’t be crying about donations now.

  34. Check your ego Says:

    #11 LAB, it’s obvious you think:

    “those who actually work” = you and your buds

    “the other do-nothings” = everybody else

    “the real police” = ghetto gunslingers who are bitchin like you

    “handle your business” = kick ass and take names like the bad mofo you are

    “partners” = everybody who agrees with you

    “honest work” = working the ghetto like you

    LAB, we all hail you. You’re the most righteous, totally bitchin badass mofo the LASD has ever seen. If it wasn’t for you, and guys like you, the LASD would fall apart tomorrow. NOBODY that you don’t know works half as hard as you do. EVERYBODY who has a beef with the way things are rolling now is a lazy turd. EVERY ONE OF THEM. That’s obviously a reasonable conclusion on your part based on fact.

    If I may be so bold as to offer you a piece of advice, although I’m sure you already know this.

    It’s attitudes like yours that fan the flames of resentment among department members. You should be thankful that there’s deps. willing to work all those bullshit “do nothing” stations, because after all, you don’t want to work there do you? Of course not. You’re too bitchin for that. We all know that. And they do have to be staffed don’t they? It’s the LA County Sheriff’s Dept., not the
    Century/Lennox/Compton P.D.

    I sure hope you don’t catch an admin roll up to Lomita or Lost Hills…or God forbid, Walnut.

    But then again, if you do, they will become righteous stations the minute YOU hit the back door.

    Intended or not, that’s the impression you’re giving off. Seriously.

  35. Check your ego Says:

    BTW #11 LAB,
    as far as your statement:

    Baca didn’t buy your begging for a promo = Backstab him and claim he’s out of touch.

    LA Times
    Oct. 16, 2011
    “I wasn’t ignoring the jails. I just didn’t know,” Baca said. “People can say, ‘What the hell kind of leader is that?’ The truth is I should’ve known. So now I do know.”

    Special attn. to “I just didn’t know” and “I should’ve known”.

    According to Sheriff Baca himself, it’s obvious the “out of touch” description holds more water than your claim that he’s being stabbed in the back.

    We can all chill. NOW he knows. lol

  36. Just Me Says:

    Dulce, there aren’t many on the Sheriff’s Department who could legitimately study hard for the Sergeant’s exam or other examination, and be smart enough to score well into the 90s percentile. If you are a department member you should know that. However, there is “preponderance of evidence” to say the people being promoted, on all examinations from band one, were given the answers by the chosen ones. If you want to blind yourself go ahead, is a disservice to you. Just look at who is running the department, all campaign contributors. Look at the totality of the evidence, I am sure based on your training and experience as investigator, you can form a good opinion.

  37. LAD's not helping his heroes Says:

    Your statement
    Baca didn’t buy your begging for a promo = Backstab him and claim he’s out of touch.

    Baca himself said “I didn’t know” and “I should have known” when asked about the jail force. Statements like yours above make you look silly and “out of touch”. lol If you’re trying to defend Baca and Tanaka, you’re not helping. You wanna help them? Become a spectator in this discussion until you’ve at least done a little homework and can keep from making statements that only further the opponents cause.

  38. STOP WHINING Says:

    You people make me ill. The complaining, sniveling and whining is incredible. For the most part, I see very hard working, solid individuals on the lists. Those of you who chose to work at stations near home, in nice areas frankly didn’t work near as hard as those of us who worked busy stations. We didn’t receive anything but grief from the brass for many years. The only thing Tanaka did, was reward those who sacrificed the most. This was done on merit and not on answers given to a test. Why don’t you all “man up” and admit you took the easier road in patrol. And for Olmstead, that’s the ultimate cheese move, retire with your huge pension, then start slinging the mud. Are you gonna tell me Olmstead never played any favortism, C,mon people, get real!!!

  39. Stop Whining Nailed It Says:

    Nuff said Stop Whining!

  40. Falcone Says:

    Stop WHINING:

    Drink your Kool-aid, finish that fine Cuban cigar, and get ready for that freight train that’s heading your way. Tanaka is a mean-spirited, dogmatic tyrant who has surrounded himself with sycophants who would do anything to knife their way to the top. It amazes me how many of your ilk try to protest what is going on by your faulty logic of attacking people who don’t work in Region II. Wake up and smell the java. Tanaka has screwed so many people it ain’t even funny. What goes around comes around, and Mr. KARMA is about to descend on Tanakaville.

  41. Seriously? Says:

    Stop whining, I hope when you say Tanaka rewarded those who sacrificed the most, you’re referring to financially. Near as I can tell from these lists, it ain’t where you work, it’s whether you wrote a check.

  42. STOP WHINING Says:

    Hey Falcone, if you read what I wrote, there is no attack on anyone that didn’t work Region II, just a true observation. Where someone chooses to work is a personal choice, but don’t spew this BS when your perceptions are seriously flawed. It’s not “pay to play”, it’s work hard to play. Perhaps you’re suffering from a case of “truth hurts!” It’s all about going out and getting as much experience as you can at a fast station. Obviously, you didn’t, so live with it and accept it.

  43. Dulce Says:

    “Just Me”. Stop making excuses for those people who are ill equipped to pass an exam. If you really believe it is impossible to score in the 90th percentile without the answers, you might have a learning disability. Crack a book, get into a study group, put down your latte, and go work. Stop hating.

  44. Stop Whining Nailed It Says:

    Hey Falcone and the rest of the Haters. I agree with Stop Whining. I suggest you go 10-8 at 2200 hours, meet for a quick cup at the “O”. Roll your windows down, take the dead cat off your jacket collar, and start taking really bad people to jail. Hang around the South End all day staring at 0600 hours, meet up at court, testify to previous cases, drive back home to the Chino Hills or Simi, get a couple hours sleep and come back and do it all over again. Do that for a few years and then some, and hopefully you would think and feel that good things and bitchen jobs, (coveted positions)jobs would come youre way.

  45. 415F Tag 254 clears 212 Says:

    Now the 415F has come to the LASD “family” doorstep. The accusations fly back and forth. It’s tough to get a true reading because nobody is 100% right and nobody is 100% wrong. Once emotions become involved it gets ugly.
    Admire him, hate him, have mixed emotions about him or are completely indifferent towards him, one thing has to be acknowledged. Paul Tanaka is a smart man. He didn’t get where he is by being a fool.
    Those of you that hate him, you need to realize that even a broken clock is right twice a day. Tanaka has done some good things as the US. He has put some good people, who deserved promotion due to hard work and dedication in the right places.
    Those of you that admire him, you need to realize that even smart men F’up sometimes. Some good people that deserved promotion got passed over in favor of some of Tanaka’s supporters. You can’t have any Golden Children without f’ing over some of the other children.
    The key word here is some. SOME. Some of what both sides are accusing the other of is true.
    Here’s the real tragedy.
    As a smart man, it’s puzzling as to why Tanaka would choose to even accept political donations from those under him whom he would be making personnel decisions about in the future. You could not come up with a scenario that gives the appearance of a conflict of interest any more than that.
    The only explanation that I can come up with is Tanaka thought he would be able to whether the storm IF these donations were made public knowledge. It’s not like he refused to consider the possibility that this could ever happen. He’s a smart guy. He’s a politician. He thinks about things like this. My best guess is that he probably figured that IF the donations were made public, he would already be Sheriff and it would not derail his political ambitions.
    It still remains to be seen if that is the case.

    For those of you that accuse his detractors of whining, you need to stop. Here’s the part of the debate that you can’t get around, no matter how hard you try. Personnel on the LASD who don’t live in Gardena, don’t own any property in Gardena, don’t have any family members in Gardena, etc. doanted to Tanaka’s Gardena political campaign. Are you with a straight face, going to tell us that these personnel donated that money because they were concerned with the civic affairs of the city of Gardena? Come on. You’re undermining your credibility if you fail to acknowledge that at the very least, those donations give the appearance of those personnel donating in an attempt to curry favor with Tanaka due to his position as US.
    Even IF that isn’t the case, any outsider looking at it objectively would say that the appearance is there.
    And now, when some point out the very obvious appearance of these donations, Tanaka loyalists accuse them of whining.

    I’m sure there are some sour grapes commentors that are whining. Not all of them. Tanaka put you guys in a very tough, but totally predictable situation.
    It’s time for Tanaka loyalists to admit that Tanaka put them in this situation. He either was willing to roll the dice that these donations would never be there for all to see, OR, he thought he could whether the storm if the donations did become public. One or the other. There’s no other explanation.
    Was it a bad call on his part? We’ll soon know. If it goes bad, some good people will suffer. If it doesn’t, some Golden Children will remain in place over more qualified candidates. Which means good people will suffer from this scenario also.

    Bottom line: A smart guy f’d up when he decided to accept these political donations. IF he solicited them or strongarmed them, whatever he gets he deserves. It was his call.

    There’s no way you can put a good spin on this.

  46. Falcone Says:


    As a matter of fact, I worked FOR II when it was still called “West”… remember that? Remember going 10-8 in the Nova? Maybe you don’t. 3 working frequencies, 21, 22, and 23? No computers in the car… no radio on your hip when you chase after some dirtbag through Jordan Downs? six-shooter instead of the semi-auto? How dare you try to judge. You have absolutely no idea who I am or what I have managed to do in my career. I’ve been to the O… BFD! I am proud of my career and what I have accomplished ON MY OWN… without having some half-pint’s “blessing”… Have you been on long enough to even know what I’m talking about? I have had the HONOR to have worked FPK AND LNX, and many other assignments… I have spilled blood on the streets of this county, and have worked virtually every assignment you can possibly imagine. I will put my career up against anyone, any time, any place. Your benefactor is right where he belongs… in the grease and on the run. I suppose we will see who is right when the dust settles. Until then, your talk is cheap and reeks of desperation.

  47. Dulce Says:

    “Aero Guy” and all other bloggers who post slanderous, unsubstantiated information attached to a named individual, man up and put your name on it. Or perhaps you will be exposed by others as a department reject.

  48. STOP WHINING Says:

    FALCONE: Very impressive resume, and if true I respect that. You are missing Lynwood Station and I have worked all 3. I also worked the 7th floor at HOJJ which was Detective Bureau converted from the old courtrooms. It was Fugitive Detail and our “Novas” were slick, because we had been on for a couple of years. Slow your roll Mr. Falcone and stop defaming the best law enforcement agency in the Country! You’re starting to embarrass yourself!

  49. Falcone Says:

    STOP WHINING: The Lynwood Station entry explains the allegance to PT. Good job. And I’m not defaming LASD. I love it. I just don’t like some of the BS that’s been going on. I suppose it’s my right to voice my concerns, agreed?

  50. Aero guy Says:

    Ok dulce let me help you out..hit the 2009 donation list provided by this blog site..there you will find a 1000 dollar donation by a company called HSK and you will find it is located in chino hills and owned by Howard Fuches. I guess maybe you believe Howard Fuches from chino hills is really worried about who the next mayor of gardena is but the rest of us are skeptical.. As far as giving a name… Ok you go first..

  51. Dulce Says:

    “Aero Guy” my point is, if you have the nerve to post negative, unsubstantiated comments about a specific person, you should grow a set and put your name on it. If I at some decide to post about a department member, I will do the same. Its easy to anonymously bash someone when you know there will be no backlash. Be a man.

  52. Just in Says:

    With so much negative occurring internally within our Department, our members, both sworn and civilian, are becoming more and more frustrated. As members we have seen our own scorn over the media over excessive force and other issues. Our Department Executives, the media, and many other groups immediately attack the actions of the line workers. They do not hesitate displaying the line employees involved, remember the Compton shooting where some of the deputies involved had to stand behind Baca in a press interview. Now, as the floodgate breaks open and so much information pours out, most of us are overwhelmed buy the amount of details being exposed. Many of us have been exposed to some of the craziness that has occurred over the past several years, others have heard about it through their partners or friends. What is important here is how we handle this call. At work, we collect all the evidence, statements, etc, then we compile this information and decide if there is a crime or not. If there is a crime, we then formulate this information into a detailed report, which in most cases, ends up being filed. Lets get the facts out, good or bad, so we can compile a good case. Then lets hope the right thing is done, and the guilty are exposed to the public, just like one of use would be if we did a terrible thing in the field. Final note, keep in mind we all wear that star, we have all worked those crazy shifts, and we have all seen our brothers and sisters give their lives. We watched their families mourn, as these brave deputies ended their watch for the last time. Lets honor them by respecting each other. What ever belief or comment you have, treat it as if you were disagreeing on a topic with your radio car partner.

  53. Blasphemous Says:

    Celeste and Matt, 
    You begin this thread with the following, “In general we consider it bad form to report on rumors.”  But, true to your form, the two of you are completely lacking any journalistic integrity.  How ironic it is when you try to rehab yourselves with comment #12, “If I or we get unwittingly burned on this series, it won’t be the first time, and assuredly not the last.”  An admission of your marginal reporting prowess.  You obviously are not held to any standards when writing for a blog.  You have both prostituted yourselves and should be ashamed of what you refer to as reporting with the best of intentions.  To Celeste and Matt’s informants: You too are nothing short of prostitutes.  What type of rat trash would confide in two rag/blog journalists.  If anyone is complicit with trying to destroy the department its those of you.  For those calling for an FBI investigation, you have no honor. If you did, you’d go quietly into your respective bathroom’s and swallow the barrel of your guns.  You should be ashamed to wear the tan and green. Be honest, you don’t even look at yourself in the mirror any more. Are you too afraid to see the face of a traitor staring back at you. For those speaking to the left slanting enemy (Matt and Celeste) and wishing for the FBI ride into town on a herd of white horses to cleanse the department, you are devoid of honor, definitely not warriors and are the true disgrace to this department.  This lame excuse for journalism is nothing short of a bloody rag! The following comment is a post by Celeste from 2007 in response to a story at UCI about the hiring, then firing of the first Dean of the law school there.  These are her words, verbatim, “Hope the UCI folks aren’t reading my blog or I’m totally screwed. Fortunately my boss there is as whacked-out, knee-jerk liberal as I am. So maybe we’re both screwed. Hard to tell.” Posted by: Celeste Fremon at September 12, 2007 05:30 PM . Enough said !!!

  54. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Blasphemous, dial it back or get blocked and your comments deleted.

    This is a one time warning.

    Read the 10 Rules for Commenting above.

    In fact, I recommend that all on both sides of this discussion read those rules. Disagreement makes a discussion richer. Demonizing remarks and personal attacks poison the atmosphere and have no place here.

  55. Blasphemous Says:

    Did I strike a nerve. I made no personal attacks whatsoever and certainly did not make any demonizing remarks. If I offended you or Matt with my comments about your obvious liberal / left leaning slant or in the way I classified your blog, please forgive me. However, I do stand behind the remarks about those who choose to be informants of your blog as well as those who call for an FBI investigation. You may have a hard time processing this and this too is understandable. I forgive both you and Matt for your sinful acts and how you have attempted to tarnish the LASD.

  56. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Blasphemous, I assumed you knew the qualitative difference between arguing with someone (or a group of someones) and suggesting that they eat their gun.

    If not, as I said before, please read the 10 Rules for Commenting.

  57. ? Says:

    This is truly emberassing to see so many blogs done in an adolelesent manner by alleged LASD Department Personnel. Like many, I was told about the site and it’s inflammatory blogs and so I tuned in to see this “Jerry Springer” type website. Note the website has the following numbered blogs for recent articles:

    1) For the Tanaka / Baca stories in all: 165
    2) Juvenile Dependency Court: 4
    3) Jail Commision: 0
    4) Hillside Rescue:0
    5) Who Is Being Protected (LAUSD)?: 0
    6) Edelman Childres’s Court: 0
    7) Deconstructin The Prop 8 Decision: 0
    8) Pro 8 Video: 2

    The numbers don’t get any better the further back you go. Point being, business has boomed for this website at the price of department members slamming each other in an extremely juvenile manner. The glaring hypocritcal comments is alarming. The irrational words frighten me that these people could be making life and death decisions in the field. I can’t believe Department Personnel would turn on each other in such a manner for an extremely liberal anti-law enforcement web site (So extreme they called President Obama the worst President for medical marijuana). Department members naming sworn personnel and the city they live in, come on.

    Now you have an editor threatening to remove a blogger for exposing her quote from 5 years ago. Celeste, you are a firm advocate for the 1st Ammendment until you are on the receiving end of a non-slanderous comment. You were far more tolerant of people being named in alleged criminal condcuct, accused of sexual behavior, male department members accused of performing sexual acts upon other male members, negative comments regarding physical stature and race.

    Some of the blogs sound like simpletons who would lose public trust in the ability to do their jobs, if this was exposed to a mainstream publication.

  58. Investigative mind Says:


    Where is all this written comments about deps who have no honor should go in the bathroom and eat their guns coming from? Wow. Someone woke up in a really bad mood.

  59. Thanks Says:

    Thank you Celeste for the great forum (this is America still isn’t it?) and thank you blasphemous for demonstrating in a way a thousand posts couldn’t explain .. That is your side of the issues sick mentality and hatred of free speech.

  60. STOP WHINING Says:

    Very well done Blasphemous(post 53). Obviously when you get threatened with censorship, you’re speaking the truth! The fact they wanted to pull you from the forum speaks volumes.

  61. Dirty Dealings Says:


    I have welcomed your insightful reports. You are finally putting into print what most members of this Department have known for years. Obviously, we can do without all the personal attacks. Perhaphs you should censor the more vindictive and politically motivated ramblings!

  62. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Thanks for the kind words, DD, and you read my mind. Prior to reading your comment, I’d just spiked 4 comments that were of no-useful content, but had devolved into the “and your feet smell too,” third grade level of intellectual discourse.

    And for those who are readying their keyboards to tell me that I’m deleting criticism of the site, don’t bother. The first two I spiked were anti-law enforcement in nature.

    Bottom line, there’s been a lot of mud throwing on both sides. No more. If you want to engage in civil discourse, fine. All opinions are welcomed. If not, I won’t approve your comments.

    Have a nice evening.

  63. DOE INC Says:

    Celese – Well done, and thank you for providing a forum for the oppressed and victimized LASD “proud”. Well, once proud.

  64. Celeste Fremon Says:


    Effective immediately, I have stopped approving comments on these LASD threads. When the next Dangerous Jails post goes up, I will open comments again.

    Up until recently these LASD-related comment threads have been a lively forum that seemed to be of value to those posting, and much appreciated by us here at WitnessLA. With a few exceptions, the overwhelming majority of people came here for genuine discussion and an airing of thoughts—whether they agreed or disagreed with WitnessLA’s reporting, or each other.

    In the past week however, a minority of commenters—some from both sides of the argument—have allowed their comments to devolve into very personal attacks that can serve no constructive purpose, and which drive away the thoughtful commenters who don’t want to risk being hit with flying mud.

    Moderating a lively and purposeful comment area takes a great deal of time. That is why sites such LAObserved have no commentary at all and why most large media outlets, if they allow comments, have staff members assigned to the task of moderating, not reporters and editors.

    As I said, I’ll open up the commentary when there’s a new post. And we’ll see how it goes.

    Thank you for understanding.

  65. » Blog Archive » Why Did LASD’s Scandal-Plagued Undersheriff Paul Tanaka Announce His Resignation: Decoding the Decision Says:

    [...] reports on alleged pay-to-play here, here and [...]

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