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Rumors Persist that Baca is Shaking Up His Top Management

February 10th, 2012 by Celeste Fremon

In general we consider it bad form to report on rumors,
but this one has grown so persistent, detailed and wide-spread in the last few days that not reporting it is beginning to seem peculiar.

The primary rumor is as follows:

Sheriff Lee Baca will soon announce that he is demoting his ultra-powerful second in command, Undersheriff Paul Tanaka. In addition, sources say, he is demoting Assistant Sheriff Cecil Rhambo while the third member of the sheriff’s triumvirate of top command staff, Assistant Sheriff Marvin Cavanaugh, will retire.

The rumor goes on to say that Tanaka will be replaced by Chief William McSweeney— and that, although, Tanaka and Rhambo will drop down a rank or so, they will not have a salary decrease.

Chief Roberta Abner is said to be the most likely candidate to replace Assistant Sheriff Rhambo, but her possible promotion is mentioned less often than the shuffling of the four named above.

And… when I say rumors, I mean information coming from multiple sources within the department, plus very plugged-in recent retirees, and a mention in one of the widely-read retirees newsletters….and so on. Yet none of the sources are people who got this information first hand from the sheriff or one of his proxies.

Moreover, for all the rumoring, nothing has happened-–at least not publicly.

We’ve spoken to two different people in the department’s media affairs office and they swear they’ve heard no such thing.

(The LA Weekly’s Simone Wilson, who has heard similar rumors and with whom we’ve exchanged emails on the topic, asked the question of Steve Whitmore, the sheriff’s personal spokesperson, and he mostly got testy with her.)

So if it is true, what is taking so long? If it is not true, where is all this detailed disinformation coming from?

In a recent meeting with people outside the department, Sheriff Baca reportedly said that he felt no “political pressure” from the raft of critical press, an ever-widening FBI investigation, a gigantic ACLU class action suit, and the now up-and-running Citizens Commission on Jail Violence that is determined to dig deep into the management—or lack thereof— of his troubled jails.

Yet, however dismissive the sheriff may be when he is speaking to others of the trouble swirling around the LASD, Baca would have to be willfully blind not to guess that more and more department insiders are coming forward, both to media outlets such as WitnessLA, and to the Feds. And those insiders bring with them facts and direct knowledge of things going on in the sheriff’s department that, when exposed to light, are not going to look pretty.

So would all of the above cause Baca to do damage control in the form of a big reshuffle at the top?

It is a difficult question to handicap. For one thing, when a department official has amassed as much power for as long a time as has Paul Tanaka [See Matt Fleischer's Dangerous Jail's Part 3 and Part 4 for the details], it is difficult to imagine him—especially someone of Tanaka’s ambition and temperament—going gently into that good night, so to speak.

More as we know it.

Posted in LA County Jail, LASD, Sheriff Lee Baca, THE LA JUSTICE REPORT | 52 Comments »

52 Responses

  1. roberto Says:

    Hey did you hear that the world will end on December 21, 2012? There have been multiple sources reporting that too.


    I copy that loud and clear Roberto.

  3. karma Says:

    “y tu Brute”

  4. Morning Buzz: Friday 2.10.12 | LA News Talk Radio Says:

    [...] a shakeup in top command staff by Sheriff Lee Baca. Full denial by spokesman Steve Whitmore. Witness LA, LA [...]

  5. wewillrocku Says:

    Well Sheriff Baca, has the light finally come on? Several truly good people have left the Department in frustration (or otherwise forced out) over the past 6-7 years, who tried to warn you about Tanaka. And what was your response to them?…”I don’t want to hear it.” or “You have to learn to work with your boss.” So claiming that you didn’t know, that you weren’t kept in the loop, is a load of crap. You didn’t know because you didn’t want to know.

    It took just over 13 years for the Department to get this screwed up. Do you really think there’s enough time to unscrew it before the end of your term? Doubtful!

    But let’s assume for a moment you really are trying to make things right. If you are serious then,…STAY AT HOME AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR BUSINESS!

    Quit trotting all over the globe to every meeting, seminar and conference you get invited to or (more likely) worm your way into. Where, as part of your self-promoting “Legacy” tour, you portray yourself as Prophet, Messiah, Bhagwan, Imam, Maharishi, Shaman, or whatever title fits the particular crowd you’re performing before, depending on their religious, philosophical or political leanings. Good lord man, pick a specific belief system or set of values, and stick to it. Doesn’t mean you can’t be sensitive to and inclusive of others. You’ve evolved into nothing more than a political chameleon, while the Department you’re responsible for has imploded beneath you.

    If you truly were the Enlightened One, we wouldn’t be in the midst of this disaster.

    2014 is nipping at your heels, and your lack of leadership and control is nipping at your behind. You have one shot, maybe, to get it right. Again…doubtful!

  6. Sarah Says:

    It is about time something is done to stop the violence and admit there was and is a big problem in the L.A. jails!

  7. Dulce Says:

    Mind your own business Sarah.

  8. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Dulce, this is not a private party. And, not to put too fine a point on it, but the health and well being of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department is the business of everyone who lives in this county we all share.

    Thanks for your presence, and your cooperation.


    At the next election for Sheriff, make your vote count. Yours may be the ONE vote that will make the difference. Just make sure you do your research. This blog is one of the sure ways to get the inside information that prior to this, it was not available on public media. Unfortunately us insiders do make our family/department look bad airing out our dirty laundry, but as far as I am concerned, our salaries are paid by public funds, and that makes our Department’s business public business, good or bad. There should be nothing to stop a private citizen to walk into any county building, Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff’s station and ask anyone there to give them the time of day to explain how things work. Shame on the county employee that act as if it’s a nuisance to be on the job. Helping the public is what we do and THAT should be your money at work. Well, provided you’re an upstanding citizen wanting to learn and to make things better and not some chump institutional obstructionist.
    And the next time you see a deputy in tan and green, or a police officer in dark blue uniform, or CHP in full tan doing a traffic stop, I hope you still appreciate the magnitude of what THEY do, and the courage it takes to do what they do. We don’t take it for granted that we get to go home at the end of the shift. On occasion a few of us never make it home to their families. Take the time to smile and know that there are a lot of good deputies and cops out there. We have bad seeds in every profession.

  10. Dulce Says:

    Celeste you are doing an outstanding job with your investigative reporting. Keep up the good work. Just be careful when dealing with these informants. Odds are, you will get burned.

  11. Kids First Says:

    This rumor, if true would be a good first step Sheriff. Just as important you need to demote or fire Tanaka’s boys and girls who have been in his sinking car. They are all very arrogant and don’t give a damn for the citizens of LA County. You, Waldie and Stonich have let Tanaka promote whoever he wanted to and both of you have required your employees donate to keep you in office and Tanaka’s wasn’t even a law enforcement position. Clean house Sheriff. They have all been named many times so it’s not like we don’t know who they are. Baca, you are now being tested. Your true leadership will now be obvious.

  12. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Dulce. And if I (or we) get unwittingly burned on this series, it won’t be the first time, and assuredly not the last. Everyone’s got a bias, including reporters—even the best intentioned of people. It seems to be part of the human condition. One tries to be aware of those biases (especially one’s own) and counteract them. But sometimes, despite earnest efforts, you just plain blow it.

    But I appreciate the reminder.

    As I said in the post, we don’t generally consider it cool to report on rumors—for obvious reasons. But, this time it was such a noisy and detailed one it became its own story.

    Happy Friday. (And what a beautiful one it is.)

  13. Just in Says:

    If Tanka is removed but allowed to keep his pay, he is still being rewarded. Since he is new to the Under Sheriff position, he has not been in that position long enough to maximize his retirement at the U/S salary. Since no rank above a Commander is protected by Civil Service, Tanaka, and his salary, could easily be changed to a Commander’s level. One reason why this will not happen, Tanaka controls the Friend of Baca account.

  14. Dirty Dealings Says:

    Promoting Chief William McSweeney is not the answer either. He is also one of “Baca’s Boys”. I found him to be shallow, arrogant, and lacking in integrity. Keep Looking!

  15. Sarah Says:

    I very much appreciate the services and bravery of all the men and women who protect our safety. It is the few bad apples that need to be dealt with. And, Dulce, it IS my business!

  16. REALLY! Says:

    Celeste & Witness LA

    In your mission to spread rumors and drop inside information from confidential meetings held within LASD you have giving the Haters and disloyal a venue. Nothing you are doing is helping the men and women who day to day risk their lives. Your blog, and the Bitter retired hand biters who don’t appreciate LASD for giving them a comfortable retirement, have continually driven LASD moral to the ground. The issues between the Sheriff and his command staff should be handled internally and not put on your blog as a tool to pressure the Sheriff to move towards or away from his top staff. Chief Abner and anyone else who has an axe to bury should quit talking to you. She and the other Chiefs next to her have become part of the problem not the solution……

  17. Proud! Says:

    I’ve been following this story for several weeks and have been trying to keep quiet, but it is hard when you have people like Dulce (and others) who are clearly “in the car” making ridiculous comments. We all know there are various camps within the Sheriff’s Department, the most prominent being the “in the car group.” Then you have the people who mean well, but are afraid of career suicide, so they don”t say anything to piss off the “in the car guys,” these are most likely the insiders who are now retired and speaking up because Tanaka and the “in the car guys” can no longer hurt them. I know many of them and would gladly work side by side, with the majority of them, in a radio car. The key parts of that sentence are “work” and “radio car!

    There is another forgotten camp, those who hired on and were trained to work hard and be honest. You were lead to believe that as long as you worked hard you would someday be noticed for your work ethic…..wrong! Most guys who work hard don’t want to, nor did they feel they needed to be “in the car.” But yet they continue to trudge on despite the reality. It is time to go back to the days when your work ethic was all you needed to get noticed. I will always be proud to be part of this department because I know what it use to be and despite our “dirty laundry” we are still well respected on the streets.

    Dig on Celeste and as corny as it sounds, some day hopefully you can be proud of the fact that you helped make the largest Sheriff’s Department in the world, check themselves.

  18. lisa Says:


    I’ll agree with the spreading rumor part and THAT part only. Nothing confidential has been published by WitnessLA. Giving the “Haters” and “disloyal” (as you refer to them) a venue is partially true. WitnessLA has given those that have been wronged or who have witnessed wrongdoing a venue that had not formerly existed. But, that is a good thing. If there hasn’t been any wrongdoing, then there is nothing to worry about.

    Many in the LASD took notice at how the “top brass” treated Maxwell when he filed his grievance against Tanaka. That message was heard loud and clear and it warned anybody else that had an issue that there was NO venue for their legitimate complaint to be heard.

    So, unless you can cite some “inside information from confidential meetings,” just keep on reading and learning. Don’t try to bully Chief Abner or anybody else. I don’t know where Chief Abner stands, but anyone that stands against what Tanaka has built (and torn down) within the LASD, is absolutely brave and doing the right thing; for the LASD. In the long run, maybe you will see that. Maybe not, depending on where you stand (toying with that cigar coin in your pocket).

    Here’s a little tip: Don’t assume that this information is only coming from the retired folk.

  19. it is-what it is Says:

    the LASD shake up is long overdue. hard to believe these corrupt “leaders” have been in charge so long. Where has the LA Times been for the last 10 yrs? Talk about UN-responsible reporting. They are next in line, to be run out of town.

  20. STOP WHINING Says:

    #16 POST “REALLY”, has it just right. This has become an out of control spiral of rumor, disgruntled retirees and nonesense. I am only participating in the blogs because I couldn’t sit back and read this crap any longer without responding. I know the forum is through Witness LA, but I do have serious doubts about their agenda also. We’ll find out who is behind it and it could be very revealing. I love this Department and agree (as REALLY) states, we are beating the hell out of the morale.

  21. Dulce Says:

    Celest, my last comment was apparently a failed attempt at sarcasm. Also, “it is what it is’”, the LA Times hasn’t picked up this story because they ARE a responsible news source.

  22. Dulce Says:

    Sarah. Grow up.

  23. bottomline Says:

    Bottom Line whether you love or hate Tanaka,Baca,or whoever, This is taking a tremendous effect on morale of all department employees. Morale is something we all need to want to go out and do a very dangerous job. I think its time for the sheriff to at the very least speak to his employees and tell the truth about what is going on. To leave his employees flocking to a blog for answers is ridiculous.


    Really, sounds like someone got their little kool aid drinking, cigar smoking, campaign donating feelings hurt. Let me get this straight, this is a venue for the disloyal? Disloyal to who? Do you have Stockholm Syndrome or are just so impressed by the bullshit you have been convinced to believe that you can’t see the truth. You sound as stupid as that idiot LAB. Do us all a favor and shut your mouth before you say something that exposes your identity. As for the LASD giving any department member a retirement, did you miss the part of the lecture where we discussed working for 30 plus years and paying into our own retirement fund? I am actually entertained by your ignorance and your blind loyalty. I hope one day, when the buzz of the fake Cuban cigars fades, you will realize that you wasted your money. By the way, before you and that moron LAB say it…. Im not lazy, nor am I bitter, nor am I upset because someone did or did not check my ass, I just don’t like big mouths who talk shit and cheat to succeed. So, log off and log back in under a new identity, because you are Really Stupid.

  25. New stories please Says:

    Celeste – I still like the site, but please give us some fresh reporting. It is getting tiresome reading about Sheriffs arguing with each other every day about who should be promoted and who should be in charge. No one cares but them. The jail stuff was interesting at first, but recently Witness LA is starting to look like an internal Sheriff publication. Go back to being a publication about all issues. Thank you.

  26. it is-what it is Says:

    dulce-open your eyes. The LA Times has been a worthless,biased,rag packed with lies and favoritism for decades.
    Seems you haven’t been in LA very long. I have been here my entire life, and experienced first hand the lies and deceit printed in that pathetic excuse for a newspaper.

  27. Ronald Says:

    Can we sue the LA Sheriffs and slap them with a gang injunction? With those pictures they took, I’ll bet you they meet enough criteria.

  28. Erick Says:

    I did not know all this was happening! What has the FBI concluded after investigating the LASD?

  29. Loud and clear Says:

    It is surprising that no one has yet brought up the idea of recalling Lee Baca. If he cannot feel the heat and pressure from the misconduct that runs through his chain of command from deputies all the way up to undersheriff, he is unfit to lead the LASD. The threat of losing his job might get him to take decisive action to restore public trust in the department. It’s time for voters to really turn up the heat on Lee Baca by using the one tool they have left which is a recall election.

  30. REALLY! Says:



  31. AVS Says:

    You people need to get a life. There are only about 10-15 people (current or retired) that post these lies or rumors about the department. In an organization that has 18,000 sworn and civilian employees, it’s not hard to find disgruntled employees who would rather spread false rumors than do some actual work. The people that post these blogs are angry with the current command (The Sheriff and Mr. Tanaka in particular) for holding people accountable. Some of the command staff (current or retired Captains, Commanders and Chiefs) are upset because Mr. Tanaka and the Sheriff expect you know your deputies and know what’s going on in your command.

    When Mr. Tanaka was the Assistant Sheriff over patrol he held Monday meetings with Captains from every Unit, Bureau, or Station. Some of the command staff didn’t like this because they were expected to know what was going on at their unit of assignment. Mr. Tanaka and the Sheriff hold people to a higher standard and expect hard work out of every man and woman on the department. When Mr. Tanaka was the Assistant Sheriff over patrol, he developed a plan to decimate gangs in the communities we live and work in. As a result, violent crime is down to its lowest rate since the 1970’s in some areas like Lynwood. In 2006, there were 18 murders, in 2009, there were only 2, the lowest number in current record history according to Department of Justice statistics dating back to 1985. This reduction occurred when Mr. Tanaka was the Assistant Sheriff over patrol. The bottom line is that the Sheriff and Mr. Tanaka expects hard work from everyone and some people just want to do the bare minimum and be recognized.

  32. John Zellie Says:

    Southern California has a serious problem with the current employed cops,
    no matter what they are called, highway patrol, sheriff, police, what ever they are called they are gangsters and a serious danger to the public. Look at the comments. They care about themselves and who gets more money. Where are suggestion to make the community safer. Just give me a promotion and more money.

  33. Blasphemous Says:

    Hey John Zellie,
    Either move, or the next time you have a thug breaking into your home, accosting you on the streets of LA and have the misfortune to have a loved one suddenly stop breathing, call the DWP or Direc TV. The men and women you just bashed are going to respond all out for your ungrateful self. Spare us grief of having to come to your aid.

  34. Truth Prevails Says:

    Regardless of whether or not the “Little Prince” and all of his campaign donor, minnie-me minions remain in power, their reign of terror is officially dead. They have all been laid bare, exposed, humiliated, spayed and neutered. They will forever be covered in the stench of their scandalous behavior. The only authority they carry in the eyes of the line personnel is in their totally undeserved rank.

    There is no reasonable explanation for what they did and any jury would agree on what their motivation was. The careers of many competent, ethical, and hard working people have been destroyed by these scoundrels who deliberately harassed and discriminated against them for not donating to a mayoral campaign in a city in which they had no vested interest. These puppets are renowned for coming into units and ridding them of all personnel except those who supported the “Little Prince.”

    It is truly pathetic that these delusional people actually believe that they deserved to be promoted ahead of countless candidates who were eminently more qualified. It is also amazing how the stars have aligned perfectly over and over again for campaign donors who’s careers have skyrocketed while lightening has repeatedly struck those who chose to try to promote the old-fashioned way, through hard work in challenging assignments Without direct manipulation by the “Little Prince” and his co-conspirators, the odds of these promotions occurring the way they did are one-in-a-trillion.

    The good news is, Sheriff’s personnel can now seize the advantage, take back their department, and rid it of the cancerous, incompetent, sycophantic scum that is infesting its ranks and causing relentless embarrassment of the Sheriff’s department for the world to see.

    All of these “rising stars” need to placed under intense scrutiny by ALADS, POPA and EVERYONE else in the department. They should be held accountable for everything they say or do in their official capacity. EVERY SINGLE THING THEY DO as Sergeants, Lieutenants, Captains, Commanders, Chiefs, etc. should be assiduously documented and vigorously checked for bias, discrimination, harassment, errors, or violation of any County or Sheriff policy. These poor slobs need to know that they are being constantly watched and will be held accountable. Grievances, personnel complaints, and lawsuits should be immediately utilized whenever appropriate. If I were one of these “superstars” who have been identified, I think I would become paranoid of all those people I once lorded over when I was able to abuse my power with the blessing of “The Little Prince.”

    My guess is, that even a third-rate slip-and-fall lawyer would have the discrimination/harassment case of the century if they can get even half of the people that these arrogant, pompous, self-serving fools have discriminated against to tell their stories.

    I’ll bet a lot of people are already contacting attorney’s, since their cases are already proven beyond any doubt whatsoever.

    Its a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Can you say class-action lawsuit?

  35. Proud! Says:

    @AVS, I don’t think most insiders have a problem with Mr. Tanaka’s original plan of “making people accountable to do their job.” The problem that has developed is that it doesn’t apply to everyone. The fact is he has allowed his “in the car people” to set up their own little dynastys and rule by fear, as he does. Talk about a morale killer! It’s no secret that you do not take a stand against a “Mr. T” idea, even if it isn’t a good one, for fear of retaliation. Those of you have never made a decision on your own, for the good of the department, contrary to “Mr. T,” wouldn’t know what happens, so I’ll forgive you for your ignorance.

    The excuse the “in the car people” keep using is, that these comments are only being made by a “few disgruntled people,” but the fact is most current employees are afraid to comment and most retired employees, claim they will fight when they retire, but soon realize “what’s the point?” But, I will use one example to contradict you. Retired Commander Olmstead, who has spoken up, was a highly respected street cop as well as a supervisor. Those who want to portray him as anything else is simply for their own agenda.

    As far as your “bare minimum and expect to get noticed” comment, are you really that ignorant or just relying on the fact that most people reading this blog don’t know the inside scoop. “The car” is full of “bare minimum people.” The problem is the car is Mr. Tanaka’s Limousine. Guess who’s driving that car? The hard working people who just want to do their job and hope to be recognized for their hard work and not the fact that they aspire to be a passenger some day.

    Most of the best “grunt jobs” on this department that require knowledgable “police-work” are given to “bare minimum” people because they have aligned themselves with someone who is in the car. Everyday someone (not in the car) more knowledgable and better suited for a particular job is passed over because they refuse to “get in the car.” How does that work into your accountability equation. As far as crime being down, if we put as much work into real police work as we do into manipulating statistics there might actually be less crime, than just less crime on paper. If the department and our executives have nothing to hide, why not provide an opportunity for people (specifically retired, they have nothing to lose) to make the accusations in an open “Community Style” meeting. It would never happen because there are no good excuses for where this department is headed and for some of the bad day to day decisions.

    Is this the part where Dulce tells me to “shut up! Probably not because with all the commentary the only person she was aggressive towards was “Sarah.”

  36. Perry, Fedele, Thompson & Associates LLC Says:

    To AVS:

    It’s a little late in the game, Paul Tanaka already has someone writing campaign literature for him. What he really needs is competent legal representation and someone who can write a good brief. Interested? Please contact Friends of Paul Tanaka, 1919 W. Redondo Blvd, Suite 105, Gardena, CA 90247.

  37. ? Says:

    This is truly emberassing to see so many blogs done in an adoleescent manner by alleged LASD Department Personnel. Like many, I was told about the site and it’s inlammatory blogs and so I tuned in to see this “Jerry Springer” type website. Not 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 Children’s Court: 0
    7) Deconstruction the Prop 8 Decision: 0
    8) Prop 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 hypocritical 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 threatenting to remove a blogger for exposing her quote from 5 years ago (Article -2-07-12). 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 criminal conduct, 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, it this was exposed to a mainstream publication.

  38. Proud! Says:

    @#37,you are missing the point. There is no other form to air our grievances for fear of retaliation. And, I like many of my justifiably disgruntled partners would never allow that to come into play when making a life and death decision on the streets. On the contrary, we are the clear thinkers, that is why we are disgruntled. Most of us have never even tried to promote because good solid police work is what we do. Most of the hard workers I know don’t complain or get involved in the “politics” of the department until they are forced into a corner.

    I am always amazed when someone “pops off” and attacks others verbally, yet offers no advice, no factual crticism or remedy for the problem at hand.

  39. Truth Prevails Says:

    “Little by little, the old world crumbled, and not once did the king imagine that some of the pieces might fall on him.”

  40. Incredible Says:

    To #37:

    Speaking of simpletons and the public trust, I don’t know which is worse – those pontificating about mainstream media and responsible news sources, or those who just plain condescend. This isn’t about promotions and coveted positions, or the handwringing of retirees. The issues raised here (though they lack the grandiloquence that passes for most chatter about public safety and morale) are gut wrenching. Say what you will and demean the voices you hear if you want to, but the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has been hijacked by little group of immature men who have no concern for the public’s interest. None of us can afford to look down our nose, whine it’s only a blog, then “tut, tut” that this noise will eventually blow over. The wind has been blowing the wrong way for 14 years. You can kill (or try to discredit) the messenger, but the message is still the same. I have yet to see anyone refute the information presented during the course of this series. Quite the contrary, the volume of details has increased from week to week. I don’t know what they’re doing at the Times, but it’s not journalism. And Leroy/Paul? There’s no leadership coming out of Monterey Park, either. This is the worst cluster, I’ve ever seen – two units at a hot call and no one has the handle. If we sit here long enough, maybe it’ll go away . . . not hardly. Neither of them is fit to command, nor is the sad cast of characters beneath them. Let’s just get the criminal case out of the way and go from there.

  41. Blue Piggy Says:

    I agree with truth prevails ! Very well said.

  42. us marshall Says:

    #6 Sarah, you’re right when I was there we had a LT. named Al Gonzalez who treated the deputies like shit. He never once tried to teach them the right way. He talked down to them and belittled them constantly, always thinking he was better than anybody else, thank god the ass hole is retired. The young Deputies on the Sheriff’s department need guidance not humiliation. We have some great people on this department and custody should be the training ground to be an outstanding street cop. The Al Gonzalez’s of this world should never be supervisors in this organization. Supervisors are accountable and should be selected on there merit, malcontents are just that. Lets promote on merit.

  43. lasd retired Says:

    Too bad Sheriff Block fell in the shower and died,none of this would have happened if he had been re-elected

  44. Truth Says:

    Why is my comment censored? Did I hit a nerve? Are you protecting the cops on this page? What is wrong with saying cops are self serving. Look at these prior comments. How many other comments are you censoring to steer these comments in a certain direction. Maybe that should be the next story. What is your agenda Witness LA?


    EDITOR’S NOTE: “Truth,” you keep typing the same anti-law enforcement message. We got it. Since then it’s been a broken record, adding nothing. I’m declining to approve any comments from any side of this discussion, that aren’t constructive. And if I’m out for the evening, nobody gets approved until I get back.

  45. Falcone Says:

    I’d also like to ask everyone involved to take a step back for a while and resist the temptation to keep this chain going. Let’s wait for the next installment of the story and see where that leads us. We’ve ridden this train as far as it can go. It seems to have taken on a life of its own recently, and is being more destructive than helpful. Thank you all.

  46. Jack Webb Says:

    It amazes me that we take this job and are expected to have a high level of integrity and be brave enough to put our life on the line. However, we protect bad behavior with the code of silence. Until we get away from that mentality, the problems in the department will exist no matter who runs the department. What sad is I work with civilian employees that have or will be moving to DST positions and they are already indocrinated into this way of thinking. We are to concerned what our fellow deputies will think instead of doing what is right. People need to lead by example and it time to clean house in Monterey Park.

  47. LE pensions Says:

    Cut the million dollar pensions these sheriffs are getting. Support Initiative 11-0064 (Amdt. #1S)
    CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Reduces pension benefits for current and future peace officers. Eliminates constitutional protections for current and future public employees’ vested pension benefits. Creates hybrid pension plan for new employees, capping collective benefits at 75 percent of salary. Limits cost-of-living adjustments for retired and current employees. Prohibits public retirement systems from providing death or disability benefits to future employees.

  48. Top of the Mountain Says:

    I have been reading this blog for quite a while. I find most of the posts very factual and know alot of the younger players (young turks) mentioned. Fortunately, I have a few years to go, I work where I want, and don’t have deal with the Executives. I hate politics. Politics should have nothing to do with Law Enforcement at the DS and lower management levels. Frankly, at this point, I care only about me, my family, and those within my inner circle. I could care less who gets promoted and why. Man do I have some stories and facts that could blow folks out of the water. But guess what, I’m leavin this job knowing I never hurt anyone, above or below me.

  49. 415F Tag 254 clears 212 Says:

    Again, a reminder to a few of the commentors on this blog who accuse others of being “disloyal”.

    You’re not doing yourself or those you support and admire any favors by calling dissenting voices disloyal. The very people you support and admire RAN AGAINST AN INCUMBENT SHERIFF. Said bad shit about him, said that it was time for a new Sheriff, etc. etc.

    So let’s get it straight. You think LASD members should quit talking shit about your guy(s) who talked shit about the guy(s)before him?????????

    Is there another word for that other than hypocritical?

    Grow the fuck up and have an intelligent conversation/debate that isn’t completely controlled by your less than adult emotions.

  50. Another Perspective Says:

    I’ve read withy great concern many of the self-serving, politically motivated statements of a very few entitled sworn retirees that have decided to cast a cloud over the LASD.

    First, I am not a sworn member of the department. Rather, I’m one of 8,000 professional staff members dedicated as the support backbone of the department, managing a staggering $2.5 billion budget. My father proudly served as a sworn member, and instilled values in me that others contributing obviously did not receive.

    When Mr. Tanaka took over as chief of ASD, the department was in financial shambles. Over budget, contracts out of compliance, and uncollected revenue were only a few of the issues. Tack on a bureau with morale in the toilet, and you have a real mess.

    Mr. Tanaka balanced the budget, fixed the contract mess and revenue stream (sounds easy but it isn’t), and sent morale through the roof. Alas, we had a man that provided the leadership few could have given the same set of circumstances. Did I contribute to his campaign? Absolutely. Do I live in Gardena? No. Was Gardena on the brink of financial ruin? YES. Why did I give? When you witness a man create institutional change with such skill devotion, you support him and his endeavours to make this county a better place for ALL to live. I received (nor expected) nothing in return.

    I have a question for retired chief Ronnie Williams: Why was Region II, while under your command, known as the most fiscally mismanaged buerau in the department? Why did Mr. Tanaka and the Sheriff repeatedly counsel you about your budget ignorance, gross overspending, and “shady” financial misgivings? Now it’s clear why you have an axe to grind.

    To Roberta Abner: You have followed in Ronnie’s footsteps in your gross mismanagement of Leadership and Training Division. Your long history of absenteeism is just one facet of your leadership failings. Just ask your budget rep. Oh wait; you have to be at work to ask your budget rep. Did I say leadership? Why would you have allowed a professional staff director to drive while severely intoxicated and be subsequently arrested, most likely leading to a career-ending blunder? You were right along side of her, in the middle of a “work” day, imbibing to excess with your “friend.” Roberta, what was your blood alcohol content when you drove home that fateful day?

  51. Falcone Says:

    I guess the knives are still out…There aren’t enough busses in LA County to house all the people who are being thrown under them. I guess all I can say is, “welcome aboard.”

  52. 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.

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