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TESTIMONY ABOUT TACITLY SANCTIONED INMATE ABUSE – by Matt Fleischer

July 10th, 2012 by Celeste Fremon


THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF PAUL TANAKA’S HAND-PICKED MAN INSIDE MEN’S CENTRAL JAIL

by Matt Fleischer

The Jails Commission Hears About Repeated Failures to Investigate Deputy Brutality, Jokes About the Right Way to Slug Prisoners (“Not in the Face”)—All Done Under the Protection of Then Assistant Sheriff Paul Tanaka



At the close of his testimony to the Los Angeles Citizens Commission on Jail Violence last Friday, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Captain Michael Bornman told an audience made up of the seven commissioners, various commission staff and other LASD watchers, plus high ranking members of the Sheriff’s command staff, that “this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.”

Bornman’s shell-shocked demeanor strongly suggested he was telling the truth.

An active LASD captain who now runs the sheriff’s Education Based Incarceration Bureau, Bornman’s testimony centered on his tenure as a lieutenant at Men’s Central Jail under the captainship of Dan Cruz from late 2009 to late 2010. Readers of our Dangerous Jails series are already familiar with many of the facts of Bornman’s testimony regarding the grossly lax supervision of troublesome deputies at Men’s Central Jail by Cruz—who thus far has been the highest-ranking member of the department to be put on leave in relation to the recent jails scandal.

During his tenure as CJ’s captain from April 2008 until December of 2010, Cruz sat on piles of force packages—often excusing deputy misbehavior after only cursory review, or sometimes not delving into the cases at all by burying the investigations until the year-long statue of limitations expired. Force jumped on the first year of his watch–from 273 to 330 incidents.

Bornman testified that, during Cruz’s tenure, he also found large numbers of incomplete investigations into MCJ deputies misconduct outside the jail, which Cruz seemed loathe to pursue.

In one such incident, according to Bornman, several off-duty MCJ deputies got into a drunken fight with a construction worker at BJ’s brewery in West Covina. During the furniture-throwing melee, a deputy punched a woman in the face. Another deputy allegedly flashed his gun. When Bornman approached Cruz with the incomplete administrative investigation into this reported assault, Cruz told him not to “look too hard.” Then when Borman further noted that the 365-day window to complete inquiries into the matter was fast approaching, Cruz was unfazed. Said Bornman of Cruz: “He said, ‘Oh, well. If it drops dead, it drops dead.’”

Bornman went ahead with his investigation anyway, and the reported misdeeds of two of the deputies involved in the fracas were deemed “founded.”


FUCK BOB OLMSTED….I WORK FOR PAUL TANAKA

One of the things in Bornman’s testimony that seemed to particularly capture the commissioners’ attention was his account of the ways in which Cruz and other CJ supervisors invoked then-Assistant Sheriff, now Undersheriff, Paul Tanaka’s name in justifying these shoddy or nonexistent administrative investigations into deputy misbehavior.

Bornman went on to tell the jails commission that on repeated occasions Cruz made no efforts to disguise his close connection to Tanaka.

“He made it very clear that Mr. Tanaka had been helpful to him” said Bornman.

Cruz’s reported blurting only bolsters what we reported back in December of last year: that Cruz’s rise to captain of CJ was almost entirely thanks to his relationship with Paul Tanaka. As a lieutenant at Lennox Station in Inglewood several years before his promotion to captain of CJ, Cruz’s boss, Commander Ralph Martin, and Martin’s boss, LASD field operations Region II Chief Ronnie Williams, pushed to transfer Cruz to a lesser assignment because he was as much as 18 months behind in investigating citizen complaints (called “watch commander service comment reports” or SCR’s) against officers working at the station. One source told us Cruz had “at least three massive boxes of complaints” piled on his desk.

Thanks to these supervisory lapses, Cruz eventually was transferred to the Facility Services Bureau. Coming from a high-profile station like Lennox, this was considered a “dead-end” job and a major punishment. But less than a year later, in the fall of 2006, Paul Tanaka rescued Cruz from career oblivion and installed him as operations lieutenant of Men’s Central Jail—second in charge under then- Captain Robert Olmsted. When Olmsted moved up the position of commander in April of 2008, Tanaka insisted that Cruz move into his place as captain, meaning Dan Cruz was now in charge of Men’s Central Jail, long the most troubled facility in the County’s system.

(A few months later, Cruz donated twice to Paul Tanaka’s Gardena mayoral campaign—once on December 18, 2008, and again on January 6, 2009.)

Bornman testified that despite having three immediate supervisors in the chain of command between Cruz and Paul Tanaka—Commander Olmsted, Chief Dennis Burns and the assistant sheriff in charge of custody, Marvin Cavanaugh—bizarrely Cruz felt he needed to be accountable only to Tanaka who, as the assistant sheriff in charge of patrol, technically had no control over the jails at all.

In fact, in one instance, when Bornman suggested Cruz’s supervisor Bob Olmsted needed to be briefed on the massive backlog of administrative investigations at CJ that had been allowed to slide, Cruz told him: “Fuck Bob Olmsted. I don’t work for him. Lee Baca is my sheriff, but I work for Paul Tanaka.”

Cruz’s contempt for the chain of command went so far that, incredibly, he had a side access door to CJ alarmed so that Olmsted couldn’t make a surprise inspection. If Olmsted wanted to visit the facility, he had to check in through the front entrance.


THE OTHER CELLPHONE SMUGGLING DEPUTY

After the hearing, I spoke with Olmsted, who said that up until Bornman’s testimony, he was not aware of the extreme measures taken by Cruz to keep him out of the loop. The BJ’s incident, for instance, never reached his desk during his tenure as Cruz’s supervisor. However Olmsted told me of another, perhaps more serious investigation that sat untouched on Cruz’s desk, but that Bornman didn’t happen to discuss in his testimony.

In summer of 2008, LASD homicide investigators sent a memo to Men’s Central Jail informing Cruz that a deputy on the 3,000 floor had smuggled a cellphone to an inmate. The deputy was relatively new to the force, and was apparently trying to turn the inmate into an informant—so he could dig up dirt on a Palmdale drug ring.

The inmate, however, was no ordinary drug pusher. He was under investigation for murder. And whatever information he may have had about drugs in Palmdale was overshadowed by the fact that he used the cellphone to harass and threaten witnesses in the case against him. Homicide investigators were rightfully livid.

This was a young deputy who had no idea what he was doing,” says Olmsted.

Putting aside the fact the deputy may have compromised a homicide investigation, the gravity of smuggling cellphones into jail was made abundantly clear last year by Sheriff Lee Baca himself, who was outraged when Federal investigators failed to inform him about a sting operation they launched against a deputy whom they paid to smuggle a cellphone into Men’s Central Jail.

“It’s illegal,” Baca said of cellphone smuggling in September, 2011 story in the LA Times. “It’s a misdemeanor and then there’s a conspiracy law that goes along with it.”

Baca went on to dismiss the usefulness of using these types of tactics to gain information from inmates. “Jailhouse informants quite frankly are problematic,” the sheriff said in the same story.

But despite the gravity of the smuggled cellphone incident and its interference in a homicide case, Cruz apparently sat on the memo for more than a year. The deputy in question wasn’t punished or reprimanded, nor did he receive additional training in the proper way to cultivate a jailhouse informant. Olmsted says he only learned of the cellphone incident months after he retired in late 2010.

If I had been informed about this when I was still a commander, I would have taken it to my chief immediately,” says Olmsted. “This is something that needs to be investigated and that the top three in the department need to be briefed on. This could be a fraternization issue, which is a dismissible offense.”

After speaking with Olmsted, I called Michael Gennaco at the Office of Independent Review. Though aware of the cellphone case, Gennaco said he couldn’t comment. He did, however, confirm the potential gravity of charges facing any deputy who smuggles a cellphone to an inmate. “If a deputy is charged with fraternization, that’s automatic grounds for dismissal.”


REWARDING INCOMPETENCE

One would assume that, given Cruz’s previous pattern of supervisory incompetence, once stories like this one were brought to the attention of LASD upper management, Cruz would be immediately reprimanded—and/or transferred out of the jail and into a less consequential assignment. However, as we reported in Part 3 of our series Dangerous Jails, Cruz was never sanctioned at all for his list of managerial transgressions.

To the contrary, when Bornman’s discoveries eventually made their way up the chain of command, in the fall of 2010, Paul Tanaka sent his close aide and longtime campaign donor, Duane Harris, into the jail to lead a follow-up investigation. (It should be noted once again that Tanaka was the not the Assistant Sheriff in charge of custody at this time. Oversight of Cruz’s performance should have fallen to Assistant Sheriff Marvin Cavanaugh.)

Harris came back 10 days later with a report that found Cruz culpable for the escalating violence in the jail. Shortly after the Harris report was delivered, Olmsted said Tanaka (not Cavanaugh, the actual custody executive) called him into a meeting to plan Dan Cruz’s exit strategy from CJ. Instead of sidelining Cruz for his incompetence, Olmsted told us that Tanaka’s plan was to promote Cruz to the position of commander.

“Tanaka told me Cruz was ‘the only viable candidate’ he was willing to promote to commander,” Olmsted said. “And this was after he had received Harris’ report that Cruz was 100 percent at fault for what was happening in the jail. The plan was for Harris to come in as the operations lieutenant, I would be his commander, and together we’d sandwich Cruz and turn him into a viable candidate.”


“NOT IN THE FACE”

In the days since Bornman’s testimony at Friday’s jails commission hearing, some in the Sheriff’s Department have pointed out that Cruz’s backlog of administrative investigations was no different than any other captain trying to run the chaotic Men’s Central Jail. Bornman testified that, indeed, the “system was chronically overburdened,” and that several of the cases he discovered in the backlog dated back to 2005—a span that also includes the tenures of Olmsted and John Clark as captains of CJ.

But while an overtaxed system might arguably give Cruz a marginally valid excuse for falling behind in some of his paperwork, it doesn’t explain his repeated willingness to give deputies a pass for their misbehavior, some of which—like drunken assaults on civilians—edges into the criminal.

And it doesn’t explain this: Bornman says he was present at a 2009 Christmas party for CJ personnel where Cruz got up in front of the assembled deputies and shouted: “What do I always tell you guys?”

In unison, with laughter all around, the deputies responded: “Not in the face.”—a reference to beating inmates in a way that avoids leaving visible marks.

Nor does it explain Cruz’s and his CJ operations lieutenant Pat Davoren’s open disdain for the investigative process. Bornman claims that, just like Cruz, Davoren discouraged him from looking into the misdeeds of problem deputies. “He sat back in his seat, and he said, “What are you going to tell Paul Tanaka when he asks why you’re disciplining deputies?” Bornman says Davoren asked him, mirroring Cruz’s attitude.

(Davoren, incidentally, donated to Paul Tanaka’s Gardena Mayoral campaign in May of 2005.)

It certainly doesn’t explain Paul Tanaka’s role in promoting, protecting and attempting to reward Cruz for his incompetence—nor why his hand-appointed supervisors, Cruz and Davoren, seemed to think they were doing his wishes by failing to investigate deputy wrongdoing.

Bornman’s testimony seemed to point to one thing and one thing only: the systemic abuse of inmates in the jails by certain deputies, behavior that was actively sanctioned by Cruz and tacitly sanctioned by Undersheriff Paul Tanaka.

EDITOR’S NOTE: On Monday, Dan Cruz told the LA Times that many of the allegations against him “can be easily proven to be untrue,” that his critics wanted “to be in the limelight,” and that he might be willing to testify before the Jails Comission.


MORE ON THE JAILS COMMISSION COMING SOON

Posted in jail, LA County Board of Supervisors, LA County Jail, LASD, Sheriff Lee Baca | 69 Comments »

69 Responses

  1. Kieth Davenport Says:

    Dan, what in the world were you thinking??

  2. Leave it alone Says:

    Once again, you liberal P.O.S. are trying to disrupt the way our Department operates by listening to a few disgruntled retirees and inmates. Until you are in our shoes Fremon, you have no idea what goes on or what our Deputies deal with on a daily basis. While you sit at your REAL job, updating this blog (probably on your employers time)you need to consider something. Are your Junior High newspaper skills gonna change anything. The answer is no. Paul Tanaka is not perfect, yet, he has the right ideas in regards to pro-active Law Enforcement. Do the right folks get promoted and assigned to jobs they should have? Not all the time. But that happens in every profession. Ladies and Gents, this hippie wanna bee CELESTE FREMON, is using propaganda tactics do disrupt our great Department by turning folks against one another. Dont let it happen. In closing, I am not a contributor to anyones campaign, I am not a Supervisor, and I have tenure. I love this job and still enjoy sending predators to the big house where they ALL belong. Dont let creeps like Fremon and her band of idiots tell us what a bad job were doin. PS Fremon, it’s obvious you have never been the victim of serious crime or had gang members or narcotic distributors living in your neighborhood. Spend some time in these areas, you might learn something about the importance of pro-active Law Enforcement and how it relates to peace of mind for alot of citizens.

  3. What a mess!! Says:

    Good job Mike! I always knew there was a good man under that rough exterior. Cruz put an alarm on the door. How paranoid is that? Cruz needs to be arrested along with Baca, Tanaka, Burns and Daveron. Please note Celeste that Hemmold, one of the commanders at the hearing, did exactly the same behavior as Cruz re cover-ups and incompetent work at Century! Hemmold should be removed immediately! Interesting Question: What do you do when you have reported misconduct and your boss lies and covers it up? My word, Tanaka was going to promote Cruz to commander?! The LASD is on the skids and still no action by Baca or the DA!!

  4. FURTHER TO FOLLOW Says:

    Doesn’t surprise me about Davoren. He was asked to leave Lost Hills Station as a Watch Commander and drive to CJ under the pretense he will get the nod down the road.

    People will do anything to fulfill their self serving ways like Davoren. He has been that way his whole career. Ask him what he wants most for Christmas and he will tell you a ladder. The reason? Because he doesn’t know which side of the fence he is on and he needs a way to climb over it when certain people walk through the door. I hope this sheds light on these individuals so they die on the vine at their current rank. If not, the Department trully has gone in the shitter. Kind of to the likes of Cudahy, Bell, etc. etc.

    And for pietratoni sitting on the Commander Board? He will vote the way to preserve his promotional uprising. He was a real FPK Diamond Dude. Just ask some of us who worked there.

  5. Pc Says:

    @Leave it alone

    Glad you “enjoy sending predators to the big house where they ALL belong.” Too bad once they get there a poorly-trained, unsupervised, deputy might decide to hand them a cellphone and blow your investigation. Or maybe, for shits and giggles, a deputy will just beat the crap out of them so taxpayers can foot the bill for the lawsuit. Is that the “way our Department operates,” you don’t want disrupted?

  6. FURTHER TO FOLLOW Says:

    Leave it Alone. what is your issue? Celeste and company have the right to post this site, and whether people comment is the repsonsibility of that person’s keystroke.

    Don’t blame Celeste for this mess, if it weren’t for the crap in the Department, this would be a very quiet website. The reality is, when you hire personnel with a minimum GED requirement, throw in questionable backgrounds, but hire due to mandated quotas, and guess what? You might as well open a recruitment booth outside of MCJ.

    And don’t call all of us a POS. People that know these Department members personally, laugh, albeight in a pathetic manner, that most of us will say, “I’m not surprised”.

    Nobody is stupid enough to jeopardize their career by walking in to Tanaka’s office and blurt what is spoken here. These bloggers have families, bills to pay, so if their frustration is posted here, I’m all for it.

    The Department, for the most part is good. Let’s keep it that way and hold these people accountable. Do you disagree with that profound statement?

    BTW Celeste, You haven’t given any updates on Aero Bureau.

  7. Train Has Derailed Says:

    I like how people are trying to discredit Bornman. An active newly promoted Captain (No axe to grind, not disgruntled) puts his career on the line to testify after the Sheriff tells him to. Some people point out that he was not under oath throughout other stories. If he lies, he can be fired; doesn’t need an oath. Tanaka will not show up to testify on the 27th. Why would he? He either admits to all of the testimony (Feds hope so) and confirms the little tyrant he is or he denies all allegations and confirms what the commission already knows about him, a lying bully.

    Tanaka and his coin holding cigar club are scared that the Master Plan is falling apart. Don’t worry Mr Tanaka, Im sure when some Sgts and Lts are indicted from CJ they will never roll on you and they will serve prison time and be away from their families to protect you. They would never reveal on how you placed them there to protect deputies at ALL costs and never discipline. How could they do this to you, they know the feds would never trade a Lieutenant to indict an Undersheriff for pattern and practices of inmate abuse and deliberate indifference.

    I promise Mr Tanaka,,,,, when Hebert, Nee, Davoren, Cruz and Godfrey are sitting at the Federal Lock Up they will all make a pact to protect you at all costs. They will be the Tanaka Nation Martyrs. They will never give you up like Abrams is doing,,,oooops sorry, didn’t mean to scare you

    I promise Mr T. when all of this comes crashing down and all arrows point to you that the Sheriff will stand firmly behind you and risk his political career in fighting your fight and making sure you will not be playing handball with Carona in Colorado

    To all the Tanaka’s PT Crusiers, I promise this will blow over in a couple of months. Just be patient. Those Feds delivering summons to your house to appear at the grand jury, its just window dressing. They back our Department and just putting on a show for the media, don’t worry it will all go away soon.

  8. FURTHER TO FOLLOW Says:

    I apologize Celeste. Seems when I post a comment, everyone runs for the hills, or in this case the ODR. Is my agenda that credible that all the little chicken shit pogues of the Department scared to take me on in a little game of intelligence bantering?

    Maybe so. I knew my Masters in organizational leadership through LASD University was a waste of money. Should have stayed content with my bachelor’s degree.

  9. What a mess!! Says:

    Alone: Years ago folks like you said the same S–T about Arco-Narco. The Feds took years to prosecute. You are obviously involved with all the misconduct somewhere along the road. Don’t be stupid! Protect yourself and your family. Seventy-eight(78)deputy sheriff’s went down with Arco-Narco. And the guy who most deserved to be in jail never spent a day. You may want to think about that before you blog again. I too have many years on the job and one of a few “A” retirement folks left. So, Mr. Alone; you don’t know crap about Celeste but who set you up as her judge? Next time get off Tanaka’s lap and fix the hole on the back side of your trousers and “Man Up.” I agree with FTF where’s the stuff on Aero?

  10. Time to clean house Says:

    Wow, leave it alone. You have gotten really worked up about this. If only Baca,Tanaka, Cruz, and others had that reaction when dealing with these problems before they became this mess.

  11. Celeste Fremon Says:

    EDITOR’S NOTE: ABOUT AERO BUREAU:

    I fully understand your impatience. I hope—God willing and the creek don’t rise—to have the much-promised last part of the AERO series at the end of next week.

    It’s a matter of time management. There’s all this commission stuff, then occasional breaking news, AND we have a long list of other topics that require our reporting attention.

    (WLA is a non-profit and for some reason our funders are not thrilled about the notion of our becoming solely an LASD investigatory news site.)

    In addition, I’m in the midst of putting together a two-year plan for WitnessLA, which involves a statewide reporting initiative called the California Justice Report that is to launch in 2013—all of which is one of the conditions of our grant. It’s all good stuff. But it’s extremely time consuming.

    Since we’re a shoestring operation, and I’m the chief cook and bottle washer, this means that my time, in particular, is often much more fragmented than I would like.

    But Aero Bureau is extremely important, and I’m getting close. There’ a lot of good stuff. So hang in.

    And Matt will soon have his next big story. There remain some lose ends to tie up, but it’s coming. (And I’m pestering him. But like me, he his a long ToDo list, some of which takes him away from WLA.)

    Probably FAR more information than any of you wanted. But people keep asking so….

    …there you have it.

    Happy steamy summer evening!

  12. Fact check Says:

    I will help you with the Aero story and make the announcement early. As expected, the Internal Affairs investigation, the internal criminal investigation and the audits all came back completely clean. Feel free to question the accuracy of this statement. The facts will be public shortly. I guess it’s time to move on to the next conspiracy theory. How about Baca is responsible for global warming? Let’s investigate that.

  13. FIRESTONEPARK1980 Says:

    Furthertofollow, you never worked Firestone. If you did you would know a lot more info then you do. You never mentioned that OLMSTEAD, BORNMAN, CRUZ, all worked Firestone, and which one of the three has the pirate. Stop hating so much, you were trained a Malibu and spent one summer at FPK

  14. FURTHER TO FOLLOW Says:

    Fact check you are right. But the FAA cares not of that. They are more disturbed about lack of disclosure of medical and drugs on 1st 2nd and 3rd class medicals. Not that this occurs at aero bohoo, I t makes great conversation for those who spool up turbins

    Picture this scenario. a disgruntled employee has access to another employee’s medical jacket. Now assume there is documentation of this or that and wasn;t declared on the FAA medical application. Happens all the time even in the commercial industry. Pilot certification is the livelihood of the ability to operate aircraft and helicopters. Honesty is of the utmost importance since all medical records are networked and if the feds request them based on doubt, and the person denies that request, well guess what gets revoked.

    Anyway, thought I would throw that out for some training and knowledge as a former ””’ employee.

  15. FURTHER TO FOLLOW Says:

    hey derailed train, what do you think the chances of davoren,nee and compaany going to jail is? Do you think their careers as far as promotions are over? I know davoren would sell out everything for a second bar. He isn’t looking good lately. stress of indictments and political suicide has to take a toll on anyone. I couldn’t imagaine being demoted to sergeant and trying to finance college educations. I don’t wish that on anyone. God i feel blessed I stood up for the right reasons, and even though some executives didn’t like that, I still sleep very deep at night. I’ll bet many are thinking they did the same

  16. Fact check Says:

    Further to Fail – In post 6 you ask Celeste for an Aero Bureau update. In post 14 you admit to knowing that all Aero Bureau investigations have already come back clean and will soon be made public. You then move onto some trumped up medical problems at Aero. You have turned into the minister of disinformation. It might be time for you to get a hobby or something to occupy your time.

  17. FURTHER TO FOLLOW Says:

    Fact chack, glad you have the inside track on letting everyone know that all three investigations are clean. Didn’t think one of them had received the final sign off, but oh well.

    1980 FPK? 11 or 11 adam?

    And Fuct check. I never said Aero was in any trumped up medical fiasco. Reread the sentence very slowly and see what you get out of it.

    Do you not get that the likes of spielberg, etc., if not for their vivid imaginations, we would be watching reruns of gunsmoke? Are you saying Joseph Wambaugh lives in disinformation?

    I suspect in late fall of this year, you may be buying my book, unsuspecting of the author. It is based on a fictitious organization with similar problems we see now. That doesn’t mean I’m full of crap, it’s entertainment only, but those who work in similar situations will have an “ah ha” moment.

  18. Chargin' Charlie Says:

    Opening disclaimers about the majority of the LASD being hardworking, rule-abiding law enforcement officers are merely a shield to deflect criticism that desperately needs to be acknowledged and addressed. The public image of a department is formed by its very worst behavior, not by its best (Rodney King and LAPD, Amadou Diallo and NYPD). As citizens we expect the best from them as a matter of routine. When conduct falls to the levels being described in the Jail Commission hearings, a department committed to actually achieving its core values should be actively working towards solutions rather than marginalizing the behavior as an isolated problem. In the public’s eyes, this behavior is the LASD: a bunch of badge-wearing thugs. With its integrity and commitment to the lawful exercise of its powers called into question, the LASD should be attacking this problem using the same degree of vigor with which it goes after criminals. That we do not see Lee Baca out in front dealing with these problems is a sign that we need a new person as Sheriff.

  19. Aero spectator Says:

    Fact check is obviously a tanaka hack..”nothing to see here at aero move along”.. FTF well that one is definitely marching to the beat of his/her own drummer… Lots of investigation at aero lately not much activity but it appears something’s definitely up… Not sure if it’s going to be a long overdue toilet flush of the corrupt administration … Or a industrial white wash

  20. Train Has Derailed Says:

    FTF: Who knows who will and won’t serve some time behind this. The Grand Jury is an interesting system, as the US Attorney has all the power. You are not allowed an attorney, there is no cross examination of witnesses and it is completely one sided. Your only option if called is to plead the 5th and refuse to answer questions. WOW, how would that look. The Grand Jury could indict Elvis for the North Hollywood BofA shootout if the US Attorney brought the right witness forward. It really is a scary system. I just wonder not if but when Bornman will be called to the Grand Jury after last friday’s damaging testimony. By the way Guyovich, he won’t be cross examined there either. Im sure the former Federal judges were impressed of your legal observations and pointing that out to them. You just can’t help yourself protecting T at all costs.

    It wil all boil down to who is indicted and will they lead the US Attorney down the yellow brick road to the little munchkin on the fourth floor to save their ass. Human Nature and the will to survive will kick in and I would say, “Yes”

  21. LATBG Says:

    Fact Check and Leave it Alone are quite the pair, don’t you think? As a taxpayer, I really want to know where those additional $11 million in overcharges went during the purchase and servicing of those choppers. I would also like to know if that type of purchase is reflected in all the other contracts the sheriff has with entities and individuals who also donate to his and Tall Paul’s campaigns. We are talking hundreds of millions of dollars, sooner or later we will be talking about real money!

    For the record, the paltry amount that got Carona in hot water didn’t reach $10 grand.

  22. FURTHER TO FOLLOW Says:

    Anyone see the intent to promoto to sergeant list? I now wish I had hooked on phonics when I was groing up.

  23. FURTHER TO FOLLOW Says:

    Train has derailed. Good analogy on post 20. I laugh at who the commanders are on this so called panel. Eric Parra is a straight no bullshit shooter. Pititonironi is just a talker. Been a talker, still a talker. Hasn’t changed since the FPK days in the early 80′s. (10-33, 10-33, in a fight 10-33) Guyovich? Well you summed that one up, so I’ll save the air time.

    The reality is the Board will weigh what it would cost to go to trial on all this crap, then the county attornies recommend a settlement. Feds are happy, crooks and families happy, and the top brass still plays golf and take 2hour runs every day.

    This is my prediction.

  24. Firestone1980 Says:

    Wow. I don’t think FpK at handhelds back then and pittontoni as you call him worked with BURNS on earlies. I don’t think they had fights too often. And talker or not he still had 15 years at SEB. where did you work. As for Parra and Guyovich I agree they are both straight shooter. I really doubt you worked Firestone or you would have answered the question. Your a clown..go do some police work.

  25. FURTHER TO FOLLOW Says:

    SEB really? The only reason he was there so long was because he was in the 700′s on the sergeants list. He boasted that to all the stoney boys. Now he is, and I’ll say this loosely a “commander”.

    He talked the talk at compton and nadeau, but Roy had to work with him, not by choice.

  26. FURTHER TO FOLLOW Says:

    I love to go back and look at the tanaka campaign donations.

    Does anyone see any familiar names from the most recent jail issues? Look at who is on the commander panel. It’s Christy. Yehhhhh

    jhttp://witnessla.com/files/2012/01/Tanaka_2008_campaign_donations.pdfust

  27. FURTHER TO FOLLOW Says:

    Better link. sorry

    http://witnessla.com/files/2012/01/Tanaka_2008_campaign_donations.pdf

  28. Answering The Question Says:

    FTF,
    You seem to claim to know everything about everybody. Now you even claim to know who did and didn’t want to work together???
    Wow.

  29. What a mess!! Says:

    FTF: you are right! None of the assigned commanders (regardless of their very questionable past) will do anything contrary to what T tells them. However, there will be a demand for some type of action. Parra has a very convenient memory about the time he forgot his passport. Cover-up is putting it mildly. Chrissy: Best you keep your mouth shut until your told what to say? You looked foolish! So, who will be the fall-guy? I predict Cruz will be the one to fall. Just a prediction!

  30. Answering The Question Says:

    Of course Cruz will be the fall guy. He’s the one who, as the headline of this thread says, “tacitly approved” inmate beatings.
    Don’t forget, the LASD isn’t under scrutiny because of the alleged scandals inside the sheriff’s dept. It’s all out there due to the main concern of this blog and the ACLU…which is….deputies the amount of force deps. use against inmates. Make no mistake about it, that is the key issue. All the other stuff (Aero, Abrams, Pay to Play, Waters, yada yada yada) is collateral.
    They aren’t happy about deps. allegedly using excessive force on inmates.
    But then again, I’m not sure they’re happy about any force being used on inmates. lol
    The ACLU never met a “beatdown” they approved of.
    There’s a better way to do it. They just can’t tell you how it’s going to work in a real world situation.

  31. Answering The Question Says:

    ^^^^^kinda like when a suspect points a gun at three cops, and three cops shoot a total of 16 rds., hitting the suspect seven times, killing the suspect.
    How many times have you seen the controversy turn into “Overkill”….why the cops shot him so many times.

    “Excessive” is in the eye of the beholder and fluctuates with each and every incident.

  32. Quite Observer Says:

    i read with interest the posts of others ever since the articles about LASD / Paul Tanaka & Lee Baca began appearing on this BLOG. What most seem to be missing in the rush to blame Tanaka and Baca is that none of what has occurred during the past 7 or 8 years would have occurred if not for the weaklings and weaknesses of others willing to compromise themselves to gain something from Baca or Tanaka. So if you want to blame someone look to the Cruz’ and all others who have ignored policy, ignored the law and just basically ignored human decency. They are the one’s who have sacrificed their oaths for the gain of an assignment or promotion. The difference between now and 20, 30 & 40 years ago in the Sheriff’s Department is the ethics of the deputies. For the vast majority of those who I personally know and worked with and around would not have compromised themselves in this manner. Tanaka and Baca could not exist if not for deputies, sergeants and lieutenants willing to sacrafice their ethics for the gain of that next level promotion.

    Does Tanaka and Baca share blame, of course. But think about it objectively they could not exist if the others did not allow them. Rank aside if everyone said no to Tanaka or Baca none of this would have occurred.

  33. Celeste Fremon Says:

    EDITOR’S NOTE:

    A couple of these threads have devolved to the point that I find myself deleting more comments than I’d like.

    So, here, again, are some guidelines:

    If you behave like the abusive drunk jerk at the party shouting random insults at the party guests or the host (Top of the Mountain) your comments go straight to the trash.

    If you repeatedly post 4 comments for everybody else’s 1 (Further to Follow), I’ve now started deleting without reading.

    If you engage in commentary that is little more than vile, opinion-based character assassination (in the commentary world we call that ad hominem attacks. Look it up.) against the witnesses at the commission hearing OR against members of the commander task force OR against people whom you fantasize are WLA’s sources OR against anybody on any side of he fence who happens to say something you don’t like, I’m not letting those puppies through. (I’ve let too many of those kinds of comments through already.)

    Most people here are decent and respectful in their arguments, whether you agree with the work we’re doing at WLA or believe we’ve got it wrong. But anonymity can bring out the worst in people. Respectful disagreement is healthy for all concerned. Abuse is not.

    Please know that the comments section is here as a service to you. I enjoy it and I believe whole-heartedly in the value of public dialogue. Plus there’ve been some tips offered and points made on many of these threads that are extremely valuable and informative. (And trust me, others are taking note.) However, monitoring the comments is time consuming on a good day. On a bad day, it takes too much time and energy away from reporting, writing and the running of this site.

    Thus when the mud is outweighing the thoughtful points and opinion, I become sorely tempted to shut down the comments altogether—or at the very least turn them of for a period until the balance can right itself.

    Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

    Celeste

  34. Roy Burns Says:

    Hmmmm, workers against the none workers here. Who ever is slamming Pietrantoni is a sissy. I know you would never say this crap to his face. Much easier to hide in the shadows and throw stones than man up. Oh well….warriors are not warriors any more.. As for Piety…Yes I worked earlies with him…for five months. In addition I worked CJ, Compton (overtime) and SEB with him. He was the finest radio car partner I ever worked with and I worked with some great ones. If Piety went 10-33 it was because he was confronting bad guys not sitting somewhere in an office commenting on a blog. His time at SEB was not because he couldnt pass a sgt’s test but because he was committed to his assignment and loved the job. I have seen Piety with a dibilitating illness, walk into SEB for a high risk entry. A lot of deputies would have been home in bed with the same illness.
    FTF…I worked with Piety out of choice…any person who says I did because I had too is a liar. In the thirty + years I have known him he has displayed courage, integrity, loyality and dedication to duty. He never once let me down…he upheld the finest traditions of LASD…unlike many posters here.
    Signed – Roy Burns
    - Celeste…if you want to verify this is me…contact Piety and he will provide my phone #. Also…have FTF sign his post like a real deputy.

    EDITOR’S NOTE: I did indeed verify that this is the real Roy Burns.

  35. Thumbs up! Says:

    GO ROY! Roy Burns has never been afraid to show his balls, unlike everyone on this blog (including me)! Way to go Roy, you are the man and YOU should run for Sheriff! Agree or disagree with his opinions, no one can dispute that ROY BURNS HAS HUGE BALLS! He is a leader, a man of character, and is an LASD legend. He is the one man that could put LASD back on track! ROY BURNS FOR SHERIFF!

  36. FURTHER TO FOLLOW Says:

    Ok, I would like to comment further, but like the court system there are certain gag orders in place. What was said is old news.

    BTW Celeste, if you are planning to delete all of my future postings whether or not they comply with your rules, let me know and I will move on. I have seen worse, so please keep me from repeat key strokes.

    Thanks

  37. FIRESTONEPARK1980 Says:

    Further to follow, so did you lie about burns not wanting to work with Pietrantoni? Or is I lying, I doubt it. You just got schooled by a professional. Roy burns never sugar coats anything. Like to respond further to what. You never worked their but you were there for a minute than off to aero.

  38. FIRESTONEPARK1980 Says:

    Thanks Celeste for actually calling burns, never thought you would verify so quickly.

  39. Guy Mato Says:

    Hey Furhter To Follow! This is a first for me to read and respond to a BLOG.

    FTF, guess what? Your famous amongst us who worked as partners with Piety. Pretty amazing how individuals like yourself can only throw stones when you don’t have to be concerned about being confronted in person!!!

    I too have known Piety for over 31+ years and continue my friendship to this day. Its pretty obvious that you never worked along side Piety. Those of us who were so fortunate, have nothing but admiration, trust and loyalty in Piety.

    So, most likely you may have been assigned at Firestone, but you never really, really worked FPK.

    Maybe you were assigned there, but quickly took an inside job as A/Sgt, Jailer etc… to keep yourself off the streets.

    FTF, I know that you will never ID yourself to us! That ok, there are too many folks like you on the department now to count. So keep blowing hard!

    Guy Mato

  40. What a mess!! Says:

    I have known Roy for over 35 years and good to hear from you. You were a good guy to supervise (most of the time ha ha) and most likely a good ALADS Pres. But, I don’t think you (Roy) would want the job of sheriff and I can’t get my head around Roy playing city council politics, handing guns and badges to drug cartels members, kissing babies or shaking hands of those you despise. No offense Roy and I hope you can accept the slightly critical eval of you, after all these years. I do agree that a straight forward aggressive person would be a great change from what we have now. I too was the first man on entries for many years but, my question to Roy would be; would Pete stand up against Baca and place responsibility where it needs to be? The others already have their responses done and they can phone them in. I like Pete a lot and always have. But people change. Pete, if you read, this hang in there from a fellow SEB brother! Roy, if you about to tear your hair out trying to figure out who I am I will give one hint that only you and I know. During the riots I told you to stand and watch over the portable pay-day (it was another name) line so the locals could get some cash. You promised that you would stay and voiced your displeasure. Ten minutes I returned and you left. I laughed and I stood your post. I still laugh today. Take care

  41. FURTHER TO FOLLOW Says:

    And thank you Celeste for keeping everyone, including me in check. You see, unless you are in a law enforcement atmosphere, the dominant male always wants to rule the roost. In this case, all of us including Roy, piete and the rest have turned the original intent of this blog into a personal sword fight based on previous working relationships, knowledge of people and their work ethic, etc.

    I will be the first to put aside that component of this blog as long as we don’t talk about who has “big balls”.
    My grandson reads this blog and others and he doesn’t quite get that and the San Fernando connection. Is it the water?

    Good night all and hope i am still in good graces with the powers to be.

  42. Just a civilian employee Says:

    Thank you  Mr. Burns. As civilian  employee of the department, I will never understand why bad behavior is covered for and why those who try to do the right thing by being honest  and expose bad behavior are ridiculed, retaliated against, and vilified . We D.Q.   deputy  candidates  everyday for D.U.I.’s,  domestic violence, integrity problems, etc.., but once in the department there seems to be acceptance of  some these  undesirable type of behaviors.  Captain  Mike, you said it was the hardest thing you had to do.  Captain Pat you said  people  have been told not to talk to you.  You guys  did the right thing, and a large majority  of employees stand behind you.  Hopefully, this all comes to an end soon and those in the minority will finally be shown  this Sheriff’s Department has a zero tolerance for their  behaviors. Sheriff Baca, It’s to make people accountable for their actions.

  43. Finally..real sense Says:

    Well said Roy!!!

  44. sucks Says:

    speaking of non-LASD topics, how about:

    http://frontpagemag.com/2012/adelman/stoned-dearborn-christian-speaks/

    anyone else see the interview with Deputies Ahmed and Reyes on Fox 11? made a big deal about Ahmed being muslim – never once asked Danny about his religion… (not a slight against Ahmed, just another small piece on how America is losing its identity and rotting from the inside… )

  45. Leave it alone Says:

    PS, Hi Roy, ELOS alumni here.

  46. In the Know Says:

    Who is Roy Burns?

  47. Balance Says:

    Further to Follow – It has nothing to do with male dominance or your lack of balls. It has to do with credibility. Roy Burns called you out on the numerous falsehoods you posted. You lost whatever small shred of credibility you had. That is the point of all these issues. Whether you are testifying before the jail commission, or posting to this blog, if someone has no credibility their statements are worthless. People can’t cover up their past conduct and then say, as of today I am telling the truth about this issue. Maybe you really saw a wolf this time, however, no one will listen to you.

  48. FURTHER TO FOLLOW Says:

    Sure balance. You pretty much have shed the best light I’ve ever had on me. I appreciate your POV, however, my credibility has been called upon hundreds of times, and for that, you are not seeing me the subject of the LA Times, ACLU etc.

    Now that this is beat to death, what’s next?

  49. JB Says:

    ROY BURNS! You destroyed Further to Follow. Way to put things in perspective. That was a straight open hand slap to the face. Don’t ever change.
    J.B. – FPK 79-84

  50. Know The Truth Says:

    We all need to thank our police and STOP disrupting the way our police Departments operates by listening to a few disgruntled retirees and inmates. !!!

    Police saved us again from the violent crimnals who were writing with chalk on the sacred sidewalks of Los Angeles.

    Chalk is a know tool of gangs, child molesters, and the devil himself. Good job to all who risked their lives by confronting the chalk gangsters !!!!

  51. FIRESTONEPARK1980 Says:

    Further to follow, you made a statement that was proved to be a lie, about Roy and Piety. Guys like you lie under the vail of anonymity. You got called out but entered a response like you had a gag order. It’s great that burns stood up and called you out. Obviously you were never a friend of Roy’s at Firestone. You should get off the blog M.G

  52. FURTHER TO FOLLOW Says:

    Touche JB FPK, and if you knew Roy that well, you would know he doesn’t slap.

    I didn’t post negativity about Roy, It was about his partner. We all have opinions, I posted mine, just like you posted yours.

    I will adhere to Celeste’s request to stay on topic, just as you should. The FPK “click” is over here. Let’s move on. Like i said, belittle me, call in the early morning crew to lamblast me, but an observation was made on my part, you and other’s didn’t like it, just like i don’t always agree with your posts.

    So let’s all, as I stated before move on and deal with the real issues. Is that too much to ask?

  53. Firestonepark1980 Says:

    FTF, In response to 47, that’s because you never arrested anyone Ops Deputy. Why would the ACLU be looking at you. And the ACLU looking at you is nothing. You better hope you signed any affidavits because the FBI, might be watching you. Please go back to blogging on U Tube, you will have to change you name again.

  54. Celeste Fremon Says:

    EDITOR’S NOTE:

    FYI: To avoid what was becoming a pile on, I’ve not approved the last few critical comments all aimed at the same topic and person. There wasn’t anything wrong with the individual comments per se, but cumulatively they were getting a bit much.

    I hope everyone understands.

    Happy semi-tropical weekend.

    C.

  55. FURTHER TO FOLLOW Says:

    FPK 1980, as stated before, done beating a dead horse. Call mean ops pogue or whatever else satisfies the need to discredit me.

    So FPK, 11, 11a,12, 14,etc., it is at least comforting, albeit in a confrontational way that we have all survived the “hot years” before the closing of the house, and are living to tell our versions.

    Roy, don’t take it personal, I know you won’t, but you had the right to say what you did, you said it and it’s all good in my yard.

  56. worst yet to come Says:

    Wow! All these irrelevant comments are so US! As an Organization we are in deep dodo! It only took 32 years to rid oursleves of Bouman and now we are looking at another 32 years. Baca has institutionalized corruption at every level. And there no where to hide. Granted we all have pasts that we are ashamed of. But, I give my kudos to those who have testified (regardless of the backlash)in Federal Courts, locally or in front of this commission. I saw Baca yesterady and he looks bad! As the street girls would always say “what goes around comes around!”

  57. Justin Says:

    Governor Brown is apparently not concerned about Sheriff Baca’s future or credibility. Yesterday, he appointed the Sheriff to the Board of State and Community Corrections. Jump to the second paragraph.
    http://gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=17632

  58. FURTHER TO FOLLOW Says:

    That’s not surprising Justin. Baca has been one of the more influential sheriff’s, but with our size, remember, when you’re at the top, you only get briefed what people want you to know.

    No different than the private sector

  59. Too deep Says:

    FTF, you regarding you’re 41 post. You started all the name calling and drama on this blog, and basically lied about what a deputy said. Can you stay on course please. Hey keeping on the subject, does anyone know anything about Bernice Abrams. Is she retiring, getting fired, getting filed on. I think it’s been almost a year.

  60. FURTHER TO FOLLOW Says:

    Too deep, please see post 33 and 53 staying on course? I responded post 57 to post 56. What’s off course about that?

    Unofically, I was told Bernice resigned/retire in lieu of.

    That’s all I’ve heard and she was removed from the Department’s outlook e-mail from the getgo

  61. JB Says:

    Further to Follow – You can never get back on track after getting caught defaming a valued member of the department. Shame on you for posting anything after that. By the way, what did you survive? You worked an inside job. The only danger you saw was on a chow run.

    JB FPK 79-84

  62. Leave it alone Says:

    JB, all of us that still throw predators in jail no matter the tenure are valued members. FREMON, you still sitting back laughing while reading this stuff at your real job on THEIR time. Just remember, you dont know what its like out there. Be a pal and start posting the great work that’s being done by our department and others. Stop being an advocate for the NO THREE STRIKES FOLKS.

  63. Piety Says:

    Johnny, Guy, and especially Roy. Thank you for giving me the best years in my police career. I am truly humbled by your loyalty. Hey Roy what was that 16 armed robbery suspects in a month or 13. Piety

  64. FS Says:

    A certain Captain (now Chief) “sat on piles of force packages—often excusing deputy misbehavior after only cursory review, or sometimes not delving into the cases at all by burying the investigations until the year-long statue of limitations expired. Force jumped on the first year of his watch”. only the name has been changed but the same outcome and they promotes these people up to command staff positions. PT takes care of his own. Nothibng will be done to the chief. If you dont believe get the IAB tracker and it will show his failure to investigat his staff. Fitzpatrick was just convicted and I am sure he was working the century area.

  65. FURTHER TO FOLLOW Says:

    FS, why don’t you disclose the name for us that don’t have access to the confidential ops logs, trackers etc.

    If it’s valid then there is no slander or concern of retribution. Not a big deal to throw the name out. The bar is extremly high for any backlash on you. Besides what you heard is probably hearsay, and you know how that doesn’t fly in court, but we will all probably agree with your name you post.

  66. MAC Says:

    FURTHER TO FOLLOW – Are you kidding? After slandering one of the department’s most well renowned members, and getting called on it by Roy Burns and others, you are going to give FS advice on what is slander. You’re going to tell him it is no big deal to throw a name out. Your advice is worthless and your reputation is worth even less.

  67. FURTHER TO FOLLOW Says:

    Well seems like the same people are under assumed names with the same old rhetoric. Thanks Celeste for enforcing the rules you re-iterated to everyone time and time again

  68. Answering The Question Says:

    #64
    Fitzpatrick was working out of Compton. A simple google check of the newspaper articles would have revealed that to you. You were “sure” of something that turned out not to be the case. Come on man, while you’re criticizing others who come to conclusions after “only cursory review”…..at least do some perfunctory research before you pop off about being “sure” about something, and then being wrong. Kinda makes you look silly and ready and jump to conclusions due to a preconceived notion.
    Just sayin.

  69. Answering The Question Says:

    ^^^^^^^^^^Line six, word two, should read “to”…..^^^^^^^^^^
    Now, how would it look if I had been criticizing others for not proofing their comments? lol

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