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Four Former LASD Undersheriffs Endorse Jim McDonnell for Sheriff….and Slam Paul Tanaka

April 25th, 2014 by Celeste Fremon



At 10:30 on Thursday morning, four retired undersheriffs for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department announced their collective endorsement
of Long Beach Chief of Police, Jim McDonnell, for the office of Sheriff of LA County.

The retired officials making the announcement were Robert Edmonds, Jerry Harper and Paul Myron, along with the fourth of the group, Theodore von Minden who was not present. Taking turns reading from a prepared statement in front of the cluster of reporters who had gathered for the press conference held in front of the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, the three said that they had carefully considered all seven candidates before making their selection of McDonnell.

“We are here today because we care deeply about the leadership entrusted to the next elected sheriff of Los Angeles County. We believe that the people of this county and the nearly 18,000 member of the sheriff’s department sorely need and want a leader who can insure the public trust.”

And that person was McDonnell, they said. explaining that they didn’t see the Long Beach Chief as outsider, “but a prominent, highly respected member of the greater law enforcement family of police agencies that our LASD deputies work with 24/7.” The department needs a fresh perspective, they said, and McDonnell was the most qualified to bring that perspective.

The men did not simply praise their candidate of choice., They were also highly critical of retired Sheriff Baca and his former second in command, Paul Tanaka, who is one of the six other candidates for for sheriff.

“We sadly recognize that the administration of retire Sheriff Lee Baca and former undersheriff Paul Tanaka was beset with major problems which have damaged the department as well as the public trust,” they said in their prepared statement. said the three. “These failures were of their own making.”

Once the formal presentation was over, Harper, Myron and Edmonds went further in their criticism of Tanaka. “We don’t think he is qualified. He should not be running,” said Harper.

Paul Myron said he hoped the voters would take the time to inform themselves by “reading the report from the Citizens Commission on Jail Violence.”

Edmonds pointed to the federal charges of obstruction of justice that have been brought against seven department members. “When you have deputies go out and brace an FBI agent, there’s no way that would happen without higher command being involved.”

All three talked about Tanaka’s reported speeches to deputies urging them to “work the gray.”

“We all know what that means,” said Harper, dismissing Tanaka’s contention that the phrase was a harmless one merely referred to deputies using discretion in certain situations. “There’s such a thing as discretionary law enforcement.” Telling young deputies “to work in the gray is totally different.”

The three did have praise for three of the other candidates, Jim Hellmold, Bob Olmsted, and Todd Rogers, all of whom they said had a lot of strengths. (They felt that Pat Gomez and Lou Vince did not have enough supervisory experience to run an complicated agency the size of the sheriff’s department.)

When asked about the endorsement and the criticism, Tanaka campaign spokesman, Reed Galen, told reporter Ruby Gonzales of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that “apparently these gentlemen have been off the job too long to understand and appreciate Tanaka’s 31-year career in the sheriff’s department”

The four retired undersheriffs have a collective 48 years serving in the two highest ranks in the LASD under that of the sheriff. Von Minden was as assistant sheriff for Peter J. Pitchess, and the first undersheriff for Sherman Block. Edmonds and Harper both served as assistant sheriffs and undersheriffs for Block. Myron was the first undersheriff for Lee Baca.

Two of the four have sons now working in the department.

Posted in 2014 election, LASD, Paul Tanaka, Sheriff Lee Baca | 28 Comments »

28 Responses

  1. Oh Well Says:

    McDonell’s campaign theme song:
    Get Ready (Cause here I come) by the Temptations.

    Wrap your head ahead it people. A blue suiter will be running the show.

    Oh well. Thanks Leroy. There’s his legacy. He was so screwed up he opened the door for an LAPD reject to take the reins. Congratulations to the educated, intellectual new age progressive Zen Master avante garde sheriff.

    That’s what they said about him early on.
    In reality he was a confused, unfocused, distracted, disturbed egomaniac who left the LASD in shambles.
    But hey, he pulled it off and baffled the so called smart intellectuals of the LA media and press with his bullshit. For quite a while even.

    It was good to be king. Now he’ll have to live with his legacy. So will the LASD people who kissed his ass for whatever reason. Things aren’t working out as planned for you. It’s tough, but you better learn to live with it.

  2. moi Says:

    Edmonds and Harper both served as Assistant Sheriffs and Undersheriffs for Lee Baca.

    TYPO/ERROR… for Sherman Block.

  3. Celeste Fremon Says:

    EDITOR’S NOTE: Dear “Moi,”

    Eeeek! Thank you! I thought Sherman Block and typed Lee Baca. Good catch. Whew!

  4. The Past Says:

    Wow, a solid statement by the former Undersheriff’s. Now if the Feds will only take Mr. Tanaka off the slate, room could be found to have the remaining candidates to consider an empowering change of pace. I’d like to see the following:
    1. The indictment of former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka, effectively removing him from the contest
    2. For the other candidates to endorse Chief McDonnell
    3. For Chief McDonnell to take a leave of absence from Long Beach PD & begin a full time study of the very complex LASD.
    4. For money to be found to have an independent (nongovernmental) study, spearheaded by Chief McDonnell to look at the Office of Sheriff & the LASD.
    5. For Chief McDonnell to reach out to the private sector including but not limited to university level leadership & business academia, renowned business leaders, civil libertarian & rights groups to rethink the business & organizational model for the LASD.
    6. To immediately meet with IG Max Huntsman to set a well needed constructive forensic review of LASD in tandem with the rethinking of LASD.
    7. For Chief McDonnell to use every hour between now & his year-end swearing in forming & asserting his transformational plan & style.
    8. For Sheriff Scott to assist & mentor Chief McDonnell in his transformation into the next Sheriff of Los Angeles a County.

    In conclusion, circumstances afford great opportunity if only we have the will to act. Mr. Briotte please act, Bob Olmsted provide the critical catalyst to begin this conclusion.

  5. truth serum Says:

    It’s over……..November comes in June. Finally we can begin a new era in LASD. The so called intellectuals couldn’t see the writing on the wall……so now it’s in your face. Welcome CHANGE and Welcome to the New Sheriff in town…..Jim McDonnell. It’s been a long time coming. Imagine that, even without ALADS or POPA’S endorsement or money. WOW!

  6. Eyeswideopen Says:

    I worked with Theodore von Minden for a short while a very long time ago. He is a highly principled, ethical and extremely well respected individual. However, I don’t know how the group of four have praise for Mr. Hellmold, everyone on the department knows who he is and what he represents.

  7. Josh Reynolds Says:

    Dear Mr. Tanaka spokesman…these retired executives have watched you sir take this department into the toilet. Hopefully Chief McDonnell will be able to salvage the wreckage you have left the department in and bring it back to being the best sheriff’s department in the nation, like it used to be under Sheriff Block. The morale of department members is at an all time low, thanks to you Mr. Tanaka and your legacy of scandals, favoritism and corruption. You sir are the king of hubris to even consider running for office of any sort. Thanks to these former executives for taking a stand!

  8. The Bear Goes Everywhere Says:

    Great news for McDonnell and for the County. Huge additions to his existing very long list of former LASD endorsements (http://www.mcdonnellforlacountysheriff.com/#!endorsements/cee5). Rogers, Hellmold and Olmsted are alright, but McDonnell is best for LASD’s future. Let’s move forward.

  9. J.London Says:

    Celeste: What I am about to write I hope and pray that I am wrong! A McDonnell supporter who wishes for everyone to drop out of the race made it quite clear that he received inside information that the Feds would arrest Paul Tanaka soon.

    There are only two possibilities:
    1. The man is a pathological liar and typical of those in the McDonnell camp. Or
    2. He is an honest man and worth listening to.

    It cannot be both! If this man is telling the truth then the FBI and/or the AG’s office has a leak and the entire case against the deputies and Paul Tanaka has been seriously compromised. The deputies and Tanaka should immediately notify their attorneys and make a motion to dismiss their cases and Tanaka should look into malicious prosecution. Celeste, you can expect a subpoena re Mr. Past. I don’t care for Tanaka or many of the deputies involved in the ACCUSED wrongdoing. But, they are entitled to a fair trial pursuant to Due Process.

    I have warned folks repeatedly about what they post and every keystroke can be traced or are they just stupid? The FBI monitors this site everyday looking for anyone that can help them prosecute wrongdoing. Rightfully so!

    As voters McDonnell must answer if he (McDonnell) orchestrated this stupid move. This could be the beginning of a Watergate or Benghazi where (if Past is to be believed)government agents are deliberately trying to ruin the Democratic process. This is SERIOUS!

    Well, Mr. Past, are you a pathological liar or an honest man? The number for the FBI is 310 477-6565. I believe that there are 12 agents working on the assorted cases and ask for the agent in charge. I don’t feel comfortable giving out personal cell numbers. I urge you to call and save your family and what’s left of a foolish life. Call immediately and tell what you know. Single handedly you could have ruined any possibility of a fair election. Or a fair trial for those who stand accused.

    PS Celeste: Not much diversity in the endorsement picture is there? And we want to go back to that? No! I have wondered what happened to the Keystone cops of old? Now I know!

  10. LATBG Says:

    Excuse me for not buying into the Mcdonnell is the next coming of Jesus hyperbole. You may want to encourage old “fresh eyes” to measure curtains, but this race is far from over. Hint: where was the wisdom of these four individuals while Moonbeam and Tanaka were running over the cliff? Did they bother gathering together and calling out Leroy to step down and spare the department further agony? No, they sat on their ass and watched it all tank.

    Same goes for McDonnell – he lacked the courage to challenge Baca, why would anyone believe he will have the courage to tackle the much harder prospect of reforming a troubled department with many systemic issues? If elected, he will rely on many of the people that were part of the problem, and the cancer will remain, just under a new name.

    I’ll stick to Olmsted, thank you very much. McDonnell keeps saying he gained so much precious insight into the operations of the department when he was handpicked by his political ally, Knabe, then he just walked away and turned his back on the problem. That’s not leadership, that is opportunism. We’ve already suffered fifteen years of opportunistic politicians, I’m not going to vote for another one. Twice failed in his bid to become the chief of LAPD, lobbied hard to get the Long Beach PD job, this man is all about ego and putting feathers in his cap.

    I tell you what, had he announced his candidacy for sheriff back in 2012 or 2013, I would have backed his game. He failed at that crucial moment, and he cannot be trusted. He is a wolf in lamb’s clothes, and if you think otherwise oh well.

  11. IthacaBoomer Says:

    I opened the Pasadena Star News and couldn’t believe my eyes. It was like a horror story. There was “Jerry Run Around Naked Talking to Himself” Harper front and center. Then Paul Myron who gladly accepted a near felonious golden handshake from Baca before he retired, Edmonds and absent Von Minden, who stood by idle and watched the Department go down the tubes behind the Sue Bowman fiasco, Arco Narco, Temple deputies shooting unarmed pregnant women after stiffing in calls, Temple Station thefts, and tons of other capers including the birth of the Vikings, Little Red Devils, Grim Reapers, and every other so-called white supremist “clique” that Todd Rogers fears so much. These guys are nothing more than the key holders to the oldest fuddy duddy good old boy club ever seen in this County. Collectively they either whipped or witness more ass-whippings then we could ever imagine. Paul Tanaka’s cigar club has nothing on these hacks to made and broke careers over rounds of golf and multiple high-balls at retirement parties. The audacity for these idiots to come out of hiding and attempt to influence this election is incredible. They were worthless leaders while in office and seem even more delusional in their golden years. Someone please tell these morans to stick to roundups, motor homes, cruises, and coffee at the local Norms. Nobody wants to hear from their sorry asses. These fat cats want nothing more than to see the good ole boy club returned to LASD. Sorry fellas, an election from a pool of mostly “minorities” must take place first. You probably can’t stand it but they actually have a voice now. The only one worth his salt was Sherman, God bless him. The old man was solid. Boomer

  12. Sachamoe Says:

    Mr. London, if you are referring to #4, where in the world do you read he is providing inside information about the imminent arrest of PT? That rumor has been floating around for months and I hope it is true. Where in the world are you seeing a potential case of malicious prosecution of PT? With all due respect, your posting is over the top. If there is something floating out there about PT being arrested, YOU are the one making that statement, are you the leak? If so, go turn yourself in.

  13. Oh Well Says:

    Boomer,
    Re: #11,
    Bringing up other cliques that haven’t been mentioned? Is that how it’s done in that radio car of trust you command? Is that how you do it? Those thousands of bad guys you’ve sent to prison would refer to what you did in # 11 as “dry snitching”.
    Way to go. Good looking out. I’m sure your “brothers” appreciate it.
    There was no “boom” in #11 “bro”. The only thing any of your righteous R2 “bros” heard is “click”. The dreaded sound of a misfire.

  14. The Past Says:

    Sachamoe: in fairness to London I did say I had a “glimmer” that the US Attorney would act soon on Tanaka. The use of glimmer likely lead to the conclusion that I might have “inside” info. I meant glimmer in the logical hope that the US Attorney would be acting soon. Substitute hope for glimmer, it more accurately reflects what I intended to say. If you have followed my posts you know that I have been asking the US attorney, Mr. Briotte, to clarify the limited indictments in the Pandora’s Box case or act sooner than later. The pace of the investigation, the US Attorney is a cautious bunch, fuels the notion of an expanded investigation. Celeste has shared the belief that Mr. Briotte is a man keenly interested in justice & I accept that view, I just want him to him to say it faster. What both Baca & Tanaka have said publicly about the jail informant Anthony Brown, can only lead to the puzzlement of why only subordinate staff was indicted.

    Boomer, You point out the irony of a couple of the U/S’s speaking out, but the race tone in your conclusion is unfortunate.

  15. J.London Says:

    Go to PAST previous post dated April 22, 2014 at 12:14. How strange that he changed his post from the 22nd to yesterday the 25th. In the 22nd post PAST implies that Tanaka will soon be arrested. Then in the post yesterday he has changed it all around.

    How did Past know that I was going to take him to task? Celeste: do you have any input??

    I knew Past was a pathological liar and blowheart! What I don’t understand is who tipped off Past that I was taking him to the woodshed? Regardless if one cares for Tanaka or the boys in trouble, once again, they deserve a fair trial.

    Very stange C!

  16. leftAtTheBall Says:

    Boomer- I actually shared the same thoughts when I read your post. I remember Jerry when I was at HOJJ. They actually had to clean his office more than once from some of his escapades. And yes those were the ones in charge during some of the worst scandals of the day. Sadly as much as I held onto my Block ID card for years after his death, he was also the one who gave us Baca. It was his lack of planning a transition and realizing there was no one to take over the department, that led to his last run for Sheriff. In the end he only talked about two things, the department (his love for it) and his grandchildren(same). Had he of mentored a leader and instead of surrounding himself with others, we would be much better off. But more importantly I actually agree with your post. That is surprising because we don’t agree on much else.
    Mr London- A compromised case? Really? Are you telling me that you have not been hoping the FBI will roll off it’s ass and arrest Mr. T? Have you not heard from “someone” that its going to happen soon? Soon defined by the government is not soon defined by a lay person. And the politics of arresting Mr. T go way above us on this blog. Its not about justice, right or wrong, its about who in government will stick their neck out to approve of his arrest. If we collectively ask ourselves did Mr T and Sheriff Baca have knowledge and took action in the case of Operation Pandora, we will collectively share that opinion, and that would not be a lay persons opinion. So don’t think of it as a leak, think of it as we are hoping justice is served before June.

  17. The Past Says:

    Celeste, Re: J. London’s rant. The allegation is serious and needs to be put to rest. What he says is utter pap! Here’s my offer Celeste, if as London says the FBI is reading every word of this blog and if they contact you about any or all of my posts please feel free to pass on my email address and if you want to contact me, I’ll provide my home & cell numbers so they can contact me direct. I’ll sign a waiver or whatever so the FBI & you don’t have to go through some legal mumbo jumbo.

  18. IthacaBoomer Says:

    @OhWell and @ThePast- Neither of you guys get it. The post wasn’t about race or revealing other groups. It was a reminder of that so-called group of leaders and how they designed and coordinated the biggest good ole boy club in the history of law enforcement. The point about minorities was related to the voting pool in case you haven’t noticed the populace. As far as “cliques” that hadn’t previously been mentioned, I don’t fear cliques or tattoos so I’m not afraid to talk about them. It has nothing to do with being a snitch. Enough of that has gone on lately to last a lifetime. Personally, I think the groups are good for the law enforcement brethren. They’re generally the best cops who can be trusted to the end. Do you require any other spoon-fed clarifications of my views? @OhWell it’s guaranteed you would never be allowed in my radio car. Your rants wreak of distrust and weakness. @JLondon- Your comments were nauseating to say the least. If for some reason you get caught up don’t worry. You’ll go straight to the soft tank. Final question, where’s Waldo in that group? I mean Waldie? Why wasn’t he invited to the party? Boomer!

  19. veritatem dies aperit Says:

    Bravo, well said Boomer. Where were these goof balls during the Isla Vista caper or the bungling of the George Arthur murder?

    These old goats need to butt out because if they open their collective mouths, bones will come flying out by the bushel.

    Speaking of old goats, the phenomenon of guys refusing to retire has been the main problem within the organization. These gutless individuals refused to stand against tyranny and accepted the status-quo. However, nobody wants to discuss it. Just imagine the improvement if Richard Barrantes, Dave Betkey, Dave Fender, Bill McSweeney, Earl Shields, Steve Johnson, Ralph Ornelas, Ray Leyva, Jack Jordan, Dave Waters, Jim Lopez, Sam Dacus, Karen Mannis, Gerald Cooper, and Henry Romero retired at the end of business Monday. The LASD would be immediately on the road to recovery. Also there are several (too many to type) captains 55+ that need to go too. Take all their ages, multiply it by their accomplishments, and you get a quotient that spells RETIREMENT NEEDED.

  20. Janet Says:

    WOW, I haven’t heard such immature, juvenile rantings with obvious spins. As a Mexican American to imply there’s no diversity may be a good thing. Baca was a Latino and he allowed the abuse and corruption of Latino and Black inmates. People should vote for the MOST QUALIFIED. Everyone has heard the rumors about Tanaka will be indicted ever since the deputies were indicted. Its not a secret, even inside LASD heard it. The insane argument that an outsider won’t know how the LASD runs is the dumbest statement ever. Its about LEADERSHIP, MANAGEMENT SKILLS, Transparency and treating your rank and file with respect. Good deputies morale and reputation has suffered by the Sheriff candidates. To London who sounds like a desperate Tanaka supporter posting. What you post is ONLY your word.

  21. LATBG Says:

    Veritatem, this is getting scary. Between you and Boomer you are on to something. One small point of order, however, in your rogue’s gallery of worthless bureaucrats. Ray Leyva, a once-rising manager, told Baca that he would run against Tanaka, the bosses’ hand picked successor. In retaliation, Ray got freeway therapy and passed over for commander for the likes of those you listed above. He ran against Baca in 2006, led the HAPCOA EEOC complaint against Baca and the LASD for seven years, and successfully sued the organization for discrimination and retaliation.

    Ray Leyva actually stood against tyranny and never accepted the status quo. Too bad he was a lone voice surrounded by eager beavers willing to do anything for the next rank.

  22. Time to Clean House Says:

    The past has stated an opinion, like many of us have  on this site. 
    His or her  statement reads,  ” I’d like to see the following:”  You’re  way off base with this J.  London. 

  23. Celeste Fremon Says:

    EDITOR’s NOTE: If your post has not appeared it is likely that it contains some form of name-calling that that is scatological, sexual or just so overtly unpleasant that I’ve decided to trash it. Grow up everyone.

  24. Cognistator Says:

    Folks: #19 mentioned George Arthur’s murder. For those who may’ve forgotten the facts can be Googled. A story from the L.A. Times:

    http://articles.latimes.com/1999/jul/14/news/mn-55806

  25. On The Patch Says:

    @ veritatem. Great list of folks that really need to go, but you missed quite a few. I won’t post their names, because they and the rest of us know who they are. What I think really bothers most of us deps is that the longer these so called execs milk the system, the more knuckleheads they bring along. There is just no hard work ethics from any of them, its all about how much butt they can kiss to move up. Actually, its pretty sickening.

    On another note, does anybody know if the ban has been lifted on working out on duty? Seems to be so many people “execs especially” from the 8th floor at TTCF in the gym for hours on end, I can’t imagine that they are on “their” time.

  26. Oh Well Says:

    A sure sign somebody has had their ass handed to them in a debate? When they reply to a statement or question with “You don’t get it”.
    When you here that, it’s a sure sign it’s game over. It means they have no intelligent rebuttal and are going to try and steer you in another direction or personally attack you.

  27. Riding in the Carson Car Says:

    Which one is the Grand Wizard????????

  28. Oh Well Says:

    Boomer,
    you seriously want to rake those former undersheriffs over the coals for fostering a good old boys club…while supporting your guy? really? Seriously?
    Nobody, NOBODY……….EVER has had the good old club like your guy. He was in your face about it. Coins, patio.
    Which one of those former undersheriffs held multiple fundraisers for “Team ( insert last name)” like your man? Which one of them held fundraisers for a mayoral campaign, having nothing to do with the LASD, with LASD members? Why did so many LASD members give a shit about who the mayor of Gardena was? Simple answer and we all, even you, know it. It was because they knew they better be “in the car” if they wanted to have anything coming. There’s never been a more flagrant good old boys club than there was with your guy.
    You couldn’t give us a better example of your emotional, myopic, straight up hypocritical stance than you did in # 18. Thanks for making my point for me.

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