ALADS—THE LASD DEPUTY UNION—IS IN THE MIDST OF A HUGE TUG OF WAR WITH THE FATE OF $2.5 MILLION IN CAMPAIGN PAC MONEY AT STAKE
Two factions on the board of directors of the large, wealthy and powerful LASD Deputies union—ALADS (Assn. for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs )—are at war with each other for control of the union.
One of the things at issue in the tug of war for control of the 7200 member organization, is oversight of the reportedly more than $2.5 million in campaign PAC money that could be parcelled out with significant effect to a candidate or candidates in the upcoming races for LA County Supervisor and for Sheriff.
Most watching the melee believe that it is the selection of the sheriff of Los Angeles County that that could be materially affected by who comes out on top.
It is after all the board of the directors that has the last word on where the treasure chest of PAC money goes.
In other words, this little internecine struggle is potentially a very high stakes game.
In one of the skirmishes last week, one faction claiming to represent the union filed suit against two members of the opposing faction for alleged “abuse of fiduciary responsibility” and for the “misappropriation” of $100,000 of ALADS funds.
The two who were being sued, responded by having one of their attorneys send a letter on ALADS letterhead to the Bureau of Labor and Compliance of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, maintaining that their faction had legal control of the organization, and that it was the lawsuit-weilding group that had illegally grabbed union funds to hire its lawyers.
Are you confused yet?
Okay, let’s back up a bit.
THE BACK STORY—-OR AT LEAST SOME OF IT
You may remember that when we last visited the bizarre warren of high drama and bad behavior that the ALADS board has become, the two factions were just beginning to wrestle for power.
One faction is led by the current board president Armando Macias— who, as it happens, is reportedly not legally able to serve as board president, according the ALADs bylaws.
It seems that Macias did not attend enough of certain meetings that he was required to attend to hold office, so was removed from his position as president by the other group last month. But he declined to make a graceful exit, and instead has hired a lawyer—or possibly several lawyers—to support his legitimacy.
He is joined in his quest by legally elected Vice President Bruce Nance—plus two others.
The second faction—namely the one opposing Macias—appears to be led by the former board president, Floyd Hayhurst, who is also legally hampered since he has retired and thus is no longer a county employee. This means, although he may serve on the board, he may not vote. Hayhurst is reported to be voting anyway.
In other words, neither of these factions seems to have a firm grip on the legal high ground.
Nevertheless, most of the rest of the seven-member ALADS board has lined up behind one or the other of the combatants— Macias or Hayhurst—-with much bitter squabbling and legal postering the result.
To add to the mix, Hayhurst (the former ALADS Prez) appears to be angling to be appointed by the board as executive director of the organization, a powerful position which, at the moment, is vacant—-and which also might conceivably give him access to the sought after ALADS PAC money.
Hayhurst is reported to be a longtime supporter of former undersheriff Paul Tanaka, who is running for sheriff, and who has been actively angling for union PAC money for a long time (as we wrote about here)
It is not clear whom Macias supports (rumors abound on that matter), although VP Bruce Nance has declared himself to be opposed to Tanaka’s candidacy.
It’s important to note that, although last month, the union’s political committee chose not endorse or to give any money to candidates for sheriff until after the primary (as we reported here), the board of directors has the power to override that decision.
LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST UNION PREZ & VICE PREZ FOR ALLEGEDLY SNATCHING $100K IN UNION FUNDS TO HIRE LAWYER (OR LAWYERS)
To bring you up to date, according to the lawsuit, (which you’ll find attached below), ousted board president Macias, and board VP Nance, requested, but originally were blocked from acquiring, $100,000 in board funds to pay the attorney that they have hired to get Macias reinstated as president, which frankly sounds like a losing battle.
The two insist that they have the authorization to request and receive the funds as they are acting in the board’s interest. Since approximately 50 percent of the voting board (Hayhurst’s group) seems to think otherwise, this seems like a questionable legal position.
Of course, it’s no more questionable than Hayhurst and Company filing a lawsuit against Macias and Nance, and claiming they are doing so in behalf of all of ALADS (and reportedly using ALADS funds to pay their lawyers).
Not to be outdone, when Macias and Nance could not get anyone to write them a $100,000 check out of the union’s general fund, despite much reported hectoring and pestering, they managed to snatch the $100K out of the union’s campaign fund—namely the very same PAC money that one or more sheriff’s candidates would like to get their personal mitts on.
As we mentioned before, the matter of a sheriff’s candidate receiving some of the campaign bucks is thought to be the point of this power struggle.
(For more on the lawsuit, I recommend that you read the complaint itself, starting about midway on Page 3 to the top of Page 12.)
Here’s the complaint: ALADS Lawsuit 4-27-2014
And for more of the Macias/Nance perspective, read the letter from Macias’ attorney Steve Ipsen (a former LA prosecutor who now presents himself as “general counsel” for ALADS), which you may find here: Dept. of Labor Letter
Did I mention that each of these factions now has competing ALADS websites?
Here’s the Macias & Co. website.
And here’s the Hayhurst group’s site.
Members of the ALADS rank and file with whom we spoke seemed generally dismayed with all the squabbling. “With these clowns fighting, we all lose,” said one LASD deputy.
Law enforcement experts outside the organization suggest that the ALADS struggle is yet another symptom of the problems in the sheriff’s department that continue to emerge.
“To be honest, I think it’s one more thing shows the depth of dysfunction,” said one non-LASD law enforcement source. “It’s sad because it hurts all the good deputies who are just trying to do their jobs.”