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THE JURY SPEAKS: Six Guilty On All Counts – What the LASD Verdict Means

July 2nd, 2014 by Celeste Fremon


THE JURY SPEAKS

After nearly five days of deliberation—which included twice having to start over when first one panel member had to be replaced, then a second—the federal jury delivered its verdict: Each of the six sworn members of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department on trial for obstruction of a federal investigation were found guilty on all counts.

Those convicted include deputies Gerard Smith, 42, and Mickey Manzo, 34, sergeants Scott Craig, 50, and Maricela Long, 46, Lieutenant Stephan Leavins, 52, and Gregory Thompson, 54, a now-retired lieutenant.

All six defendants could face a maximum of fifteen years in federal prison. Scott Craig and Maricela Long could have an extra five years tacked on for the charges of making false statements to federal agents.

After the verdict was announced, the defendants reacted with expressions that ranged from stunned to stoic. Many of the family members who had attended every session of this fascinating but emotionally grueling month-long trial, struggled with tears.


“WE DIDN’T WANT TO HARM ANYBODY….BUT WE HAD A JOB TO DO”

According to the trial’s Juror No. 1, a truck driver named Ron (who declined to give his last name), he and his fellow panel members did their own wrestling with the human side of the verdicts.

“The biggest thing was how it was going to affect all these people’s lives,” he said. “Each of us went through that. We didn’t want to harm anybody.”

Yet, once they removed emotions from their task, Ron said, he and the rest had little difficulty with the facts of the case. “We had a job to do. And the evidence we had was pretty definite. They went over the line.”

Ron said that the jurors understood the contention of the defense that the various defendants were simply carrying out the orders of others. “But once your orders become you breaking the law,” he said, “that’s a problem. They went over the line when they began to hide “AB” as we got to call him, [federal informant] Anthony Brown, they began to do things outside the law.”


CRIMINAL CONDUCT AND A TOXIC CULTURE

At 4 pm on Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte emerged with the prosecution team beside him, and made a statement on the steps of the courthouse in which he talked about “criminal conduct and a toxic culture” inside the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

“These defendants were supposed to keep the jails safe and to investigate criminal acts by deputies,” said Birotte. Instead they “took measures to obstruct a federal investigation and tamper with witnesses…. While an overwhelming majority of law enforcement officials serve with honor and dignity, these defendants tarnished the badge by acting as if they were above the law.”

In May, the trial of a seventh defendant, Deputy James Sexton, who was also accused of obstruction of justice in the hiding of FBI informant Anthony Brown, had ended in a mistrial with the jury hopelessly deadlocked, 6 to 6. In the case of Sexton, however, jurors voting to acquit pointed to the fact that the deputy had cooperated with the FBI for more than a year.


GREATER THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS

One of the reasons this trial has been important is that, in both both content and outcome, it points beyond itself to a host of additional issues.

As a consequence, in the days before the verdict, some of the trial watchers familiar with the workings of the U.S. Attorney’s office talked about the larger implications of possible verdicts. For instance, as one trial watcher explained, Tuesday’s string of guilty verdicts strongly suggests that a local agency should not attempt to derail the investigation of a federal agency into wrongdoing by the locals simply because the locals don’t like the way in which the feds are poking into their affairs. A string of innocent verdicts could have set a very different kind of precedent.

Another thing this trial has done is to paint yet one more vivid picture of–as U.S. Attorney Birotte put it—the “criminal conduct and a toxic culture” that was, and still is, corroding the innards of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, despite the majority of decent cops who fill its ranks.

Candidate for sheriff, Jim McDonnell, issued a statement Tuesday that pointed to this issue. “This is a devastatingly sad day for our entire County,” said McDonnell. “The LASD has lost the respect of too many in our community as well as the confidence of the dedicated men and women within the Department itself….”

The big question is, of course, now that they have this matched set of six convictions, will the federal prosecutors move up the LASD ladder and attempt to indict those who—according to testimony by multiple witnesses heard throughout this trial—actually gave the orders that resulted in six department members losing their careers and potentially facing serious prison terms?

Specifically, will the feds try to indict former sheriff Lee Baca and former undersheriff Paul Tanaka, who is now running for sheriff?

Plus there are others like ICIB Captain William “Tom” Carey who are hard to ignore.

It is likely that, as the trials for some of the others of the total 21 department members indicted for brutality in the jails or other forms of corruption unfold in the coming year, the pressure on federal prosecutors to bring cases against those recently at the department’s top will continue to grow stronger.

Manzo, Smith, Craig, Long, Leavins and Thompson remain free on bail, and are scheduled to be sentenced on September 8 by United States District Judge Percy Anderson.


AND FOR OTHER ACCOUNTS OF TUESDAY’S VERDICTS BE SURE TO CHECK STORIES BY:

Lisa Bartley and Miriam Hernandez for ABC7

Rina Palta for KPCC

Victoria Kim and Cindy Chang for the LA Times

Posted in 2014 election, FBI, jail, LA County Jail, LASD, Paul Tanaka, Sheriff Lee Baca, U.S. Attorney | 103 Comments »

103 Responses

  1. Handicapper Says:

    Where is Lee “Mr. Core Values” Baca. Where is Mr. “Common Sense and Fairness in all things that we do”. When does Lee step up to take responsibility! All of the custody executive are gone, OIR is gone,Tanak is gone, now it is time for the former head of IID Chief Abner to go. Three of her staff were indicted and convicted. There is no testimony that she told Baca, don’t do this! She must go.

    She presided over staff that conducted investigations based on the politics of the day, not right or wrong. Of all people, she needed to protest this action and vocally fight this. Her position as head of the Internal Investigations Division required it! She took an oath to enforce all laws not of allegiance to Sheriff Baca.

    What has happened to these Department members is tragic. Many executives where in place to stop this and they did not.

  2. Mutual Assured Destruction Says:

    Common sense says this was Baca’s fight. He should’ve dealt one on one with someone from the FBI. That’s what leaders do. If you’re on top, things go South, be a leader and deal with it. Tanaka was the shot caller who decided to muster his crew and play the inmate Antony Brown shell game with the FBI. He then ordered this sentenced (400+ years) inmate to be interrogated to find out what he knows. Like that was going to do any good. When that didn’t work, the street cop superstar that Tanaka claims to be decided to order the crew to lean on the federal investigator.

    Let’s see, Baca and Tanaka go mad cap when the FBI sneaks a phone into their jail. They want FBI asses. Well imagine what the FBI higher ups were thinking when Sheriff investigators leaned on their investigator. It became a whose got the bigger c#¢k contest. We now know how that worked out.

  3. LATBG Says:

    Good point, Handicapper. Unfortunately, the brass within custody division is still there – Chief Fender and Chief Parra, both corrupt beyond repair and leaving the division led by a clueless figure head, McDonald. Chief Abner must go, along with every single division chief and most commanders, just for starters. If McDonnell leaves these cancers in place, the message he will communicate to the Department is that corruption pays well, if you play your cards right. They will be a major obstacle towards reform, and they will continue to play the petty bullshit games of the Baca/Tanaka era. It’s in their DNA.

  4. The Past Says:

    Handicapper: I have no insight as to Roberta Abner’s actions but I agree wholeheartedly that it took significant abdication by many to achieve the low point signified by Pandora’s Box. Look up the term Angle of Repose & you’ll find that it can be used to describe the state of LASD. The decision making surrounding Pandora’s Box isn’t a singular & exceptional failure, it’s the cumulative outcome of Baca’s team of Undersheriff’s & Assistant Sheriff’s. The LASD of past represented an enviable, effective & textbook example of a top tier major law enforcement agency. No matter the strength of the agency if you systematically withdraw the elements giving temper, such as selflessness, hard work, focus, honesty, respect, & dedication to all the purposes of the organization you lose that upright angle achieved by so many of the past.

  5. Eyeswideopen Says:

    Although these individuals stepped over the line and should have followed their conscience, it is a sad day for the LASD.

  6. Cowboy Says:

    Come on Handicapper…….Of Course Abner should have stood up and said or did something. Speaking up to “wrong doing” in the Sheriff’s Department is a career death sentence. Bob Olmsted (Called it).

    That’s exactly what Birotte meant by the “TOXIC CULTURE” in LASD.

    This same attitude is forefront in “ALADS”. If you question anything about ALADS MOTIVES or MONEY or “call them on the carpet”…..Then you are an outcast. Ask any LASPA member. (Who are free to speak without being black balled).

  7. Jack Dawson Says:

    Gov’t should go up.

    This organization was steered into rocks. The men and women shoveling coal into the boilers can’t be blamed for powering the ship into the mess. It’s the officers on the bridge who are responsible for the totality of vessel.

    It’s ridiculously frustrating to see any jerk off with a star on his collar state otherwise. You #*%^{! failed us at every turn for the last three years. How do you leave those men on the battlefield and not have the honor to account for your orders, your directions, and your strategy.

  8. Dacha or Says:

    Abner step up to the plate and stop this operation? That never would have happen under any circumstance. Abner has ALWAYS been involved in self serving opportunities, anything and everything to make her look good. She frankly is a coward and I hear the Feds have her on their radar along with Mannis. These two have disgraced IAD by turning their heads and passive coverups. Perhaps they will have their day in court and explain why they did nothing.

  9. Read it and Weep Says:

    Levins is in a position to expose Tanaka and Baca like no one else. Not only for Pandora’s Box, but for all the cover up that has been going on at ICIB right under the nose of Carey, Abner and Mannis, just to name a few. Levins, it’s time to sing like a bird because you “tried” to carry Tanaka’s water during trial with your incredulous testimony, the judge has you at the head of the chain-gang list. Do yourself a favor, it’s all over, give up the ghost.

    And Thompson, now there is a piece of work for you. Don’t forget why he was served with a Letter of Intent and Letter of Imposition to Discharge. Remember, he exposed two deputies who wrote a “confidential memo” regarding allegations of a dirty deputy (reported extensively by WLA), actually showing the memo to the target deputy? Well Thompson is also in a position to expose Tanaka and others for not only Pandora’s Box, but other significant misconduct going back years. Now this guy could not only give up the ghost but he can give up the boneyard as well.

    You guys know the game, you’ve been on the other side of the table for years, you know the drill. You will only get one bite at the apple. Trust me on this boys, the judge, the AUSA and the FBI all have your numbers. How does it go, “You have a chance to help yourself, don’t be a fool.”

  10. Nancy Drew Says:

    I agree the feds need to continue upward. I’m sure they will offer a reduced sentence to those who cooperate.

  11. Bill Bixby Says:

    Whether the verdict was right or wrong, it is a sad sad day when the federal government sends fellow cops to prison. It’s a sad day when the federal government even begins an “investigation” amongst cops. How are the two agencies supposed to have a working relationship after this? I’m thinking they will separate. With the LASD being such a large law enforcement agency with vast intel that the feds tap into on a daily basis, I would think the feds would look to them (LASD) as a much needed ally.

    Doing your job as a cop will never be the same. I am the first one to say that cops who are dirty should be dealt with but I’m sorry, I have a hard time seeing that what these individuals did is considered “dirty.”

    Get ready for the feds to completely take over the department. There won’t be a need for a Sheriff. How about stripping peace officer powers of every member of the LASD?

  12. Lost Ethics Says:

    As many others have stated, it’s a sad day for LASD but I think it was a day that was needed to finally start to clean up the Department. I am confident the FED’s are not done with indictments. Sheriff Scott has made a decent start in removing high command personnel with the retirements of Rhambo and Betkey, and the demotions of Helmold and Goran. Sheriff Scott made a big tactical mistake in promoting Rothans to Assistant Sheriff. Rothans has always been about what’s in it for him, at the expense of doing the right ethical thing. Many of his decisions are tempered by the prevailing political winds with the foremost thought being how will this position him for the next promotion. When Rothans was at Pico Station he hid some significant incidents because he was worried about how these incidents would reflect on himself. As a Commander he failed to take action in dealing with some Captains because of their close relationships to Tanaka and he had a significant loss of memory regarding the details that led to an equity complaint against Tanaka a few years ago. As an Assistant Sheriff he will continue doing many of the things Tanaka did, but in a smarter and more covert way.

    Hopefully when McDonnell becomes Sheriff he will take a hard look at Rothans, Goldman, Fender, Abner to name a few.

    Because of the convictions of the six current and former Department personnel, I’m sure Tanaka is worried. Tanaka’s Facebook page has not been updated since the day after the Primary Election. That is very telling.

  13. Eyeswideopen Says:

    BillBixby says: Are you for real? These personnel were not sent to prison by the FBI, they sent themselves when they violated the law. “Its a sad day when the federal government begins an investigation into cops? I hope your currently not on the department because we don’t need cops like you. Your thinking is way off base and and you are as wrong as can be. I too am very sad for these people and their families because THEY have ruined their lives and will cause their families real hardships. However, they stepped over the line, they committed a crime and failed to listen to that inner voice that we all have when we are contemplating doing something not quite right. A clerk at IRC said this is wrong, why could they not see it? We all know the answer.

  14. Reality Check Says:

    Bill Bixby: You refuse to recognize LASD’S BULLS HIT ANDROID DRAWING 1ST BLOOD. “PAYBACK IS A BITCH”

  15. Stuff Says:

    All Tanaka had to do was to man up on the stand and tell the jury that he ordered and approved this operation and commanded every subordinate to do so (which is exactly what he did) and he would have saved 6 people from going to prison and 6 families from being destroyed. Tanaka then could have got up on the stand in front of his new jury and stated that he was conducting a lawful investigation, just as he has stated to the press. It is pathetic how he has left these men and women out to dry, but so indicative of the what he is made of!

  16. Fact Checker Says:

    Folks, regardless of how you feel about Chief Abner, the fact is, she did not oversee ICIB during the summer of 2011. Please read the following post from Witness LA’s “Dangerous Jails” series which details the organizational changes that occurred three months before the discovery of the cell phone:

    “On May 15, 2011, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department quietly made a series of small, seemingly innocuous changes to its command structure. The Internal Affairs unit, which investigates violations of departmental policy, and the Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau, which looks into criminal acts that may have been committed by department personnel, were taken out from under the oversight of the Leadership and Training Division—where the twin divisions have been for nearly two decades—-and were placed under the control of the then-Assistant Sheriff, soon-to-be- Undersheriff, Paul Tanaka. In practical terms, this meant that, instead of the heads of the two bureaus reporting to Leadership and Training’s Chief, Roberta Abner, Tanaka appointed a brand new captain and commander from his own inner circle to head IA and report to him. At the same time, he selected a new captain to run ICIB, also reporting to him. Abner was taken out of the loop altogether, and a commander position overseeing ICIB was eliminated. Two levels of oversight and accountability in the system with which the department investigated itself vanished overnight.”

  17. CrackerJack Says:

    This whole thing is a miscarriage of Justice……A cellphone gets smuggled into the jail to an inmate with a 400 year sentence without any notification (to somebody within the agency) and the cops investigating the incident get convicted of lying to a federal officer when they confront her off-duty as part of their investigation. The intent of that statute doesn’t fit this situation and the feds KNOW it.

    One of the jury instructions was that a local agency couldn’t investigate a federal agent. I’m sorry, I didn’t realize federal agents had diplomatic immunity. No federal agents have been popped for DUI?

    A 15 year sentence for this? I’ve seen people get less time for killing somebody.

    Federal overeach and the trampling of states and individual rights is on full display by the current administration and Eric Holder.

    -Criminals, drugs and waves of sick children invade the country and the FEDS refuse to enforce the immigration laws, and even prevent states (like Arizona) that try to handle it.

    -The IRS targets rival political groups through the tax laws and they suddenly lose their e-mails that reveal their actions and nobody is being held accoutable. (I think this might be obstruction of justice?)

    -Guns are allowed to cross the border to ruthless criminals, resulting in the death of border patrol agents and nobody is accountable for that stupid plan.

    -The FEDS are warned about the Boston Marathon bombers by the Russians but they fail to tell the Boston Police that these dangerous radicals are in their area.

    I think it is time for somebody to look into the actions of the FEDS. A special prosecutor should be appointed to look into these things and more, but don’t count on it.

    Of all of the rotten things that Baca and Tanaka pulled off, it was the contempt of the FBI that got the FEDS to act.

    -Not a sheriff’s captain at Carson Station that REALLY obstructed justice by having a deputy moved because he was trying to disrupt her boyfriend’s drug smuggling ring. Not aggressively pursuing her criminal case and purposely allowing her Internal Affairs case expire because she is a Tanake ally

    -Not the stredding of the civil service system when campaign contribution got you a coveted job or the answers to the next promotion test.

    -Not the shutting down of a money laundering investigation against a political ally.

    -yada yada yada………….

    THAT IS REAL OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE….not the minor league prank of moving an inmate around……………….PLEASE

    The FEDS make me sick to my stomach and I will not lift a finger to help them unless it is the only way to stop a crook.

    A first day Academy cadet learns that the spirit of the law is how the statutes should be enforced.

    God help the country!

  18. Bill Bixby Says:

    Eyeswide: So when you get orders from the 4th floor to do something what are you to do? challenge them? You are advocating a climate where the worker-bees question authority now and this is NOT good. When your supervisor tells you to do something, you do it. I’m sure you’re one of these 5 year wonder, 26 year old jail swine who think they know it all and don’t have to do what their supervisors say. Why don’t you turn your badge in and go work for Target if you want to have work ethics like that. Try telling your manager at the cash registers that you aren’t doing something and see how long you last. The problem is within the command staff junior. Maybe when you have 15-20-30 years on you will realize this.

  19. Reality Check Says:

    Bill Bixby: you have the gall (not balls) to call someone who works custody (jail) “a swine”….you are exactly the ASS HOLE that the department needs to get rid of. Of course, you by- passed custody and went straight to S.E.B.

    You are a typical shit talker that hides behind blogs. I’ll bet anything, that you can’t scale a 5 foot wall or run 50 steps to tackle a fleeing unarmed supect. Your opinionated input paints a vivid picture of you. A FRIGGING JOKE.

  20. LATBG Says:

    CrackerJack, did you expect the feds to notify someone within an agency ruled by thugs they were going to smuggle a cellphone into the jails? I’m not sure if you understand the hierarchy principle within government, but county trumps city, state trumps county, and federal trumps state. When the feds are investigating violations of federal law, they are not subject to being “investigated” by a local agency, who lacks jurisdiction over their actions. A federal agent who commits a violation of state law (DUI, for example) can be prosecuted locally and that occurs all the time. What never happens is when undercover operations, stings, are done by federal agents during the course and scope of their duties, find themselves “investigated” by the subject of their investigation. The hubris of the fools Baca and Tanaka put the convicted six where they are now.

    Depending on your political orientation, the actions of the Attorney General, depending on the party in the White House, will either please you or piss you off. No worries, just wait another four years when the party changes hands, and you will be conversely pleased or pissed off as well. It’s the cyclical nature of American politics, get over it.

  21. Eyeswideopen Says:

    BillBixbySays:
    You are absolutely right that the problem started with the command staff. However, when that command staff tell you to violate the law or violate your ethics, you must stand up, no matter the cost and do the right thing. I’m not talking about arbitrarily refusing orders as you state, your comment is dumb, as is you insulting statement about deputies who work in the jail. Most deputies do a good job despite the difficulties working a jail assignment. You Mr. Bixby are the type of sworn personnel that shuld not be working in law enforcement.

  22. Time to Clean House Says:

    A lot of interesting testimony came out during the trial. This  Times article only touches on a small part of what convicted these six. They  had a choice. However, they were too eager to please Paul. If they had said no, they would have been out of the car.   I bet they wish they had, because tragically it took them off a cliff. Charges against Tanaka? Brendan Fox said another trial for another day. That day can’t come soon enough. In the end we are the only ones responsible for our actions and decisions made.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/countygovernment/la-me-deputies-verdict-20140703-story.html#navtype=outfit

  23. Investigative Mind Says:

    Bill Bixby…obviously you never worked directly for a supervisor who was involved in criminal conduct and you knowing it was wrong REFUSED to go along with it. Believe me when I inform you retaliation is something you could not possibly imagine. Some of these supervisors have been caught and served time already and others got promoted or rewared with cush spots ..for now.

    I am not referring to CUSTODY DIVISION.

  24. Bill Bixby Says:

    Reality: Thank you, and yes, in fact I did do several years at SEB as a young deputy. Custody? Yes, did that too, how about HOJJ? how about MCJ? Let’s hear your resume. I bet it would include a lot of “admin” time and perhaps a little time at Lomita? Then, let me guess, back to the 4th floor?

    Cracker Jack: Very well said my friend. You explained it correctly when you said “THAT IS REAL OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE….not the minor league prank of moving an inmate around……………….PLEASE” Reality Check and Eyeswideshut can’t seem to get it.

    If you want my name, email me privately, I’d be proud to provide it and even meet over some coffee, I know you’re busy at SHQ so I’ll even drop by and meet you there.

  25. Thanks a lot Says:

    #18 Bill Bixby……….so according to you, the “worker bees” should ALWAYS follow orders, even unlawful ones because they are “told to do it”. Tell me, how did that work out for the “jail swine”? I can guarantee, after this fiasco, the “worker bees” WILL ask questions about orders they think are shady, because if they dont, they will end up like the last 6 did!! And what about those on the 4th floor that issued those orders? They are still walking free!! Be a drone if you want, all the way to prison!!

  26. Wind out of the Sails...... Says:

    I was surprised that the jury found these individuals guilty. I thought everyone knew that law enforcement, although civilian in nature, is organized and ran using a military model…namely command structure….chain of command…etc. I guess either the defense wasn’t convincing in explaining this or the jury just ignored this important fact. It’s as plain as day that these deputy’s, sergeants and lieutenant didn’t “concoct” this grand scheme of deception to hide inmate Brown on their own…they were “ORDERED”.

    I guess this situation is no different than any other scandal…those at the top are either allowed to retire or protected while those at the lowest levels see their lives, careers and reputation spiral down the drain.

    There are countless examples on this department of how peoples careers stagnated, prematurely ended or fizzled out because they so much as even questioned an order from a superior (I mean this in only in the sense of rank).

    There is a pervasive and infectious case of cronyism, nepotism and favoritism that has been running rampant on this department and will continue to run rampant since people are people. It’s human psychology I guess. As long as people feel the way to get ahead is by “who you know” and “networking” the problems will persist.

  27. Dacha or Says:

    @Wind, nothing personal, but your statement is nonsensical. The Tanaka 6, as I’ve read the name of this group, were following “unlawful” orders to break the law, I.e. “Obstructing Justice.” At some point early on, they ALL knew this stupid plan was to 1. Find out what AB told the FBI about activity inside MCJ, 2. Find out what/who was the FBI investigating, 3. Fuck with Agent Marx and 4. Hide AB from the FBI KNOWING he was an informant.

    They knew what they were doing, all of them knew they were obstructing the Feds. So this argument of “they were just following orders,” doesn’t cut it. These are, or were, cops. Baca and Tanaka put these people in harms way, I agree, but they engaged in this caper with open arms. Simple question, if you were told up front, “We have an inmate with a phone and he is an FBI informant. The Sheriff wants you to pump this guy for everything he knows. You are to hide him from the Feds, if they ask for him, tell him he no longer in our system, released to the State. Hide him and pump him ’cause the Feds are investigating us and we can’t have that.”

    Would you do it because you were told or would you say, “Are you crazy? We can’t do that, it would be illegal, hell, we could get indicted by the Feds for Obstructing a Federal Investigation. Screw that.”

    Or would you say, “Man, I’m on board and now in the car. Sky is the limit for me ’cause I hear Tanaka always takes care of his people. Say, what kind of cigars does Paul like?”

    Shame on the lieutenants and brass for letting this happen. Hope they get their turn at the plate. Lessons for lots of folks.

  28. Lonestar Justice Says:

    I went to Internal Affairs about a Lt. in Walnut who was having civilians help write LASD evaluations, distributing Deputy personnel and LASD information to civilians, selling ammunition to the public ( when ammo was scarce )with the use of department computers and so on….you know what I got ? punished ! Nobody will tell the deputies their rights were violated ….. I know most of the people convicted by the Feds. ” Quidquid exit, reddit ! ”

    I welcome the FBI involvement…..

  29. Lost Ethics Says:

    I think the question that most Department personnel have in their minds is, what does the future hold for the Sheriff’s Department? It is interesting times, over the past few years a lot of corruption has been exposed, at the end of 2014 a new Sheriff will take office and hopefully the Department will begin the long journey of rehabilitation. I think the key to success for this rehabilitation is to ensure that all future promotions are individuals that have strong ethical and moral standards. This will be difficult, but not impossible.

    The other key to success for the new Sheriff will be the critical need to get rid of certain executives (Chief and above) that have a proven track record of less than ethical behavior, those that failed to make morally and ethically based decisions because of their fear of what Paul might think and those that were clearly “in the car.”

    In an earlier post I alluded to a recent promotion of Rothans to Assistant Sheriff and why that promotion was a tactical error. I’ll explain why Sheriff Scott should reconsider this promotion if he truly wants to ensure the best people with a proven track record of the strongest ethical behavior are part of the top executives.

    - While a Captain at Pico Station, Rothans became aware of a CAC member had embezzled aprox. $10,000. This case was never investigated out of Rothans’ concern of the potential for bad publicity for the station and how an investigation could negatively reflect on his leadership of the station.

    - Rothans became aware of an allegation that a Deputy had stolen money from a liquor store while investigating a 459 and this was captured on a surveillance camera. He refused to open an admin. investigation and this Deputy was fired in a subsequent case where he stole a golf club at a golf course which was recorded on a surveillance camera.

    - As a Commander, Rothans took no action in regards to a Lakewood Station Captain who had approx. 50 force packages that were over a year old because of his fear of what may happen to him due to this Captain’s close relationship with Tanaka.

    - As a Commander, Rothans pulled strings to get a relative hired as a student worker.

    - As a Commander, Rothans fell silent and had a loss of memory regarding an Equity Complaint filed against then A/S Tanaka. The result of his failure and the failure of the Region III Chief at the time, was a large monetary settlement as a result of a law suit and the County expending approx. $400,000 in attorney fees. Rothans’ silence and memory loss was because of his fear of Tanaka and how it could impact a future promotion.

    Is this the type of person the men and women of the Sheriff’s Department deserve as an Assistant Sheriff, I don’t think so. Hopefully Sheriff Scott will do the right thing and if he doesn’t, then hopefully Sheriff McDonnell will do the right thing.

  30. Curious George Says:

    Paul, you better change that patten line you have “in my 33 years of law enforcement, I’m responsible for sending 6 deputies to prison” great leadership, idiot !!!

  31. Generalhuthut Says:

    I sit here reading these blogs, the pissing, moaning and finger pointing. Along with the chest thumping, pontificating and opinions and I can only help but come to one conclusion. We are all responsible for the current mess this department is in. There has not been one statement or discussion at all about what our main job duty is. That’s to serve the public trust. This is a symptom of a department that’s lost it’s focus, which is to serve the people of L.A. From the line all the way to the top, it seems that decisions are not made with what’s best for the citizens of L.A. It’s just a “what’s in it for me and does it make me look good” mentality. The statements on this blog has devolved into a microcosm of the LASD mindset. “I’m better than you.” “I heard this” “This supervisor sucks” and so on. Until there’s a paradigm shift from the top to bottom and we all realize that society and the citizens of Los Angeles are the people we work for we are doomed to repeat history. John Q. Public does not give a shit where you worked, who you worked for or how many arrests you made. They care about the quality of the services we provide and that’s it. Until some people on this department get that through their heads this will continue on…

  32. Reality Check Says:

    Bill Bixby. ……Don’t have the time to go back & forth. The trial spoke for itself and it sent a message to many. Mr resume is legion, so I’ll save time. I was sworn in under P.J. Pitchess.

    Re: LASD…..Karma kicked in.

  33. Dulce Says:

    LATBG…so according to you, the FEDs cannot be held accountable for their actions. Must be nice.

  34. IthacaBoomer Says:

    Meanwhile, the ghetto stations go about their business of taking felons to jail. That will never change. Boomer!

  35. Roy Says:

    I just read in the LA Times the Feds are going to retry Deputy Sexton…..

  36. Wild Turkey Says:

    Now instead of prosecuting Tanaka and Baca, they have announced that they are retrying James Sexton. Sexton, who cold called the FBI to report wrong doing. Sexton, who met almost 40 times in a year, passing information to the FBI to assist their investigation. Sexton, who had a six – six jury split, because they felt the FBI had turned on what amounted to a whistle blower. This is disgusting. The FBI has no heart, no courage, and no brain. The Lion, Scarecrow and TinMan all in one.

  37. SHQinformant Says:

    Hello All,

    Was my information correct? Anyhow:::

    The 4th floor is very quite right now, many are submitting their papers to retire. One Commander, identified as E.H, is trying to pull off a medical. Another of C.R and P.T boy,,,,,shame shame shame.

    Word Is: The Fed’s will issue an arrest warrant within 14 days. Rumor has it that Captains and above will be listed. We will just have to wait and see WHO is on it.

    Word Is: Ex-Asst Sheriff, now Chief, come November you will be investigated and demoted to Lt. Start packing up your bags and run. The new Sheriff will chop you down.

  38. Cowboy Says:

    Why are some of you “crying foul” when the Sheriff Department was spanked by the Feds. This whining is reminiscent of family members crying in court when their “Bad Ass” baby boy or brother is sentenced in court.

    Every deputy will be tempted by something at some point in their career. The ultimate decision must be made by the individual deputy. This applies to newly graduating deputies assignments in custody all the way to the sheriff himself.

    This reminds me of the song “The Gambler” which can be applied to the decisions that we make as peace officers. The moral of “Pandora’s Box” is don’t cry when you get your ass kicked, especially when you start the fight and you get a bonus by being told to “back off”

  39. Truth Serum Says:

    @ ithacaboomer…….Are you the cross dresser with the alter ego “Dulce” and do work undercover in the ghetto as a prostitute. Based upon your “coming out of hiding” statement, I suggest you read “Generalhuthut” post.

    I’m sure the “Ghetto Station Community” that you patrol would love to hear how you really feel about being a public servant in Los Angeles County.

  40. Oh Well Says:

    You guys back off of Boomer. You don’t understand just how important the guys like Boomer are to our department. He is far to good of cop to do what all of you non ghetto station, Day Shift working, breakfast burrito eating, traffic ticket writing, report taking slugs do.. He hasn’t got time to respond to calls for service unless it’s a 245GSV. He lets the calls back up on his box while he makes another T stop. Handling calls for service where he might have to write paper without a body attached is below him. That’s for all of you non radio car of trust, non bitchin no balls no heart no brains wanna bees.
    Boomer understands that being a team player and pulling your weight at the mundane bullshit that goes along with being a regular street cop is not what it’s about. It’s about making Boomer and his partner in his radio car of trust look good so he can thump his chest and brag his ass off about how he’s better than everybody else. When will you slugs get it? Guys like Boomer are the backbone of the LASD and the rest of you are just there to make him look good. Boomer is too bitchin, too cool for school, has too much heart and is by far just too overall all around good for you slugs.
    Get over it people. Boomer understands that serving the public is not what we’re about. It’s about serving ourselves. Without the Boomers LASD would fall apart tomorrow. The rest of you are cowards, slugs or idiots. Most of you are all three, hiding behind that “We’re here to serve the public” bullshit excuse for not being as courageous or just plain bitchin as Boomer. You’re all jealous of Boomer. Get over it.
    Now get back to doing what you do. While Boomer gets in three more gunfights, kicks nine more asses and takes 14 more felons to jail this week.

  41. Handicapper Says:

    How is it that a man who quoted “His Core Values” when he announced his retirement, would see so many of his followers get indicted. Six department members who followed Baca’s instructions are going to prison and more will like be indicted. Even Tanaka most likely blindly followed Baca’s instructions. Many likely new it was wrong, perhaps not illegal but wrong! Now Mr. Core Values is hiding behind his lawyers. When Baca faced political challenges everyone became expendable. Many have endure much pain and now it seems members of his inner circle will experience the same pain.

  42. Oh Well Says:

    But if Boomer’s sister’s house in Santa Clarita’s gets 459′d and it takes 45 minutes for the deps to respond because they just happened to have all ex-LNX and ex-CEN deps working there that shift that let that call sit in their boxes while they are busy making T-stops looking for that bindle of meth or rock of coke, you can bet your ass that Boomer will be raising holy hell telling everybody how Santa Clarita is nothing but a bunch of lazy slugs and it takes them 45 minutes to respond to a 459R call in Santa Clarita, where there is NO crime so the deps should have been at his sister’s house within eight minutes.

  43. LATBG Says:

    GeneralHutHut and Truth Serum, you guys are right on the money. Let’s hope McDonnell embraces a true paradigm shift that can reset the course of the LASD away from self-service and towards a model dedicated to public service. Everyone wearing stars and bars on their collars should be nervous, because he has been made painfully aware of how you got to where you are, and he has to decide what to do with you. You better hope you have some skills beyond working the system for your advantage to advance the public’s interest. Otherwise, spare everyone the trouble and retire quietly.

  44. Be Gone... Says:

    With all these convictions, ruining of careers and lives, and the Department in turmoil, the thing that comes back to me is that the only person that stood her ground in all this mess was that clerk. The one that regardless of the orders that were given to her by her supervisors and T himself, she refused to comply because she knew it was wrong. She refused orders knowing that it was totally unethical and was jeopardizing her career for standing for what is right. And seems like no one is showing support or acknowledging her courage
    So I am here today.

  45. Cognistator Says:

    #35 Roy: That is also being reported in other media outlets like Public Radio station 89.3 KPCC (www.scpr.org).

    Also, let us not forget this aspect of the Sexton case:

    http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/article/20140318/NEWS/140319604

    He wouldn’t wear an FBI wire against his own Dad, who was thousands of miles away from LASD (in Alabama) when things went down.

  46. Stuff Says:

    Boomer is a POSER!! Don’t respond to him. If he is not, he will meet me for coffee.

  47. Tuthalways Says:

    Lost Ethics you must be one of those angry people who never got your way. I worked for Rothans at PRV and in fact was involved in the investigations of your allegations regarding the CAC and the deputy. Yes they were investigated and just because you don’t know what happened doesn’t mean nothing was done. Rothans was and still is revered at Pico because he took care of business, held people accountable and cared about his troops. You are obviously one of those he took to task and held to a high standard that you couldn’t achieve, thus having nowhere to turn but a blog.

    As for your other allegations, your credibility is shot and I doubt there’s any substance to it. You were no doubt disciplined or taken down a notch for substandard work. Don’t drag a good man’s name down because you couldn’t hold his water.

  48. just a cop Says:

    If the ICIB captain had the balls to say no to Tanaka and Baca the deputies, sergeants and lieutenants would not have been indicted and convicted. I guess protecting your subordinates is not as important as pleasing your boss. He will have to live with that for the rest of his life!!!

  49. Dacha or Says:

    @40, Oh Well, you style. You just handed Boomer his ass. As a matter of fact, picture Jack Webb in his Joe Friday character reciting your script, and you have an Emmy Award wining performance for “Best Ass Handing By a Lead Actor” ever seen. But it has to start out with Joe saying, “Alright Boomer, let me tell you something, Junior. That’s right, I said Junior and I’m talking about a child, a punk, a loudmouth, coin holding, ash tray cleaning, Kool Aid drinking child. Now let’s get something straight, fella.” And then he goes into your script

  50. Jack Dawson Says:

    ALADS calls him an outcast.

    LASD calls him a rat.

    DOJ calls him a felon.

    Sexton shows up and stands tall.

    I call him tough. Stay in the fight kid.

  51. Sachamoe Says:

    Don’t be surprised if Leroy has seen the light and shall we say, has been cooperating. I hear Tanaka has a special on faded red T-shirts, coffee mugs and freeway posters. It is also my understanding he is going to auction off an autographed edition of his campaign script that’s states, “Just look at my record. Never in my thirty-three years in the profession have I ever allowed, participated or condoned misconduct of any kind.” Biding starts at thirty-nine cents. Experts predict the biding could top as high as sixty-seven cents.

  52. CrackerJack Says:

    Venting about the injustice of this Federal investigation doesn’t mean I don’t care about the communities I serve or doing my job. I still get phone calls from folks I’ve helped in the past. But we are in the JUSTICE business. When I see injustice,I will call it out.

    The spirit and the intent of laws and ordinances we enforce are critical to the enforcement of those laws. Applying those laws for revenge or big leaguing another law enforcement is not Justice. Prosecuting the soldiers for carrying out the general’s orders while the general and his command staff remain free is not right. Tanaka will likely get prosecuted but Baca probably will not, yet he set this thing in motion.

    I don’t think the moving of the informant is an obvious unlawful act and is not unprecedented. I remember in the mid 80′s, an Ayran Brother informant was held in an unused floor of the jail and was off the jail records and under 24 hour guard of a senior. He was transported to court in an armored vehicle.

    Did all of the deputies prosecuted in Pandora’s Box know the true intent of the plan? Insuring the inmate’s safety, securing the jail from an inmate adept at smuggling contraband and debriefing him are lawful intentions. The Feds would eventually be able to talk to him. How long was he hidden for, 2 weeks? If he was so critical to the case, why wasn’t he a witness at this trial or the other inmate abuse cases. I am not justifying this stupid plan, but the federal phone smuggling plan was also stupid and reckless.

    Smuggling a cell phone into our jail is a violation of California law 4576(a) PC and as such we have an obligation to investigate it. I find it hard to believe that a detective can be prosecuted for lying to a subject of their own investigation when it is an acceptable and taught interrogation technique. 18 USC 1001 is an overbroad law and a commonly abused statute the Feds use when they have a weak main case.

    I don’t like bullying whether it’s done by Banaka or the Feds. If they go after Sexton again, then my point is made.
    These folks were convicted of Contempt of the FBI…..let’s be honest!

  53. SHQinformant Says:

    Word Is: W.C and P.T…please start collecting your bail money. In a few days, click click…

    Word Is: Sexton will not be tried again.

  54. Oh Well Says:

    #52 CrackerJack,
    I think you have it right about it being a case of contempt of the feds, mostly. The problem is, and think about how this must of played with the jury, that Baca was told in a meeting with the feds exactly what they were doing, why they were doing it, that they were within the law to do it and that Baca needed to back off. Baca refused. He wouldn’t or couldn’t accept that he wasn’t the big dog on the yard. He continued to instruct subordinates to break the law. They did. Whether they were aware of what the Feds told Baca at that meeting is paramount to the case as far as I’m concerned. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, but in many instances it should be a mitigating factor.
    If the low level folks do a day behind bars and Baca and Tanaka walk away free it is a travesty of justice. You are 100% correct about what it says about the feds to go after Sexton again. What’s the point? The message has been sent. Very loudly and very clearly. Is he a threat to society? Now it’s obvious it’s simply a contempt of the feds case because the kid had the nerve to say no to them when they tried to get him to wear a wire where his father was concerned. He wouldn’t make things easy for them, so they’re making things hard for him.
    Cops are going to prison because Baca wanted to measure dicks with the feds. What bullshit. There’s another legacy of Baca’s. What a selfish idiot. Or was he just too stupid to know that the feds wouldn’t let it slide without getting their pound of flesh from his troops if he didn’t back off? I hope all of you who kissed his ass like he was a genius and some kind of God are having many sleepless nights. You helped him solidify in his mind that he could do whatever he wanted to whoever he wanted.
    As it turns out, now everybody knows he’s not only not a genius, he’s a dumbass. Always has been, and many of you knew it but you would line up to kiss his ass. The totally bitchin bad ass super cool SEB dep. and Century Captain Jimmy Hellmold is a perfect example. Live with it.

  55. Truth Serum Says:

    Long story short CrackerJack……..I hear you. Inmate Brown had nothing viable or valuable for the Feds. Once the phone was recovered, (no photos or audio) we know that a second phone was not going to happen a second time.

    No evidence proves very hard for any valid case period. Fear of (what the worst case scenario could possibly expose) overshadowed good detective work producing a unwarranted rush for a cover-up.

    That being said, leaves the “Fatal Mistake” , which was to intimidate a female Federal Agent at her residence, under the guise of police work. Had LASD figured out the Agent Leah Marx did not have anything solid (via the cell phone. ….even if she did, you don’t attempt to intimidate her) from Inmate Brown, then this would be another post about something else Thus the return visit from The FBI and the ultimate slap to LASD face with the ultimate (Who’s Your Daddy) boot to the Ass with the convictions.

    Anyone can add or take away from the Pandora Box theory with their own hypothesis. What I described is my theory and hypothesis. I’m sure it can’t be too far from the truth.

  56. SHQinformant Says:

    #54, J.H will be investigated, demoted or fired for strong arming deputies/staff for Mayor Tanaka. There is a video of him taking cash from some folks at a private meeting at the City of Commerce Casino. The video shows J.H was dressed in a LASD uniform.

  57. Handicapper Says:

    Oh Well, you are 100 % correct when you said Baca was selfish! This was not about investigating a crime or reforming custody. This was about containing a scandal(s) whether they were real or imagined. I don’t think this was about two large agencies being at odds. This was about Baca preserving his legacy and damage control before an election. If there is a silver lining to this mess, at least Baca and Tanaka are gone.

  58. CSN83 Says:

    I guess I find it hard to call Sexton a “kid” and not the other deputies that are in this mess. What is the difference in their training? I don’t know if the others who were convicted had a military background, a father who himself was once a Sheriff, are as computer savvy as he, and completed the same sheriff’s academy that he did. Of all the deputies involved, not sergeants, lieutenants, or higher, deputies here, who had the most experience? At least he was honest in the grand jury investigation & showed his thought process. (By the way, if he was such a “new,” “young,” “inexperienced,” deputy, just HOW did he land the cush job of jail investigator? Hmmmm???)

    If he participated in pandoras box, in any capacity , what makes him innocent and the other deputies guilty?

  59. LATBG Says:

    Lost Ethics makes some very specific allegations against A/S Rothans, and Truth Always doesn’t do the man any favors by mounting an attack on Lost Ethics performance, which he/she apparently doesn’t know anything about. The old kill the messenger routine is worn out and suggests there may be something to the allegations, but I’m not in the position to know. I do know that Rothans is buddies with Chief Fender, that paragon of virtue within the LASD.

    Truth Always, why don’t you settle the issue with specific rebuttals to the actual allegations? Your reply tells more of your relation to Rothans than anything else…

  60. Oh Well Says:

    Silver lining?
    Don’t forget that we don’t have our intelligence insulted on a weekly basis by Leroy’s buddy Steve Whitmore. The minute that Leroy hired him and put him on the payroll for big bucks was a huge red flag. When I brought it up to Leroy’s ass kissing drones that it was indicative of an abuse of power and a waste of taxpayers money and showed a propensity for corruption and cronyism on Baca’s part they would make excuses for him. About one out of every five people above the rank of deputy had a problem with it. Everybody just went along to get along and didn’t want to rock the boat because it might jeopardize their next promotion.
    Bishop Turner narco caper, the golf course field deputy and the county cars and the badges and guns to buddies and campaign donors and all the other bullshit Baca pulled. Nobody cared. Paul Tanaka didn’t care. He never said shit about it. All of the Tanaka supporting stand up hard charging RII Sgts. and above that knew about Baca’s bullshit never said a word until Tanaka announced he was running for sheriff. All of a sudden there’s no room on the “Baca is corrupt, Baca is nuts, Baca has to go” bandwagon. Most of you “Stand up tell it like it is no bullshit RII studs” were awful quiet about Baca’s bullshit the last few years until the jail investigations dog and pony show. Why was that?
    You know who you are.

  61. Read it and Weep Says:

    One can argue introducing a cellphone into MCJ via AB was/was not a wise move. That chapter has yet to be told, but it is absolutely irrelevant. They had the legal right to do so in furtherance of “their” investigation into criminal allegations of misconduct inside of MCJ. Wholesale beatings, broken bones, force package cover-ups, sergeants, lieutenants AND a captain, all involved in a “pattern and practice” of Felony Ass Whippings carried out by Tanaka’s 2000 & 3000 Boyz. That is what we all need to focus on, and stop splitting hairs about “could they do this, can they do that, authority this, authority that, LASD V. FBI,” because in my opinion, none of that is relevant at all. The FBI were investigating federal crimes of excessive force incidents at MCJ and they were trying to figure out a way to prove or disprove those allegations. Personally, I would NOT have introduced a cellphone and I sure as hell would not have used AB, but NONE of this matters, the FBI had a legal right to do what they did, and the way that they did it.

    Now, onto the motive of Pandora’s Box. Personally, I don’t think it had anything to do with Baca or Tanaka engaging in a “how dare they investigate LASD,” I really don’t. I am going to throw out my hypothesis based on the Grand Jury and Trial testimony that was shared in the media. I did not have an opportunity to sit in on the trials, a little thing called work stopped that. So here is what dots I have connected and I share with you to ponder.

    Testimony indicated when Thompson notified Tanaka, not Baca, but Tanaka, they had figured out the cellphone belonged to the Feds and this inmate, AB, was providing information to the FBI, Tanaka went into his routine “rage,” and flamed out. But NOT because he was angry, but because he became scared shitless. Scared because reports like the CCJV report etc, “clearly” indicated Tanaka had imposed his Cigar Club, anything goes mentality at MCJ and guess what, anything and everything went. Cruz was up to his neck in scandal, force packages were hidden, flat out not investigated and many covered up. I think Tanaka just realized HE was potentially, long range, in harms way. Why? There is a little thing called Pattern and Practice along with violations of the 14th Amendment that says the government (Tanaka) is responsible for safe guarding prisoners. And with all of this focus by the Jail Commission, who laid out Tanaka as the root of all evil, correctly so, Tanaka went into a panic, “The Feds are after me.” Remember Tanaka’s CCJV testimony, “I don’t recall, I don’t remember, I was not in-charge of the jails?” He was trying to distance himself from what he created himself so the Feds could not connect him to the pattern and practice HE created. Too late, he was a target.

    So this foolish Pandora’s Box operation, which made the FBI decision to introduce a cell phone into MCJ like brilliant police work, was all and I mean, ALL, about finding out what they Feds knew and what the Feds were focusing on and where those roads were going to potentially lead to. So once again, it was ALL about Paul and no one else. I think Tanaka blew smoke up Baca’s ass and twisted a story around that somehow pissed off Leroy, probably something like, “Lee, the Feds can’t do this to you. The entire Department is outraged, everyone is talking about this, how dare they do this to the Sheriff of LA County. Everyone is asking me, my phone is burning up with calls, wanting to know what ‘The Sheriff’ is going to do about this.” I can truly see Tanaka spinning some crazy manipulative tale that hit a nerve with Baca. But all the while, Tanaka was scared to death all of his MCJ meetings with “the boys”, smoking cigars on the patio, “Fuck IA, I got your back, just take care of business,” and the moronic “I’m turning MCJ into a Region 2 jail facility where only hard working deputies can hang,” ALL came into his mind the second Thompson (according to reports) called him and said, “The Feds are inside of MCJ.” The rest is history. Start getting your affairs in order Paul, and I don’t mean your string of 924′s, because the chickens are coming home……… to roost. Before I retire from LASD, this is all going to come full circle with indictments that will make our heads spin. And there is ONE name I have not heard a peep mentioned in most of this, Baca. As I read in a posting, I would not be surprised if he is making a deal, just a guess. But from what I hear, Pandora’s Box is probably the least of Tanaka’s concern. Read it and Weep.

  62. Jack Dawson Says:

    CSN83,

    You are my favorite of the idiots, because your disdain for his father allows you to justify berating a young man who decided to come to Cali in an effort to be something beyond a sheriff’s son.

    I have a child on the department who is his age and close to him. That makes him a kid to me.

    Deputy Sexton was allowed to be in units because people wanted Baca to believe they were taking care of the kid. The obvious choice was to place him Tanakites to keep an eye on him.

    The kid saw some shit that was outside his values that earned him an Eagle Scout, an appointment to a military academy, and a graduate degree from USC.

    Your right, we don’t want people like that in our cushy investigator spots. Instead, we should let supervisors like you ruin his career and send him to prison.

  63. peacemaker Says:

    @CSN83, Deputy Sexton was not a Jail Investigator he worked for OSJ, just to clarify for you

  64. Lonestar Justice Says:

    Many of the blog comments do not take into consideration why the Feds had to get into this in the first place. The Sheriff Dept has some major ethics problems…..look no further then Walnut Station where Deputy Personnel info and disciplinary files were released to the John Q public by a ranking officer and the Capt. knows about it. Have the Deputies been notified that there civil rights were breached ? Capt. Halm will not even request from the informant how many more files are out there…. It’s just not happening to the “bad” guys, but to Dept personnel also.

    I read other comments in this blog about other Capts,etc….it seems its common place….How come nobody has the testicular fortitude to stop it ?

  65. Oh Well Says:

    #61 Read Weep,
    Your hypothesis completely leaves out or discounts the meeting Baca had with the feds. Do you think Baca thought to himself: “These guys are lying to me. Paul told me they can’t do it. I’ll role with Paul on this no matter what the FBI says”? The meeting was brought up at the trial. The jury heard how Baca was told to back off by the feds. Again, think about how that played to the jury. How does it play to you? Is it possible that your distaste for Tanaka is shading your conclusion?
    Baca, flat out, to his face in a meeting with the feds was told to back off. They explained their legal standing and advised him he was interfering in their investigation. Why? Your hypothesis completely ignores this VERY pertinent (in my opinion) part of the testimony that the jury heard.
    I don’t buy that Baca was “Played” by Tanaka regarding this clusterfuck.

    #58 CSN,
    Deps. (Especially young ones under 30 who have very limited experience) aren’t supposed to know as much as their Sgt., who isn’t supposed to know as much as the Lt., etc. etc. That’s why we have a rank structure with a pay scale. I think that’s why a lot of us have trouble with the deps. being the only ones held accountable (so far). As far as why Sexton was at OSJ, you know the answer to that. His daddy was a FOS. His daddy got Baca that bullshit Sheriff of The Year award. There’s a multitude of sharp “kids” that work at MCJ with a multitude of computer skills. How do you think Sexton came to the attn. of his supervisors and was given that job?

  66. Time to Clean House Says:

    #56 I’m also hearing that the Feds are interested in Tanaka’s pay to play. $130,000 dollars raised in a 2009 election for Gardena Mayor in which he was unchallenged. Contributions by people who live far away or could care less about Gardena politics. Seems the Feds are interested if certain people were granted favors by a certain undersheriff for their contributions. Look at B.A. And D.W to name a few.

  67. arletha Says:

    when the new sheriff start he will bring some lapd’s nd lbpd’s with him. God is not through cleaning house in the department.

  68. Cowboy Says:

    @ Read it and Weep……..You called it correctly. As for CSN 83, Manzo was in patrol prior to this caper, Smith was a Soldier, prior to hire and Sexton was the whiz kid with computer skills.
    ALADS shunned Sexton because he wanted to pick his own lawyer which was a no-no to Dick Shinee and Dick (Floyd) Hayhurst.
    I commend him for standing up to them. He is also suing them. Once again I commend him.

  69. Read it and Weep Says:

    @65 Oh Well, your point is well taken re: the meeting to Butt Out with Baca, so I will modify my thoughts just a tad, that’s what I get for attempting to introduce logic and reasoning when involving Baca. But I will still stay with my theory that Tanaka absolutely went into a panic because his worst fears, the Feds, were deep into LASD and his antics. Remember Paul’s opening statement to the Feds when they recently interviewed him? “I knew this day would come.” If that is not consciousness of guilt, I don’t know what is.

    We now know the Feds knew a lot more about Tanaka back then, and they know volumes now about all of his shenanigans. As for my disdain for Tanaka, he’s long gone and will never, ever be back. But this I know, he was the cause of the cancer we now have. He has earned my disdain along with his coin holders. I know I speak for thousands of past and present LASD members. Baca was Doctor Frankenstein, he created the little monster.

  70. SHQinformant Says:

    #66…VERY TRUE. UCLA did a study on the PAY TO PLAY scheme and discovered many of these deputies were promoted. Many of these CHEATERS are now Sgt’s or Lt’s. Look at GOODEN, he donated over $500, he was then a Lt at COMPTON. Now he is a Commander.

  71. Oh Well Says:

    Read Weep,
    I won’t argue your contention that Tanaka was worried about what the Feds were digging in to and what they might find. I agree with that.
    I’m just saying that Baca wasn’t played by Tanaka. Baca knew exactly what he was doing. He kept doing it after having things explained to him and being told to butt out. That’s straight up arrogance right there. Also, let’s not forget, he was the man at the time. If this was strictly a Tanaka caper Baca could have shut it down after being told to butt out. Right?
    Baca was at the helm. Baca steered the ship into the rocks.

  72. LATBG Says:

    And I’m still wondering what will become of all those Tanaka coin-holders now sitting at the ranks of sergeant, lieutenant, and above? They are literally empty suits, like squatters in a vacant house, wanting desperately for others to believe they aced their promotional tests. Sorry folks, smart people who study hard ace tests, not bags of rocks who need the actual test to study from and barely make it.

    Funny thing is we actually need people who know WTF they are doing at all those ranks. There are important decisions to be made, policies to hold people accountable to, and guidance to provide those who are doing the Lord’s work. In the Tanaka glory days he was always a cellphone away to bark orders, now the line went dead.

    For those within a year of retirement no biggie, I’m sure they will be pressured to pull the plug (can you say McSweeney, Abner, Fender, et al?). But what about all those “in the car” fools who find the car in the junkyard? They are sitting on all of 20-25 years, desperately trying to plot a way to latch on to McDonnell’s leg and extend their borrowed time.

    Don’t expect to find any sympathy from the thousands of LASD personnel whose careers were destroyed by Baca and Tanaka. Everyone knows who you are, enjoy your fame!

  73. CSN83 Says:

    Cowboy thanks for the information on the other deputies. I am just surprised that there has not been the same type of support for the “other” deputies, sgts and even LTs since they too were following orders. I find it easy to sit back now with all the information we have and continue to give opinions on what they should have done.
    Jack, why must you take this so personally? My comments were questions and concerns about the similarities or differences in backgrounds of the deputies. You seem to have no interest in the others involved. Is it that you are just trying your best to clear Sexton’s “good name”? Do you think that because of Sexton’s immaturity he should be set free and to hell with the others? What happened to your compassion to the others and how they were pulled into the mix? Is there something else about him that makes him more special to you than the others?
    I think the bottom line we all seem to agree on is the buck stops at the top. Baca (& Tanaka) were ultimately “in charge” of the Department. The fact Baca did not faithfully discharge his duties as our oath requires speaks volumes. He left a lot of people hanging in the wind — and the true character of a man shows in rough times…. Baca is nowhere to be seen while “his people” are taking the hit for his total and complete lack of courage, integrity, honesty, and leadership.

  74. Jack Dawson Says:

    It’s one thing to judge an individual. It’s in entirely different scenario to make a kid pay for the sins of his father.

    He came out here to go through OUR ranks. Yes! I support the young man, and yes! I want to see him succeed. I have never been bashful about that.

    He is the only one who didn’t let the uppers lead him to the altar to be slaughtered. Is this a stain on his record? Absolutely, but it is how he is handling it that earns my admiration.

  75. justsaying Says:

    Of all that has happened, I’m glad I tried to follow what my father taught me,that cost him a job and the fear for his life and his family in 70′s. He was told to falsify documents submitted to the gov’t for miltary aircrafts by his employer. He refused to doctor documents that weren’t true and accurate reports.Even knowing that he had 7 children (all in private school) and the other usual bills plus he also felt his life would be in danger (he even told my brother who was only a teenager at the time to leave the country if something happened to him). My father never compromized the things we all start with but as time goes on lose them little by little or all at once becuase we want that promotion, we want that coveted spot or we want to ride shotgun in the car that’s going places, those things were: INTEGRITY,HONOR, KNOWING RIGHT FROM WRONG,STANDING UP TO A SUPERVISOR WHEN YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR DOING MAYBE OR IS MORALLY AND ETHICALLY WRONG AND POSIBBLY CRIMINAL. I been with LASD for 30+ years and I was tempted many atimes, but I remained a deputy knowing that I may not live up to my father’s values and let others promote hoping that they would have the same qualities and values my father possesed and retained throught out their careers. Unfortunately the current and recently departed leaders of The Los Angeles County Sheriff Department Core Value’s were not the same as my father’s. If my father was The Sheriff I beleive we would not be in this mess they are in now nor would many of us ( including myself at times) would not have had the honor and priviledge to wear the star on our chest he just wouldn’t have it. Instead Captain Baca and his Firstmate Tanaka staying on the ship and do damage control they tucked their tail between their legs and headed for and got on the life boats before the woman and children when the HMS LASD started taking on water.

  76. Cognistator Says:

    #75: In the ’70s your dad was pretty much alone with his dilemma. Today his plight is at least a subject for psychological discussion:

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hidden-motives/201306/the-whistle-blowers-fate

    So progress is being made.

  77. Intheknow Says:

    Most of the sworn do their job the right way following the right procedures. A lot of the sworn that I’ve come across at patrol stations are scandalous and liars and corrupt. The feds need to go and deal with some of those at the patrol level, a lot of them wouldn’t have their jobs right now, the way they treat some of the professional staff is ridiculous

  78. Sachamoe Says:

    So why was Betkey demoted from Chief to Commander, one week or so prior to his retirement?

  79. Oh Well Says:

    Intheknow,
    Have you been assaulted at work? Has your car been 594′d? Has a POE violation against you taken place? If so, do what you’ve got to do.
    But could you please quit with the insinuation that sworn treating professional staff with less respect than the professional staff thinks they deserve needs to be investigated by the feds?
    Sounds to me like you’re upset because your feelings got hurt. Perhaps a trip to Target for some big girl panties would rectify your situation.

  80. Same dance different tune Says:

    SHQinformant. Gooden is just one of many who gave money to Tanaka in hopes of garnering favor and promotions and guess what….. It worked. In a perfect world the sheriff should call each member of his executive staff and inquire as to why they felt inclined to donate to a campaign that had nothing to do with the cities they reside in. Will that happen? I doubt it.

  81. Cowboy Says:

    Jack Dawson: I applaud your “keeping it real” and being candid, regarding the Junior Sexton. I, too feel that Sexton has “A Pair” and followed his inner self.

    He was in the ring by himself, ready to deal with his decision when it was rendered. I know that he can sleep peacefully at night.

    I was really stoked that he saw through that “Weak Ass” ALADS and wanted a Real Attorney. I wish him the best.

  82. Just Saying Says:

    #79 IAgree with in the know! 79 you obviously don’t know what you’re talking.

  83. Reality Check Says:

    Unfortunately we still have those problems that you mention @ #77. It never ceases to amaze me how some in law enforcement feel as though that they are untouchable. One example was the CHP incident, beating the transient woman…..this spoke volumes and these are examples that were caught on tape. (Think about the ones that the public has not seen)

    Remember when the citizen, (George Holiday, if my memory serves me correctly) videotaped the Rodney King beating and he went to the Foothill Division LAPD and offered it to the watch sgt, who arrogantly said no to viewing the tape and that he would take care of it. Well. …the rest is history.

    This will be known as the “Year of Exposure”. Keep your seat belt on as this is not finished. Floyd Hayhurst and the reps who suck up to him are next at ALADS.

  84. Oh Well Says:

    #82 Right. Call the feds. Tell them about it. See how interested they are. In fact, get ahold of WLA and see how interested Celeste is. Maybe she’ll investigate it and do a story on it.
    Until then, we’re discussing crimes and corruption in case you haven’t noticed. Not interpersonal skills in the workplace.

  85. Eyeswideopen Says:

    #84: You know, department personnel should not have to call the feds or even Celeste, we should remember to treat each other as we would want to be treated, I’m talking about courtesy and professionalism. For example, I’m asking why professional staff employees with years of experience and knowledge at their job, have to prove themselves time and time again to their new newly assigned sworn supervisor when this new sworn supervisor just takes it for granted that a sworn employee knows everything. Professional staff’s judgement is always questioned until they prove they know what they are talking about. Many, too many sworn personnel treat the pro staff with rudeness and disrespect. You can’t hide the sun with your hand, we all know it is true.

  86. LATBG Says:

    ALADS is a joke. There are only a handful of criminal attorneys who specialize in representing law enforcement, and guess what? Green and Shinee are not on the list. This worthless “union” should have offered up the pros from day one to anyone facing the feds and put those union dues to good use.

    Sachamoe, I think Scott encountered a strange situation, where a current sitting chief’s lips were still surgically attached to the arse of a disgraced retired undersheriff and he realized an intervention was required due to gross inability to perform duties at an expected level.

  87. Surprised Says:

    #80- Pay to play is real but what good would this do? Call in each person who gave money and wait for the, “I did it to get promoted.” Is it illegal to give campaign money to a candidate outside of your city? Is it a violation of policy?

    I think the Sheriff has plenty of important things to do. Besides, the new Sheriff will have the roster he doesn’t need to play elementary school games to figure out who’s who.

  88. Oh Well Says:

    For all of you feeling the need to discuss the problem of how the sworn treat the non sworn, I’m not trying to hide anything. I just don’t see where discussing it or bitching about it will rectify it. Here’s why. Nurses have the same gripes about Dr’s. Flight attendants have the same gripes about pilots. Teachers have the same gripes about principals and superintendents. Civilian contractors have the same gripes about military personnel.
    Get it?
    Some people feel the need to feel superior to others due to their status, education, training, rank, pay etc. etc. and unfortunately, many times the people who feel superior act like assholes to those they feel are beneath them. It’s the human condition. Ask a cameraman for the studios how the director treats him compared to the actors. Ask a bit player how she gets treated compared to the leading lady.
    Get it yet?
    It doesn’t make it right, it doesn’t make it fair. But it is a reality of life. If you work for the sheriff’s dept. as a civilian (Professional Staff) and expect everybody to treat you the same as they do the sworn personnel you have illusions of grandeur. Some of the sworn will treat you differently than they do their peers. If nobody ever explained this to you, I’m sorry. I hate to be the bearer of bad news.
    Here you go. Ask a NWK trainee how they get treated compared to an SEB Scout. Better yet, ask the SEB Gas Man how he gets treated compared to the SEB Scouts.
    Have I explained it to you thoroughly enough? It’s commonly referred to as a “Pecking order”. If you came on the LASD with the expectation that there was no pecking order you were naive. If somebody on the LASD told you that there wouldn’t be a pecking order they flat out lied to you.
    Like I said, I hate to be the bearer of bad news or rain on your parade. There are Drs. that are assholes. Pilots that are assholes etc. If you didn’t realize before you took the job with LASD that there are deputies who are assholes, well, all I can say is sorry about that. If you can’t accept it, maybe WalMart is hiring.
    Then you can go deal with the people there and come to realize you’re dealing with the same thing there. There’s a pecking order everywhere.
    You didn’t know that? Or do you just refuse to accept it because you believed the feel good lies you were told at your DLI class about how everybody on the LASD is looked at as equal?
    I’m sorry that there are people treating you with less respect or professionalism than you deserve. That’s going to happen in ANY workplace where you deal with a lot of people. Some of them WILL NOT be as nice to you as you would prefer.
    Time for you to put on your big girl panties and deal with it. That crap you were told at your DLI class was just to make you feel good. It isn’t reality. On the LASD or anywhere else.
    I’m sorry, but that’s the truth.

  89. Time to Clean House Says:

    87 with pay to play it’s a question of if the civil service process was circumvented by Tanaka for the benefit of certain individuals. That’s what the feds are interested in.

  90. Surprised Says:

    89- I don’t think the process was circumvented but it was certainly abused. The problem is really a two parter.

    1- Were answers given to certain individuals (donors and non donors) in advance of the test. Looking at recent lists…the answer is clear on that one.

    2- Were certain individuals pulled from their band (specifically Band 2) because of their donations.

    Problem #1 is a no brainer. All it takes is one person to roll and it will happen, hopefully soon.

    Problem #2 is muddy. Hand picking from a band is the norm. The real question is how many donors made band 2 and were left to die on the list…my guess….none.

  91. GoMcDonnell Says:

    #88 Oh Well. From the tone of your post, sounds like you’re one of the jack-holes they’re describing!

  92. Eyeswideopen Says:

    #91: Well said.

  93. Oh Well Says:

    My tone? I’ll try to work on that. I pride myself on treating others, EVERYBODY with respect. I try to be a genuinely nice guy. There’s no need in my opinion for people to be jack-holes ( I like that word) just because they can. I believe it’s a sign of arrogance, immaturity or insecurity when people choose to be a jack-hole and disrespectful to others. That certainly was not my intention.
    At the same time, I pride myself on being straight forward and honest. Sometimes because I don’t agree with people or they don’t like my opinion they interpret my honesty and my being direct as disrespectful. Sometimes people want to hear that they’re right, or they want you to tell them want they want to hear and nothing else will suffice.
    I apologize if my tone offended you. I don’t apologize for being honest with you and giving you the benefit of the doubt that you’re looking for an honest, down to earth, keep it real type of discourse. I wasn’t trying to insult you by giving you that benefit of doubt, I was trying to compliment you.
    If I am wrong about that, I accept it.
    So let’s start all over.
    Here we go.
    You’re right. The way some sworn treat the Professional Staff is ridiculous. It is one of the biggest problems on the LASD currently. It needs to be one of Sheriff Scott’s top priorities to put an end to it. We couldn’t do what we do if we didn’t have the Professional Staff there to support us and you need to be treated with the respect you deserve.
    Better? Is it all good now?
    Or do I get beefed now for trying to placate you, being condescending, insincere or sarcastic?
    What would you like me to say, and what is the proper tone for me to take to have this discussion with you in order for you to not feel disrespected?

  94. Bandwagon Says:

    Oh Well: I must admit I also thought you were a jack-hole after reading your post #88. I then read post #93 and thought you were displaying some humility. Alas, I was again proven wrong after reading your last paragraph. You are indeed a “Jack-Hole”.

    Best Wishes,

    Bandwagon

  95. Oh Well Says:

    Bandwagon,
    Go back and read the 1st sentence of the third paragraph of my post #88.
    “It doesn’t make it right, it doesn’t make it fair”. I believe that makes it plainly obvious to any objective reader my personal feelings about sworn that treat the Professional Staff rudely.
    I don’t think it’s right and I don’t think it’s fair.
    Yet amazingly enough, THAT TONE is missed because I didn’t tell somebody what they wanted to hear the way they wanted to hear it. So I’m called a Jack-hole. So be it.
    And you wonder why I didn’t think it would do any good to discuss this particular issue?
    I can live with being called a Jack-hole because of my “tone”. It’s part of life when you tell people truths that they don’t like.
    I notice you didn’t address any of the content of my post #88 and tell me I was wrong. So I’ll just go back to the only thing I can say when people don’t like the message or the messenger.
    “Stop me when I’m wrong”. Not in my tone, but in my content.
    Did I say anything, or give any examples that are incorrect in #88, or is it just my tone?
    I’m a Jack-hole because I’m a little bit sarcastic at the end of #93? No. I was called a Jack-hole in #91. So if I’m already being called names, now it’s upon me to be soft in the way I deliver a follow up message and not be a little sarcastic? Ok then. I see clearly now. Thanks for pointing out to me my shortcomings. I’ll take them into consideration and work on that in the future. I’ll start with trying not to call people names because I disagree with them or don’t like their tone. Oh wait, that wasn’t me, was it? I still haven’t slung any names. Hmmmm.
    Sincerely,
    Jack-hole

  96. Oh Well Says:

    Short version.
    Some people are assholes. It’s been that way since time immemorial. The LASD is made up of people. Complaining about it won’t change that. That being said, Sheriff Scott has bigger fish to fry right now than to make the way SOME sworn treat the Professional Staff a top priority.
    Do you agree with the above statement or disagree with it?
    Yeah, I know, you agree with it, but I’m still a Jack-hole, due of course to my tone.

  97. Oh Well Says:

    Bandwagon,
    If I had replied initially with the above comment I would’ve been called a Jack-hole. It wouldn’t have been received well either. Yet there is absolutely no “tone” that can be derived from it. I’m simply telling it like it is, the truth. Cutting to the chase.
    In # I explained why I didn’t think it would do any good to discuss it, for it to be complained about. Gave real life examples. Said I was sorry that it’s that way. Said that it was neither right nor fair. Clearly gave my own opinion that people who treat others disrespectfully are assholes.
    Yet that wasn’t good enough. I’m a Jackhole.
    Could it be, is it possible, that “you are right” or “I agree 100%” or “I know what you mean and I feel your pain” is the only possible reply that would’ve been acceptable? Is it possible that some people believe that anybody who doesn’t want to listen to them vent is a Jack-hole?
    Could it be that when I used the term “bitching” any further explanation or reasoning was discounted because of letting them know I saw their bringing up the issue as complaining about a problem that can’t be rectified? Could it be that simply because I made it known that I didn’t think their complaint was as important as the current crimes and corruption being discussed, it pissed them off?
    I believe I’m a Jack-hole in their eyes for a very simple reason. It’s because I relayed the message that I didn’t believe the problem they were bringing up was correctable, all that important compared to what was being discussed at the time and suggested that we move on.
    In other words, I let them know that I wasn’t too interested in listening to a personal bitch session about a problem that’s gone on since day one, and will go on forever. I was then accused of trying to “hide the sun with my hand”.
    So I explained in #88.
    Not good enough. I’m still a Jack-hole.
    Fair enough. I’ll wear that label proudly for two reasons. First of all because of the reason it was put on me. Being honest, truthful, to the point, and correct. Secondly, because of the selfish, self absorbed people who put it on me simply because I’m honest about not wanting to listen to them vent about problems that can’t be corrected. If people like that call me a Jack-hole, I know I’m on the right track.
    Suppose I wanted to try to inject LASD employees that are overweight and don’t present a positive image into the discussion of crimes and corruption. You want to listen to me complain about that, or are you a Jack-hole too?
    No, you would be correct in shutting me down and telling me to put my big girl panties on and deal with it. That would be my problem if I couldn’t deal with one of life’s realities and felt the need to interject it into conversations about other things. I would be selfish to expect others to listen to me vent about it even if it’s not pertinent to the topic being discussed.
    That would make me the Jack-hole. You would be right to shut me down.
    There are therapists for people who want to complain about the realities of life. They get paid to do it. Or bartenders or friends. This is not that forum.

  98. GoMcDonnell Says:

    Soooooo? Its ok to go on a two day tirade about being called a jack-hole???

  99. Bandwagon Says:

    He’s a little sensitive about that whole “jack-hole” thing.

  100. Justice Says:

    For the sake of argument lets just say all 6 of them stepped over the line. And lets say they got orders from higher ups. So because these dozen or so idiots stepped out of line (and I’m being generous with the number) the department as a whole, the entire 10000+ sworn and 8000+ civilians are part of a toxic culture. I hardly see that as being fair or accurate. Even if all indictments are found guilty the statement is still not a fair nor accurate one and does far more damage to the department and county as a whole than it does to help. That statement alone is toxic enough and should lead others to question his motives.

    What reasonable person would want to put his life on the line under that kind of accusation from the same government that is supposed to support you? He has a responsibility to NOT make such fallacious and blanket statements to a society that is already on edge.

  101. Oh Well Says:

    We did it. 100 comments!!!!!

  102. arletha Says:

    the civilians at the stations should be treated fairly and not looked down on. they are just important as the sworn. the stations does have a lot of problems. Because you are sworn doesn’t make you right all the time.

  103. Come On.. Says:

    The nature of the beast called LASD or any professional organization is the hierarchy principle.Those at the perceived top look down upon those at the perceived bottom. We are a law enforcement agency so of course those at the perceived top are sworn members. Not surprisingly, there are even layers of hierarchy within the sworn ranks.

    So it’s not surprising you have members in the professional and non-sworn ranks feeling a bit (to use the slang term) “dissed”.

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