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Supes Have Closed Door LASD Meeting …Valley Fever Flares in CA Prisons….Privacy Issues…And More

May 7th, 2013 by Celeste Fremon



LA COUNTY SUPERVISORS CANCEL TRAVEL TO HAVE CLOSED DOOR MEETING ABOUT LASD CONCERNS

There was to have been no Board of Supervisors’ meeting this Tuesday, because the Supes were scheduled to take their once-a-year joint trip to Washington DC instead. However, after last week’s LA Times interview with former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka in which Tanaka engaged in what can best be described as a verbal assassination attempt against Sheriff Lee Baca, the majority of the Board—Don Knabe, Gloria Molina, and Mark Ridley-Thomas—cancelled their respective trip plans and decided maybe a meeting was called for after all.

Or at least so we’ve heard. The meeting is to take place behind closed doors, so you and I won’t be able to observe first hand.

The agenda for Tuesday’s hastily planned meeting indicates the subjects up for discussion are “department head performance evaluations,” plus ” Significant exposure to litigation” and “Allegations regarding civil rights violations in the County jails.”

However, sources close to the board suggested that, more than anything, this meeting is about what Tanaka said, what the Feds might or might not be planning to do, what it all portends for the future of the department, and what actions—if any—might soon be required of the Supes given the storm around the LASD that is rapidly quickening.

We’ll let you know as we know more.


VALLEY FEVER FLARES IN CA PRISONS, JUST AS JERRY BROWN TELLS FEDS THAT CA’S PRISON HEALTH SYSTEM IS IN TIP TOP CONDITION

The AP has the story on this largely-hidden epidemic that endangers inmates in certain CA lock-ups. Here’s a clip:

As many as 3,000 prison inmates in central California deemed to be at risk from a potentially lethal lung disease may need to be moved to other regions under an order from a court-appointed federal overseer.

The directive, issued on Monday, marks the latest effort to stem cases of valley fever, or coccidioidomycosis, at two prisons where the disease was found to have contributed to the deaths of nearly three dozen inmates from 2006 to 2011.

But it could complicate court-ordered efforts to reduce overcrowding across California’s prison system, the nation’s largest…

And then here are a couple of clips from a more detailed story by John E. Dannenberg of The Prison Legal News:

In the past three years more than 900 of the 5,300 prisoners at California’s Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP) in Fresno County, plus 80 staff members, have contracted coccidioidomycosis, a fungus commonly known as “valley fever.” Over a dozen prisoners and one guard have died from the disease. Valley fever forms in the lungs, where inhaled fungal spores colonize.

The soil-based fungus, which is indigenous from California’s central valley down to South Texas, most often causes symptoms similar to the flu (and in the process confers lifelong immunity); however, in two to three percent of cases it metastasizes. Once it gets into the bloodstream it is often fatal.

Although valley fever has occasionally infected archaeologists digging in Utah’s Dinosaur National Monument and drug-sniffing dogs along the Mexican border, its statistical prevalence in California prisons is troubling. California reported 3,000 cases of valley fever in the general population in 2006, of which 514 were diagnosed at PVSP alone. This 17% morbidity rate among prisoners is astounding. Further, from a mortality standpoint, 12 deaths in 900 prison cases equals a 1.3% fatality rate – double the community rate of 0.6% (based on 33 deaths in 5,500 infections reported in Arizona in 2006). Put another way, if the general population had the same mortality rate as prisoners, there would have been another 38 valley fever-related deaths in the community.

[SNIP]

The high infection rate at PVSP (and to a lesser degree at other central valley prisons) has been correlated with two other factors: 1) importation of non-local prisoners and 2) prisoners with compromised immune systems. This has translated into a high rate of serious valley fever cases among HIV-infected prisoners from Los Angeles, many of whom are susceptible under both factors. As a result, prison officials have been preemptively moving such vulnerable prisoners from PVSP to other areas in the state…


YOUTH ADVOCATES HAPPY WITH JUVENILE JUSTICE FUNDING IN OBAMA BUDGET—BUT WILL THOSE SECTIONS PASS?

Youth Today has a column by the very-smart Liz Ryan of the Campaign for Youth Justice about the sections in the president’s budget that youth advocates see as the most crucial—namely the funding it provides for the 40-year old Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) that, in this go-round, focuses on three areas:

1. Keeping “status offenders” from winding up in the juvenile justice system. Status offenders kids who’ve done things that are against the law only because of their age—things like skipping school, running away, breaking curfew and possession or use of alcohol.

2. Getting kids out of adult jails and lock ups, whenever possible

3. Reducing the disparate treatment of youth of color in the juvenile justice system.

Here are the details.


LAPD & LASD LICENSE PLATE READERS KNOW WHERE YOU’VE BEEN, PRIVACY GROUPS SUE FOR INFO ON TRACKING PRACTICE

The idea that law enforcement may be compiling databases on the whereabouts of non-lawbreakers is making a lot of people jumpy, and has caused the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation to demand that both the LAPD and the LASD fork over information about how the data is being used.

Both Dennis Romero of the LA Weekly and the AP’s Tami Abdollah reported on the matter.

Here’s a clip from Abdollah’s story:

Two privacy rights groups questioning law enforcement’s use of automated license plate readers asked a judge Monday to order the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to provide more details on how they use the technology.

The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California and the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a writ against the city, county and its law enforcement departments after waiting more than eight months for a complete response to public records requests.

The groups are seeking one week of data collected by the readers, which are usually mounted on police cars and scan thousands of license plates in an officer’s shift. The readers – which collect the license plate numbers, the time, date, GPS location and a photo – alert law enforcement to stolen and wanted vehicles.

“If you’re not wanted for anything, it doesn’t do anything,” said Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. John Gaw, who works in the advanced surveillance and protection unit. “It does collect that information, it does put it in our database, and we’re able to go back and review that information if you’re wanted in some type of criminal investigation.”

Privacy advocates are worried that about the growth of such law enforcement databases often outside the public’s eye and with little public oversight or information. They say the readers create a database that essentially tracks movements of innocent people, often long before any crime has been committed. But officials contend that the readers are a valuable piece of technology that helps solve crimes and simply speeds up and automates what would have been a slow, painstaking manual process only a few years ago.

Posted in ACLU, Board of Supervisors, Civil Liberties, Edmund G. Brown, Jr. (Jerry), LA County Board of Supervisors, LA County Jail, LAPD, LASD, prison, prison policy, Public Health, Sheriff Lee Baca | 46 Comments »

46 Responses

  1. J.London Says:

    This meeting maybe too many years too late! But, the BOS is wise to consider all the possibilities. The BOS may also have their dirty laundry aired for public view. If the BOS and Baca would have paid more attention many years(2001)ago to a certain Pat Gomez who came forward about jail abuses, would we be in the crapper now? And what did Baca do? Instead of looking into these abuses Baca ordered Waldie to start an Internal Criminal Investigation (ICIB)on Pat Gomez. Fortunately, for Pat Gomez, his supervisors refused to start an ICIB and found out in a Supervisor’s Inquiry that Gomez had done NOTHING wrong! If you are wondering it was once my job to review these cases.

    At trial, you should have heard all the perjury by the executives! The jury later awarded Gomez nearly a million bucks of our money. What happened to the executives that gave a less than honest testimony?

    The BOS can help themselves by ordering the re-opening of ANY case where LASD folks were falsely accused! The BOS must do the right thing and step up! Stepping up is something neither Baca, Stonich, Waldie or Tanaka have ever done! I recall when Baca gave a TV interview telling deputies to “man up!” Well, Lee Baca “man up!”

    I posted many years ago that the BOS needed to have a plan in the event that Baca and/or Tanaka got arrested. Sadly, the BOS didn’t do anything that I would consider prudent!

  2. 10-33_Go Says:

    Per the BOS agenda, Supervisors Knabe and Yaroslavsky will be teleconferencing into the meeting from the Sofitel Hotel in D.C. Nice digs. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g28970-d235513-Reviews-Sofitel_Washington_DC-Washington_DC_District_of_Columbia.html

  3. Reflection Says:

    Although it’s nearly impossible to think that BOS will do the right & prudent thing in this matter, the opportunity is there to take. The Board needs to formally ask for the Sheriff to retire. The pressure that the Board could bring would make it quite likely he’d surrender and act in the interest of the greater good. Make him a deal and one that he can’t refuse. Make sure he understands that the first offer is the best one and if others are required they will not be a good as the first. I learned this from a very successful business leader.
    Once the Board has made the offer it should consider a broad search but know that they have a perfectly able candidate in Long Beach.
    Finally the newly appointed Sheriff should be given the full power of the office and not be saddled with a host of commissions and oversight committees. Pick a good leader and offer full support.

  4. CSN83 Says:

    Wow, can you imagine hanging out with the BOS today? In a nut shell, talking to Baca about “Significant exposure to litigation,” “Allegations on civil right violations” and looking at his performance evaluations.

    Where to start? Maybe all the people who have been run off the department could be reinstated instead of taking their cases to court, winning, getting settlements and back pay, and then coming back to work. Maybe some money could be saved.

    The winds are blowing and one would wonder where we all will end. In regards to Tanaka, like him or not, he seems to have had enough of Baca. The only reason I can see that Baca changed how the department was run “on his own” (if you believe that!) was perhaps he was confronted by some of his senior staff. Or maybe he was feeling a mutiny coming, we might never know. At least in the past we had a command staff that one could go to for advice or direction. Now we do not and I don’t like that feeling. (Not that we don’t have the command staff, but their authority and input has been minimized.)

    Sure glad that I am not nor have ever been the Sheriff’s driver. Do you tell the truth or do you avoid the truth, just in case Baca keeps his job ?

  5. Don't finesse me, Bro !!! Says:

    Reflection, with a due respect, that is wishful thinking. As with each individual member of the BOS, Baca is an elected official and answers to no one. There is nothing that the BOS can say or do to finesse Baca, unless that is what he want’s to do. They cannot pressure him anymore than he can pressure them. If that were the case, it would have happened long ago.The only ones who can do that are the Feds, and well, lets see how that plays out.

    There are two ways to look at why Baca is hanging on to the thoughts of a potential reelection (which the thought boggles my mind). 1. His ego won’t allow him to let loose of the power of being Sheriff or 2. He realizes that he has been a complete and abject failure as Sheriff for the last 12 years, he has given the keys to the car to Tanaka who has driven us all over a cliff, and he (Baca) really wants to fix all of this. He knows he has a legacy and right now it is a legacy of corruption and failure.

    I hear McDonald is not going to run for Sheriff in ’14, that he has his eyes set on something else. So minus a honest to goodness viable candidate, it may be Baca V. Tanaka. The lesser of two evils is Baca (in my opinion) and that does not set well with me just to think about it. So hopefully there is a superhero in the wings that can kick both of these guys to the curb and resurrect LASD to greatness. Time will tell.

  6. J.London Says:

    Reflection: great points. perhaps the BOS could take a page out of Baca’s playbook and “finesse” Baca out of office! LOL

  7. CSN83 Says:

    So finesse me, Bro.

    Do you really feel that Baca had no idea what Tanaka was doing or not doing to drive “the car off the cliff.”? The buck stops with Baca as it would any Sheriff of any agency. It does not mater what he did or did’t know it is his office.

    While the BOS can not do somethings to Baca they can take away the bank roll.

    My concerns are that Baca is not himself and he is now driving the entire department off a mountain.

  8. Reflection Says:

    To Bro & J, yep to wishful thinking and to “finesse” with a club. It’s understood the Baca is elected and is as an individual more powerful than any one Board member. A unanimous position by the Board would be tough to deal with, it might even cause the unions to take a vote of “no confidence”. Many executives lament not sitting collectively and asking Sherm to let go. I think a collective effort could work, but the size of the ego to overcome is daunting.
    As to McDonnell, the funds required to unseat Baca appear to be unreasonable and sure there’s the rumor about LAPD chief’s job. Baca, absent a Federal indictment, is probably unbeatable, thus the collective effort is needed. It would likely work if everyone would stand up. You can’t lead if they won’t follow you!

  9. It's time Says:

    Remember back to the first couple years of Baca’s tenure in office. Remember his canned speech about the Sheriff who had to saddle his own horse? He also repeatedly told a story that while growing up in the ELA area, he learned that his name (Leroy Baca), in the Japanese language literally translated to “Stupid Leroy”, (those were his words).

    Oh, the irony.

  10. [EDITED] Says:

    Let me show you the way. PT2014

  11. It's time Says:

    [EDIT]…please show us the way. “Hands in your pockets, right shoulder against the wall, single file line.”

  12. Weagree Says:

    PT is a good change. Not perfect, but GOOD!

    Go PT!

  13. Wild Turkey Says:

    I find it interesting that the pro-Tanaka crowd doesn’t have any real articulated argument as to why he should be Sheriff in spite of all the allegations of corrupt activities on his part.

    It seems that it’s always some variation of “Tanaka rules, everyone else drools!” A sort of high school maturity level rah-rah without any real intellect behind the posts.

    I’d like to see a thought out argument as to why Paul Tanaka would make a good sheriff who could turn our department around, and I’d like to see the allegations against him actually addressed:

    From pay to play, to the cigar club, to protecting Greg Thompson, to his Viking affiliations, to the perplexing ballistic vest caper, to tampering with Lieutenant exam results, to the “grey area” to interfering with IAB/ICIB investigations, to his managing role of the Anthony Brown incident.

    I’d like to see Paul Tanaka supporters actually address the issues, instead of chanting sophomoric generic support phrases.

  14. Weagree Says:

    Wild Turkey:

    You bring up a good point. I think those are valid issues you brought up. My suggestion: Have him answer to these allegations himself. He has stood quiet for several years and is now beginning to talk. We’ve only heard the rumors and the “Tanaka haters” put a case on him. It’s time for him to prove why he would be the best candidate for Sheriff and what he would do to CHANGE things for the better.

    I have to admit, I truly like Paul T and think he could do some good things for LASD. But, we have to hold him accountable and make sure these debacles don’t occur again.

  15. smoke and mirrors Says:

    Save your breath, Wild Turkey. The best cure for a criminal enterprise is strong light and indictments. They have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. After all, Mark Sanford found his ‘mojo’ on the Appalachian Trail. Who knows, the ‘preppers’ might be on something other than designer pharmaceuticals. It doesn’t matter how many bombshells drop; the smurfs are everywhere.

  16. Don't Finesse Me Bro !!! Says:

    @Turkey, excellent reply. You posted an intellectual response based on fact, the provocateurs have nothing nor will never have anything mature nor factual to respond with. These my friend, are the Tanaka cling-ons, the boot lickers, the ash tray cleaners who my sergeants and lieutenants have to babysit and supervise each day. And by the way, the half dozen or so incidents you would like answers about are the very same reasons why they support the little man.

    By the way, those are the same questions the FBI have been asking about Tanaka for the last couple of years. The good news is, the Feds now have the answers. Tanaka has been finessed but that was just a warmup for what’s coming down the road. And the ash tray cleaners and Cigar Club supporters will confine their sophomoric postings so they can slap Paul on the back at the next [EDIT] Clubhouse meeting (Yea you were outted long ago – please stop with the emails already) while they light his cigar and say, (sounding like Beavis) “Het Paul, hehe hehe, I posted ont Witness LA, hehe hehe. I told everyone you were cool and should be Sheriff. Don’t forget who I am Paul, hehe hehe.”

    Good post Turkey, keep reminding folks of Tanaka dirty deeds with facts. Joey Fennell has loose lips.

  17. Been There Done That Says:

    This sad state of affairs must end. I don’t know what to say to my troops any longer.
    If it is true that McDonald won’t run, then how about some of you retired guys with juice doing some recruiting? What about Bob Olmsted? Best captain I ever worked for, there was not even a close second. Or Sid Heal? Best tactical mind in the U.S. Both men also have qualities we haven’t seen at the top in recent memory: integrity, honesty and humility.
    But if not Sid or Bob, there are certainly others out there who fit the bill and can communicate the truth to the voters. I’m hoping you guys are doing more about this in your retirement than just posting on this blog. You have all made it to shore. The rest of us are still being pounded against the rocks. We could use more than just invictive language against the authors of the storm and your supportive words of encouragement.

  18. CSN83 Says:

    Has anyone tried to open the video on the closed door meeting from the BOS yesterday?
    It is on the LA Times site under KTLA.

    Caption says that they voted to have an independent committee investigate the Sheriffs Department. I about spit my coffee out……….. can we waste any more time with this? Get the cliff notes from the FBI.

  19. Mountain Man Says:

    CSN83: Interesting if your facts are correct. An “independent committee?” What, then is the Office of Independent Review?

    That entity was hired by the Board and they are all attorneys.

    So, why should anybody hold hope that yet another independent group will behave differently.

    Isn’t that the definition of insanity? Performing the same act repeatedly and expecting different results.

  20. Huh! Says:

    @#10 [EDIT] it wasn’t enough for you to send an email to all your people asking for their support of PT. Now you have to do a drive by on this blog. How about addressing some of the good points made by “Wild Turkey!” Is that crickets I hear?

  21. Weagree Says:

    #16:

    Wow! I guess I’m a “Boot Licker” now because I support Paul Tanaka. Oh well, say what you will, but I do agree he should answer Wild Turkey’s questions.

    P.S. – I hate cigars and never gave to his campaign. I just like his stance on law enforcement. Simple.

  22. True North Says:

    I must say I have been quite ashamed of the conduct of some members of our department, particularly as of late. The finger pointing, deflection, mudslinging and straight assassination of peoples’ reputations has been mind numbing. Nobody seems to want to take responsibility for his or her actions. The TSB caper is a perfect example. One or two people were ultimately responsible for an irreprehensible decision; yet, four were drug down because those truly responsible would not step up. I suppose the adage “misery loves company” is alive and well within the LASD.

    What is evident is that we need a change. However, there does need to be some degree of introspect first. The problems we face have been festering for many years, long before Tanaka was ever an Assistant Sheriff or Undersheriff. Most of our problems stem from inadequate leadership. Supervisors or managers are a dime a dozen, but true leaders are hard to come by. Unfortunately, that is where we have been lacking. We have had sergeants and lieutenants who lock themselves away, for fear they would have to make a critical decision; absentee executives who are out of touch with the fundamental mission of law enforcement, or reality for that matter; and lackluster supervisors who failed to walk the halls, engage their personnel, and teach them the proper way to conduct themselves as representatives of our organization.

    I have had the unfortunate experience of witnessing far too many people on this department make decisions based on the politics of furthering their careers rather than concern for the welfare of their subordinates, peers, the department, or the public. It is a failure of leadership, plain and simple. A failure to lead… Period! People are quite often a product of their environment and Deputy Sheriff’s, regardless of rank, are no different. I hear all the talk about changing the department for the better, but it begins with each one of us. Take a stand my friends. If you just sit there and nod your head in agreement when you feel in your heart a poor or unjust decision is made, you are part of the problem, not the solution. It is time to take our department back!

  23. CSN83 Says:

    Well said True North

    The TSB scandal is a shame. It never had to go this far and to ruin 2 Captains careers is even more shameful. People should be paying attention to the message from Baca. If you are forced to report a Commander you better be prepared to take one hell of a hit.

    Captain Perez is one of the most honest and fair supervisors I have ever had the honor in knowing. LIke her or not she is fair and you always know where you stand. What surprises me the most is she and her family have known Baca for a very long time and has always spoken highly of him. I understand during the investigation he never called her or had her come in to talk to him. Not sure if true but I heard that he does not even read the reports but instead listens to whom ever to tell their versions.

    If he wants to be a leader of this department and their is so much unhappiness maybe he should look into maters himself. Maybe the folks he is listening to has their own political agenda going on. Such a sad time for this department.

  24. Been There Done That Says:

    Couldn’t agree more, True North. Sadly, when you do get sergeants or lieutenants who know how to lead and make decisions they run into lieutenants and captains of the stripe you describe. Then OIR gets into the mix and that tail wagging the dog slaps down good leaders for making split second decisions that OIR neither has the courage or knowledge to make while the executives who know better sit on their hands and let it happen.

  25. Celeste Fremon Says:

    EDITOR’S NOTE:

    For those of you who have been calling commenters out by name or by initials, please don’t.

    It took me a while to pick up on it, but I’ve now been apprised of the back story.

    As for #10, you’re normally an articulate and thoughtful commenter. But this latest outing is uncool.

    Get a grip, everybody.

  26. Investigative Mind Says:

    #24 Bravo. Make no mistake there are good supervisors out there, but when a higher up (Lt, Captain, Commander, Chief) tries to squash issues and don’t want to hear the ENTIRE TRUTH, you have a mess which ultimately leads to more trouble. Or they know something is true and look the other way.

    I have personally seen Sgts, Lts and Captains scrambling to cover their rear ends…..

  27. CSN83 Says:

    As Wikipedia describes the plot of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, one cannot help but see a distinct similarity in what has happened recently on the Department.
    A vain Emperor who cares for nothing except wearing and displaying clothes hires two swindlers who promise him the finest, best suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or “hopelessly stupid”. The Emperor’s ministers cannot see the clothing themselves, but pretend that they can for fear of appearing unfit for their positions and the Emperor does the same. Finally the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him and the Emperor marches in procession before his subjects. The townsfolk play along with the pretense not wanting to appear unfit for their positions or stupid. Then a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all and the cry is taken up by others. The Emperor cringes, suspecting the assertion is true, but continues the procession.

  28. Huh! Says:

    Now we’re seeing some good commentary. The problem we would face with PT is, will we get the old PT who really believed in promoting good solid police work, or the more recent PT who promotes and takes care of thos who are loyal to him, despite whether you know anything about police work.

    As we all know, the best supervisors aren’t the ones who take care of you because you agree with their every decision, the best supervisors are the ones who don’t mind being told when they are wrong, and are often thankful that you kept them from making a bad decision.

  29. Weagree Says:

    Well said Huh. I agree. I would hope we would get the old PT mixed with some “true inclusion” for EVERYONE in the department.

    Time will tell. I’m willing to give Tanaka a shot. I just won’t tolerate any empty promises from him.

  30. J.London Says:

    It would be very difficult to give PT a shot when he is in prison. Lompoc has great weather this time of year. You PT kool-aid drinkers; how about bringing back one of your idols Dan Cruz? Or another one of PT greatest hits, Bernice Abrams? You guys could run Coke all through the county for the drug dealers? What ya say? LOL

  31. True North Says:

    I must say I have been quite ashamed of the conduct of some members of our department, particularly as of late. The finger pointing, deflection, mudslinging and straight assassination of peoples’ reputations has been mind numbing. Nobody seems to want to take responsibility for his or her actions. The TSB caper is a perfect example. One or two people were ultimately responsible for an reprehensible decision; yet, four were drug down because those truly responsible would not step up. I suppose the adage “misery loves company” is alive and well within the LASD.

    What is evident is that we need a change. However, there does need to be some degree of introspect first. The problems we face have been festering for many years, long before Tanaka was ever an Assistant Sheriff or Undersheriff. Most of our problems stem from inadequate leadership. Supervisors or managers are a dime a dozen, but true leaders are hard to come by. Unfortunately, that is where we have been lacking. We have had sergeants and lieutenants who lock themselves away, for fear they would have to make a critical decision; absentee executives who are out of touch with the fundamental mission of law enforcement, or reality for that matter; and lackluster supervisors who failed to walk the halls, engage their personnel, and teach them the proper way to conduct themselves as representatives of our organization.

    I have had the unfortunate experience of witnessing far too many people on this department make decisions based on the politics of furthering their careers rather than concern for the welfare of their subordinates, peers, the department, or the public. It is a failure of leadership, plain and simple. A failure to lead… Period! People are quite often a product of their environment and Deputy Sheriff’s, regardless of rank, are no different. I hear all the talk about changing the department for the better, but it begins with each one of us. Take a stand my friends. If you just sit there and nod your head in agreement when you feel in your heart a poor or unjust decision is made, you are part of the problem, not the solution. It is time to take our department back!

  32. True North Says:

    “CSN,” I know the story well and the analogy is very fitting. In addition, I do not know Captain Perez all that well, but I have had dealings with her and found her to be genuine. I can also attest to the fact the Sheriff is lopping off heads based on hear say from so-called confidants who are leading him astray, with no thought to the Peace Officer’s Bill of Rights. Many of these once loyal department members are turning to the courts for vindication. Moreover, the lawyers they are hiring are not ALADS or PPOA contracted firms. These are top guns, who will take no prisoners and are looking for large awards. Mark my words partners. Our Department and our County will be knee deep in liability issues when these lawsuits hit; and our lack of leadership is solely to blame.

    “Been There,” you and I are in complete agreement. The supervisors, who lack honor and integrity, hide at the first sign of trouble and then finger point when things go sideways. I may not always make the best decision(s) during a critical incident, but at least I can make a decision and stand will behind it, regardless of the consequences. As for the types of unit and incident commanders you described, you are right on with your assessment. The caliber of the Captain and his or her lieutenants can make or break a unit.

    “Investigative,” there truly are some very good supervisors here on this department. The problem is, they are sometimes circumvented or undermined by their captains or above. As a captain, or higher, you must have, and show, faith in your personnel. Give them the opportunity to flourish or flounder. Hold them accountable. The rubberstamped “Outstanding” evaluation has to go! They are not children and should not be treated as such.

    What we don’t need is another political/civilian faction or committee tinkering with the law enforcement machine. There are too many hands in the pot as it is, and all it does is muddy the water. All we need are leaders who are willing come together and stand for what is right. No more hearsay. No more backstabbing. No more passing blame. We are supposed to all be playing on the same team here. The criminals, anti-law enforcement groups, and alike are eating this up! Remember your Oath of Office brothers and sisters. If you don’t, your head may be next on the chopping block. Enough is enough! It is time for change…

    Together we stand, divided we fall!

  33. Lesser evil Says:

    J.London:
    You are correct. If he is in prison, it would very difficult to elect him Sheriff. However, if he’s not indicted or in prison, I’d give him a shot. We shall see. Tanaka may be the best option to save the LASD.

  34. Huh! Says:

    Ok “J.London,” I’m not sure if you consider me one of the “PT kool-aid drinkers,” because of my recent commentary. Just to be clear, I am not by a long shot. I have never done anything to help his career nor has he to help mine. That being said, you are absolutely correct by pointing out if the Feds indict him then obviously he is done, but, if not, we have to entertain, whether we like it or not, who is the lesser of two evils. I’ll make my point plain and simple, like him or not, I once liked PT’s style of encouraging “good” police work. Like him or not I have never known Mr. Baca to really encourage “any” police work.

    Back to the Fed thing. As time goes on I’m starting to think the Feds have no case or they would have already brought it forward. I doubt they are treating this like an organized crime case where they are trying to take out as many at the top as possible, because they have allowed many of those who should have been indicted to retire. But then again, we are talking about the Feds. So if any of the Feds are monitoring this site bring it already. Start at the top and the rest of the dirty Execs will run to put in their retirement papers like roaches. We need this so we can get back to the task at hand, which is fixing our seriously broken department.

    There are still seasoned good Cops and line supervisors who can save this department’s reputation, if given the chance. But, if this continues to drag out they will get crushed by the Execs at the top and some of the many idiots we have hired on as new Execs and new Deputies.

  35. No way jose Says:

    Argue all you want about Tanaka for Sheriff. Do you think a liberal city like Los Angeles where race trumps just about everything is going to elect Tanaka? Most of the arguments I read in these posts will mean almost nothing to the public. What will matter is Tanaka’s affiliation with Deputy “gangs”, including the supposedily white supremist Vikings. Did you hear Tanaka’s testimony ? Politically it was a disaster .The man looks uncomfortable in front of the public. At least Baca is comfortable speaking his usual political double-talk . Trying to get Tanaka elected is as impossible as electing Darrel Gates after the riots. remember the Baca/Block election had over a million votes, the next Sheriff will not be elected by Department members.

  36. just saying Says:

    The supposed White Supremist Gang (Vikings) have African American, Hispanic, Asian and White men as members. This is confirmed. Many of them are great human beings. I wonder how this got twisted?

    I know a federal judge referred to them as a “Racist Group” however, this was before he knew the ethnic make up of the comararderie deputy club.

    Interesting.

  37. Left at the Ball Says:

    Just saying: You are right the Vikings are not racist. However they are separatist who have contributed a great deal to the problems we are having.
    Having ink is a sign of camaraderie, when the ink displaces the camaraderie of the badge, you have problems.
    And that is a problem.

  38. just saying Says:

    Left at the Ball:

    I would agree that their may be some “separation” by a FEW immature people. That is wrong. But to make such a broad statement, is incorrect. It all starts with department members. Take ownership of the problem, don’t blame others and help make a difference.

    The bottom line is:

    We all need to respect others and pull our weight. If we blame others or drag others through the mud, shame on us. Identify the problems and fix them. I DO NOT believe Tanaka was the problem. I believe some used him as Smoke Screen. The problem was the culture we ALL allowed to fester. Now, it’s time to change it, together.

    Whatever side of the fence you’re on…Happy Mothers Day to ALL. Enjoy your Sunday!

  39. No way jose Says:

    Don’t misunderstand me I’m not saying the Vikings are anything one way or another. It simply does not matter. The media have labeled the Vikings as a white racist gang, and to L.A. Voters that’s all that matters. The voters will either hate or fear Tanaka for it. Tanaka might be able to win in Texas or Arizona , but L.A. No way

  40. True North Says:

    I have personally worked with many who have ink on their bodies. Yes, some are station tattoos, which makes no difference to me. Many of my very good friends have ink, and yes, some have viking tattoos… And cavemen… And reapers… And USMC insignia… A tribal tats, etc, etc… I can say that I have worked side by side with many of these people and view them no differently than those without ink, and none have given me any reason to think differently. I do not have, nor will I ever have, ink on my body. I have always judged individuals on their own merit, not by whether they worked a certain station, region (or division under the new org chart), or unit. There are poor performers and great cops everywhere. We need to stop the vitriol attitudes toward each other and come together as members of a great organization. We can turn things around, but unless we all get on the same page, we might as well resign to the mediocrity of what our LASD has become.

    I am a supporter of the LASD and it’s people, sworn and professional; not of Baca, or Tanaka, or anyone else for that matter. However, I do believe in Tanaka’s pro-active approach to police work, which is the primary reason I joined our department decades ago. Although politics have always been a part of the fabric of our department in the executive ranks, it has unfortunately become an overriding factor in the decision making process at the top. It is now resulting in stepping on people to remain in, or gain, control. It has to stop, partners. And stop soon!

  41. CSN83 Says:

    I agree with you once again, True North. As Maya Angelou so eloquently says in her recent Union Bank commercial, “If we are honest and fair, we are known by that. If we are not, we are known by that, as well. What we want to do is do right, but you have to say it, you have to show it, and not stop. Do right.”

    I believe this is the goal of all true law enforcement professionals, sworn OR civilian.

    Last week someone posted that people who get tattoos have “issues” with their identity and other negative things. I don’t know about you, but I know an awful lot of people who have tats to honor their family members, brag about their favorite team(s) or their branch of the service, images of their pride and joy (kids), or other things which are important to or part of them. The various station tats that many sport have no negative context on their surface. It is unfortunate that some interpretations and judgments have been passed that have given those less stellar meanings to them. If people choose to display their pride on their bodies, who are we to judge? It is anyone’s actions that speak volumes of their character, not the ink they wear.

  42. True North Says:

    “CSN” It seems the ones with the “issues” are those who ridicule others for nothing more than a difference of opinion.

  43. gmanwhistle Says:

    Regarding Tanaka, clear example of the pot calling the kettle black. He orchestrated the whole attitude set up at Mens central Jail. Tanaka is a clickish/napolian type of supervisor. Lt Thompson was his boy and someone needs to look more into Lt. Thompson, who is in hiding and a racist. I remember working the jails with him in the early eighties and he took pleasure in punishing minorities then he goes to Lynwood station and was a tattoo viking. It does not surprise me that he put the lips to those MCJ deputies (ie Sexon). He was real good at that when he worked the jails. He would put the lips to a lot of people that did not meet his warped values. Someone also needs to look into Tanaka’s wife being pulled off the sergeant promotion list…She apparently had the answers to the test and diseminated them to people at Century Station (Tanaka flag station)and at the Academy.

    People need to also know Tanaka grew up in Gardena and grew up with Captain Abrams from Carson who also fired and being investigated by the FBI. He also grew up with Assistant Sheriff Rambo and Captain Duran. I guess if you are his play ground buddy your in. Sheriff Baca’s only fault was trusting Tanaka to run the department and then getting back doored. Be careful of Tanaka, I was present when he came to our unit and gave the working in the gray area speech. He smiled and knew exactly what he was referring to when he made that speech. It was intended to bring up arrest stats and keep order in the jail.

    Tanaka was never a real policeman and followed or surrounded himself with cops he thought were good policeman (ie LtThompson). There are a lot of real good cops that dont have to work in the gray area.

    The Sheriff needs to pay attention to who was involved in Tanaka’s camp ( ie past Century Deputies/MCJ Deputies/ and people he promoted). They are in hiding but are still very loyal to him.

  44. Lesser evil Says:

    The Sheriff needs to start retaliating against his nay Sayers. That way, more law suits will prevail and more execs will retire. The Sheriff may even find him self out of a job in 2014. We will see!

  45. Answering The Question Says:

    #43 Gman,
    I have to take exception with your statement:
    “Sheriff Baca’s only fault was trusting Tanaka to run the department and then getting back doored.”

    Really? You see that as the Sheriff’s only fault? Trusting Tanaka?

    If he wasn’t running all over the planet playing Mr. Big Shot, trying to be Sheriff of The World, he wouldn”t have needed to trust Tanaka to run the department and wouldn’t have been “back doored” by Tanaka.

    How about all the scandals long before Tanaka was the Undersheriff?
    The Special (Celebrity)Reserve Program. The Rose Parade float shakedown for money from supervisors/coveted position deps.. The Pat Gomez disgrace. The Ken Masse disgrace. Accepting more gifts than all the other Sheriff’s in CA combined. POST shutting down the academy, etc. etc. etc.
    They go on and on.
    Gman, Baca has done plenty of scandalous crap on his own long before Tanaka came into the picture.

  46. Don't finesse me, Bro !!! Says:

    #45, in my opinion, you are spot on. Knowing what I know now, Baca’s entire administration was a train wreck for day one. All of the disgraceful incidents you spoke of are factual, every one of them. And those issues are just a drop in the bucket to what Baca, single handily did to our beloved LASD. Tanaka is truly what I would describe as “The bad seed, child,” evil to the bone. Then you take Baca’s ultimate enablers, Stonich and Waldie, both of these guys are huge disappointments. The entire combination has become the recipe for the perfect storm, the type of storm that brings shame, dishonor, dysfunction, internal disrespect, cigar club mentality and a major FBI investigation. Everyone of the folks who have created and participated in this train wreck should be ashamed for what you have done. It will take us years to get out from underneath the wreckage.

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