LASD

THE CHALLENGERS WHO WOULD BE LA COUNTY SHERIFF: An Interview With Alex Villanueva

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

A Talk With Alex Villanueva About Why He’s Running for Sheriff

Lieutenant Alex Villanueva, 54, is one of two candidates who have thus far announced their intention to challenge incumbent Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell in 2018.

The other candidate is former LASD commander Robert Lindsey, who is the newest to announce his intention to run.

And there is rumored to be one more former department member who may throw a hat into the ring. (We’ll let you know when and if this possible third challenger enters.)

The odds of beating an incumbent Los Angeles County Sheriff are considered to be very long at best. Those odds are not helped by the fact that Sheriff McDonnell—who, on December 1, 2014, became the first outsider to be elected to the position in 100 years—has a long and impressive history in law enforcement, is just in his first term, and is generally well-liked among both the county’s power brokers, and the voters.

The odds of beating an incumbent Los Angeles County Sheriff are long at best…

Still, 31-year law enforcement veteran Villanueva believes that, with the right approach by the right challenger, MCDonnell is vulnerable.

As an experienced military veteran, who also earned a doctorate in public Administration studying the impact of diversity on law enforcement leadership, Villanueva says he learned valuable lessons in leadership while serving in the United States Air Force and the California Army National Guard. As sheriff, he says, he would “rebuild the LASD from the ground up, reforming the organization around the principles of community policing and ethical standards of conduct.”

In the first of a series of interviews with the people who wish to climb to the top rung of the LASD, over the weekend, we asked Villanueva why he believes someone other than Jim McDonnell should lead the world’s largest sheriff’s department, and why he thinks that person ought to be him.


WitnessLA: Alright, why do you think you should be Los Angeles County Sheriff instead of the present sheriff, Jim McDonnell?

Alex Villanueva: When McDonnell was elected he had one mandate and one mandate only, which was to change the game, reform the department, and inspire people to do their best to serve the public. But he didn’t do it. Arrests are down. We’re not seeing proactive police activity. Deputies don’t feel that management supports them any more. Crime is up. For the first time in the history of the department we lost a contract due to incompetence, which was the MTA contract.

McDonnell inherited a cancer patient, terminal Stage 4. And he applied cosmetic surgery. That does not get the job done. Instead we got new brass buttons, brass buckles, and new logos on the radio cars.

“When McDonnell was elected he had one mandate and one mandate only, which was to change the game…”

Everyone expected Jim McDonnell to clean house. But he didn’t do that.

So, now everyone’s head is down. The morale of the employees is not good. There’s no pride in the organization. Everyone is walking on eggshells.

WLA: Well, specifically what would you have done differently? Or to put it another way, why should the average LA County resident who knows nothing of the department’s internal politics elect you over Sheriff McDonnell?

AV: Part of the inability of McDonnell to enact reform was that he kept the players who were mired in the corruption of the Baca and Tanaka regime. The very same people that Tanaka identified, groomed, cultivated and basically pulled up through the ranks because of their willingness to look the other way, to accept cronyism and corruption as the status quo, those people are still in place today in critical executive positions throughout the organization. Those are the very same people who have basically convinced McDonnell that there’s no problem. They are a major impediment to reform.

WLA: So what would things look like under Sheriff Villanueva?

AV: If I was the sheriff, probably half of the problem with [the Baca/Tanaka crowd] would be gone overnight because if they’re at least 30 years on and near the age of 55, they’re simply going to vanish. Just like when Baca took office in December 1998, a large chunk of the Block administration executives just retired.

WLA: What about those who remain?

AV: This is where I would have to dig down hard with one-on-one interviews, and do a very good audit of where people stand. I’d want to know what they did during the reign of terror of Baca and Tanaka. What did they know, when did they know it, and what did they do about it? Did they look the other way and accommodate it? If so they’re not going to have a position with the organization.

“I’d want to know what they did during the reign of terror of Baca and Tanaka…”

WLA: There are Civil Service restrictions, of course, not to mention the threat of lawsuits.

AV: Obviously there are issues with the civil service board. But if I know someone’s integrity is compromised, I’m going to make sure they’re in a position where they can do the least amount of harm. They are not going to get in the way of reform. And then I’m going to recruit the people within the organization that I know are dedicated, educated, extremely bright, and experienced.

WLA: One of the things some have said is that, when it comes to candidates for top management, due to the problems of the past, the department doesn’t yet have a deep bench.

AV: No, no, no. That’s not true. The department is chock full of wonderful talent. Many good people have been basically marginalized and made almost invisible with the McDonnell crowd, which is the same as Baca and Tanaka crowd. I know who a lot of those people are. Those people I’m going to move forward to put them in a position of responsibility where they can help out and reform the organization.

“Many good people have been basically marginalized and made almost invisible…”

And, if I’m still short on the people I need to complete the entire command staff, I’ll bring in some of the people who retired, basically, for lack of hope in seeing the organization reform. Then, if I’m still short after that, I will not hesitate to recruit people that have expertise from outside the department. We thought McDonnell would do that. But he didn’t.

WLA: To change the subject a bit, running a successful campaign in LA County is an expensive endeavor. Are you worried about raising enough money to mount a viable campaign against a sitting sheriff who has already proven that he can raise the necessary dollars?

AV: I plan on raising enough money to be competitive and to get my message out. LA County is one of the most diverse counties in the entire country, if not the most diverse. I will be taking my platform of reforming criminal justice within L.A. County, and making the department responsive to the needs of the community, to far more segments of the county than others have done in the past.

“Bernie Sanders [and others] have proved to be very adept at raising money over the internet in small amounts…”

I’m going to pursue all the fronts available to me and I’m not going to be soliciting from the same traditional sources that most campaigns have used in the last few elections.

WLA: So what non-traditional sources will you approach?

AV: I think the campaigns of Bernie Sanders [and others] have proved to be very adept at raising money over the internet in small amounts, from large amounts of people. If you have a message that resonates with a large enough group of people, the internet gives you the opportunity to connect with them, and those little 20, 30 dollar contributions by thousands of people goes a long way.

There are many ways we can get to the number that we need to be competitive.

WLA: OK, before we sign off, give the readers your quickie elevator pitch: why you and not McDonnell?

AV: One simple phrase: I’m the game changer.

McDonnell represents the entrenched status quo, the people who are loathe to reform anything that involves moving large parts of the county bureaucracy. My entire career I’ve been challenging the status quo when it did not work. I’ve been in the faces of people who I believed were corrupt and I told them what I thought about them. This includes Baca, Tanaka, the whole crowd back in 2004. I called him out and said the path you’re taking is going to lead to destruction. They ignored me and, of course, now they’re going to prison, or they’re already in prison.

“One simple phrase: I’m the game changer.”

If I’m elected, on day one, we’re going to set an entirely new course for the organization. It’s going to be one that is built on public service, not self-service. The decisions we make are going to be driven by facts, not by agendas. That’s what this department needs.

Instead, right now there is still a lot of vindictive action going on within the executive ranks. The rules apply to some people, but to others they don’t. And that’s bad for morale.

You still have an elaborate political spoils system. Instead of a merit-based promotional process, you have a patronage system, which is nothing different that you had under Baca.

And I know who the players are, and which people are the impediments to reforming the organization.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This interview has been trimmed and edited for clarity.

106 Comments

  • Sounds good to me.

    I would like to know;

    1. What University his Doctorate is from. Baca, remember, also had a Doctorate.
    2. He was in both the USAF & the Army National Guard. What units did he serve in?
    That tells a lot about a man.
    3. What’s his website?

  • Not only is Alex a “straight shooter”, he has unprecedented courage to call out bullshitters. Alex saw through ALADS bullshit when he was a rep at ALAD’S and their hierarchy ignored him. He went on to Co-found Los Angeles Sheriffs Professional Association (LASPA). That alone, speak volumes. Unfortunately the game still remains the same at ALADS.

    • If he is a Co-Founder of LASPA that is indeed a big point in his favor.

      Look at LASPA’s roster of Attorneys; some stellar names there.

  • The game changer would be that should any of the challengers (Villanueva or Lindsey and possibly another “good” insider) win, they could all appoint each other in top positions to truly reform LASD.

  • EDITOR’S NOTE:

    Good questions, “Cognistator,”

    Alex Villanueva told us the following: His doctorate is from the University of La Verne. While in the USAF he was assigned to the 63rd Military Airlift Wing at Norton AFB, CA. In the Army National Guard he was a Fire Direction Officer with A Battery, 2/144th Field Artillery Regiment, 40th Infantry Division. His campaign website is alexvillanueva.org (and it is also hot-linked in the story at the first mention of his name).

    C.

    • LASPA was a joke of an organization b. As I recall had no attorneys on staff. As for ALEX he was terrible in the field. Indecisive marginally competent. I have attached my name to this. I was a detective at East LA when he was there and cannot recall an arrest he made or any outstanding investigation. I worked homicide for 13 years.

          • “Where was lapsa when they killed March?”

            David March was a Deputy who was shot & killed while effecting a routine traffic stop in Irwindale on April 30, 2002.

            Full particulars can be Googled: David March, LASD.

            Question: what does that have to do with LAPSA?

      • Boyd: As much as you wanted to fit it, you never did. Your years at homicide never got you in and you know exactly what I’m talking about. You are now a retired deputy, a civilian mind you, so let go and get a life. War stories aren’t what they used to be. Be yourself, live and let live.

        • I can personally attest that LASPA is and never was a “joke” of an organization, having been tied to it since its inception and now serving as its General Counsel. It would be improper for me to advocate for any potential Sheriff in this forum but I will say this: Alex risked his career and finances founding LASPA and did it for the most pure of reasons–there really is no argument there.

          • How many dues paying members does LASPA have? You are the GC for LASPA ? What law firm do you work for? How much does LASPA pay you annually for being their gc?

  • The trial of Superior Court Case #BC540789 will also expose the bullshit in ALADS. The details and deputies involved will surprise many. Alex Villanueva saw the same BS many years ago. One of the biggest problems is the amount of money being recklessly spent without membership’s knowledge. The devil is in the details and its just a matter of time.

    • I understand that ALADS is going through great lengths to provide damage control prior to going to trial.
      #1. Dick Shinee is no longer General Counsel for ALADS.
      #2. ALADS has opened their election to every deputy to run for their Board of Directors.

  • Alex has proven that he is not the kind of guy that will sit back and allow the executives to continue the same old “status quo.” If it were not for people like Alex, we would still be in the dark ages. We need a Sheriff that is not looking to advance his career by only saying what the voters want to hear. We need somebody that is outspoken and willing to stand up to the BOS. We need reform and we need it soon. Fresheyes made many promises, yet here we are. Take a good look at the “org chart” you will be amazed at how many from the past failed leadership are still in place. Not only are they in executive positions but also look at some of the aide positions. Same damn car just a new driver. Alex I wish you the best. Good luck.

  • I know him and have worked with him, he is a self-serving whiner. When he is put to task, he always points the finger at others and never accepts responsibility for his actions.

    He works his way into looking good by doing favors for the brass and has in the past passed along information to them in order to improve his standing with the Department and his managers.

    When the rubber hits the road, his response is a grievance or threat of legal action, and lets it be known to others. The poor me syndrome.

    There has got to be a better choice. His experience on the Department is lacking and he is all about himself.

    • I know that deputies are unhappy with the current administration, but you don’t change for change sake. Alex is not the answer, he is a complainer and a whiner. When he doesn’t get his way or what he thinks he deserves, he sues or files a grievance.

      He invents conspiracies to cover up his lack of success and he plays the race card to divide LASD members, but injects race to obtain what he wants. He requested to be the captain of East LA station and the reason why he was the best person for the position was because of his ethnicity, he could better relate to the community. I am retired and I pray for all of you that are still working, but choose carefully who you want to lead you. I’ve read some of Alex’s comments on witnessLa, yes I know his moniker, but I won’t tell you what it is or how I identified him.

      He is a divider, he lacks experience, just as Baca and Tanaka did and like Tanaka, he is a narcissist. On or about 2004, he wrote a letter to all departmental executives, captain and above telling them that they were all corrupt and one day he would be sheriff. 98% of the executives didn’t even know who the hell he was or where he worked. You got hoodwinked by Tanaka, don’t get bamboozled by this fraud. he’s in it for himself, not for you. With all the additional scrutiny, I know your job is more difficult today than ever and you don’t need some educated derelict as the leader of the largest sheriff’s in the nation. You need executives that have come up through the ranks that have done police work, not just administrative work.

  • I wish him well. Past leadership has not cut it.

    Department members are leery at this point to have faith in anyone.

  • I personally know Alex, he is not afraid to stand up to the crooked LASD executives. I remember back in 1999 he and others created LASPA, to which I am still a member. I am surprised as to how may years after, he has not been framed into wrongdoing by the corrupt Sheriff’s executives. However, he now has spoken publicly against the crooked fresh eyes Mcbuckles, let’s hope Alex is not railroaded….

  • Of course there are factions of LASD who oppose Villanueva. They would be the remaining remnants of Baca, Tanaka and ALADS. Alex and I worked together when whe were both deputies. My only regret was not dropping ALADS when he and several other former ALADS representatives visited my station and enlightened us on how things really were.

  • One of the worst deputies in patrol I ever worked around. And he wants to be sheriff? Well what the heck look at our governor and former AG.

    • Pretty ironic that you throw cheap shops at Alex when you as a retiree still cheers (pom poms included) for ALADS. Did they pay you to make a comment?
      As stated previously, you’re one of the remnants of chaos. Find a hobby and enjoy your retirement.

  • One of the worst street cops I’ve ever seen. Complained and sued his way to his current rank. Sorry but no.

  • Keep in mind, the Sheriff has never been a ball of fire or street cop.
    Baca was always a future planning g moron. For you Tanaka lovers, he was never a street cop. Block was never a street cop and led very well. Chief Gates led LAPD very well but was never a street cop. Dahlman was a street cop but only made it to A.S.
    I do agree with most about Alex’s lack of ability as a street cop but he might be what is need to get rid of all the Tanaka loyalist.
    Better than McBuckles.

  • As a East Los Alumni I knew Alex, I have no opinion either way. How about Ray Leyva or Henry Saucedo emerge and throw their hat into the race!

    “Z man” tell us how you really feel! haha!

  • All this “Street Cop” talk is very entertaining. A cup of joe and a doughnut will have you calling yourself a folklore hero. Lol! Alex was not in a clique, didn’t fabricate his 49’s nor did he thump arrestee’s. You haters want to muddy him up but you can’t. Lawsuit are filed all the time from deputies who get screwed over. Alex is a “Stand-up” guy. Go forth Alex!

  • Wouldn’t it be great if LASD had a Sheriff who wasn’t a political per se’ kissing the ass of every single political group in the County? Wouldn’t it be great if we had a Sheriff who ran LASD like a fucking law enforcement organization instead of a 24-7 political reelection campaign office. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a Sheriff who would focus on public safety at every station, who was a leader in pro-active and cooperative executive law enforcement leadership with all police departments inside of Los Angeles County, fighting crime as opposed to attending breakfast meetings with potential donors. The voting public of Los Angeles County would really support a “Law and Order, Sheriff,” as opposed to someone focusing on brass buckles and jacked up radio car emblems. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a Sheriff who would throw out all the EPC Tanaka trash and place real leaders in his executive command staff who had a friggen clue what they are doing? We have so many Tanaka donors and suck ass Captain’s and above, so many fat slobs who are an embarrassment in uniform, no experience and no credibility. Wouldn’t it be great to have a Sheriff who really gave a shit about his troops AND the public, not some bullshit politician? Wouldn’t it be great to have a Sheriff who actually held executives to a standard of performance and not just made them automatic club members?

    If you think McD is all that, vote for him. If you think McD has really made LASD a better place than when he inherited it, vote for him. But if you think, if you know he has been an absolute failure as Sheriff and has proven himself to be truly, just another politician who “goes along to get along,” they fire his ass. I am happily retired and out of state, but I would take Sheriff Alex in a heartbeat over McD, the Baca style politician. At least I know Alex would clean house and reform LASD, I truly believe that. We know what McD has done, and that has been much about nothing. Not my problem anymore.

  • All of these anonymous posts. I did more than eat donuts. Then you have I know ALEX. Put your name out there instead of on the bathroom wall. As for the next Sheriff. Let’s see who runs.

  • Alex Villa “No Huevos” did absolutely nothing at ELA Ststion. Trainees asked the Training staff to move them from Alex so they could be adequately trained. My vote would be no.

    • Lindsey would also be a good choice. The same detractors of Villanueva would shadow and oppose Lindsey.

      Also Bob Olmsted would be a great candidate if he tossed his hat in the ring.

  • If you want to put pressure on ALADS join both unions. The only reason why LASPA hasn’t grown as fast as ALADS is simple, membership numbers. LASPA can not get into the academy classes. All ALADS DOES IS STRONG ARM the new deputies. LASPA you need to get a list of names of new recruits and mail them the information about the union. Publish the number of your members and the number needed to present in the academy. Also, explain how it is not mandatory to join ALADS. We all know that the first year of employment you have “no” civil service rights. Like I said I had both LASPA and ALADS.

    Good Luck to the candidates that run against the Sheriff. The Department needs change. Who ever thought we would get and outsider? Thanks Banaka……

    STOP THE CARPING IT DOESN’T BALANCE THE BUDGET. THE DEPARTMENT IS TOP HEAVY

  • Boyd: It’s really easy to come on with your real name after retiring. You retirees get really rave after the paperwork is complete. Then you bag on the guys still working for using monikers. It’s truly pathetic bro. You know damn well why we use monikers.

    All you’re letting us know is that you’re bored and didn’t plan your retirement activities very well. Get away from your computer and join a gym or pick up golf. Hell, go for a walk. Just stop coming on here with your retirement opinions that don’t mean shit.

  • Boyd: The fact you posted some of your resume shows how truly pathetic you really are. We could care less. The department obviously still defines you, and that’s really sad.

    Go get a hobby Little Buddy. Time to go away

    • Thanks for the reply Alex. It’s well known you have several “nom de plumes” on here. Good luck during the election. Make sure your activities don’t interfere with your day job.

  • Being in organizations for 50 years beginning with Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Little League Baseball, High School Band & Football Team, then to the Marine Corps to LASD, brings me to this point. I have never in my life been in an organization so divided until after Sheriif Block died. It would a joy to me to see LASD back in the forefront in my lifetime.

    • I hate to say sir, if Buckles gets re-elected, your dream will never come true. It will four more if the last four.

    • If you run Baca on the B.O.P. website, it shows him not in custody; however, he has been assigned his register number (booking number). Therefore, it would be safe to say, Baca will be behind bars shortly.

    • From ABC7 News on 7-20-2017 (Thursday):

      abc7.com/news/former-la-sheriff-lee-baca-denied-bond-pending-appeal/2237840/

  • What happen to Deputy Fennell???
    The same that will happen to every other investigation on the Sheriff’s Dept.
    ROD the deputy.
    Open an investigation.
    Assign it to an overwhelmed investigator (who is to busy studying for the Lt. exam)
    Make every atempt to make it a criminal case only to waste a year at the D.A.s office.
    Continue the investigation back at the administrative level.
    Take extremely too long to complete the investigation.
    Have ALADS waste resources and attorney fees to get an unqualified idiot his job back.
    Eventually give the idiot his job back, claim “we did all we could” , and reinstate the son of another Tanaka loyalist and coupe executive promoted at 3 ranks above his abilities.
    McBuckles wears giant blinders.

  • I never had the distinct opportunity to work with or around Alex. But I can tell you that after many years of working with and around Zummy, he is one of the most credible deputies I have worked with, so I go his way. LASPA was never nothing more than a pie in the sky anti ALADS anti Department organization. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a POA fan, I see very little that the have done for us in the past 35 years. Yes the negotiatate our contracts, but for years we never really seemed to get the upper hand. I’m thinking Ray Leva should get in, I’ll reinstate to work for him.

  • If Ray Leyva threw his hat in, I would also re-instate.
    That is a leader who was wronged by BANAKA and their cast of idiots.
    And as far as Boyd, I agree with Downtown, Boyd was and is a credible man and a hell of a street cop and detective.

    • This whole thread is centered on Alex Villanueva to run for Sheriff. Boyd’s attempt to 211 the comment section failed miserably. For those who switched reels to the “detective & street cop” scenario, Dirty Harry was only a movie. If Boyd thinks he can do better, then he should shut up and step up. Give Zummy a group hug at Winchells. You guys are hilarious!

  • It’s very easy for people to sit at a keyboard and type horrible things about others that they would never say to someone’s face. To hide behind a screen name and try to rally support against a person just to stir up controversy because they feel it is safe to do so. It is also easy to assume you know who is leaving these comments, but intelligent people don’t assume.

    Alex is ethical and moral to a fault. He will sacrifice himself/his career/his ability to promote to ensure that whatever wrong doing is being done to one or to all is stopped. He has spent his career forcing our Department to make changes to make situations better for all of us, himself included. From what I can tell, those that are posting negative comments are trying to tear down a good man, a good member of our Department, a good person, a good friend; those are the people who fall under the Baca/Tanaka/ALADS camp. This unfortunately is going to be part of our recent past, they went down like they needed too. It is now time to move forward. Those former department members lost sight of the fact that they should have been serving/protecting the people of this County and protecting all SD employees. ALADS was dirty and thanks to Alex they are now being held accountable. It’s no surprise that the people posting these negative comments on this thread are more than likely those very people attached to the Baca/Tanaka/ALADS regime. Alex and his supporters, those that know him, know the direction he wants to take the department. For those department members who have been around long enough to remember the days when our department was respected nationwide, recruiting was done nationally and people from all over wanted to wear our star. Alex wants to return the LASD back to those days. Alex came on during a time when many tried to join our department back when our standards were high and the training was still rigorous. I know he wants to return the LASD back to those times when it was a real accomplishment to survive the “the 19 weeks of living hell, just to work the county jail” training.

    Alex has a vision for the future of our department. He knew there would be “naysayers” and critics. This not seen as a negative thing. Everyone has the right to their opinion but as an insider on our department, he has the insight to make the changes needed to bring us back. Alex just wants a shot at being the person to do the job. I believe Alex is the right person for the job.

    • Thank you “V”, did Alex write that for you. So you know, I am a Veteran and spent much of it at ELA Station. If you know anything about ELA Station (you should), you know Tanaka hated ELA Station and Region 1. There goes your Tanaka theory. But that’s not the point here. Alex is a whiner. Every disagreement he has is a grievance or lawsuit. As for telling him anything to his face, this has been addressed many times by many people. Where is his LASPA counterpart MR nowadays. There was an honest guy.

      • #1 this is not “V”, why must you assume?
        #2 I did not work ELA so yet again you are assuming, even reaching.
        You are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to my opinion. I am not surprised by the fact everyone wants someone who has already unsuccessfully ran for Sheriff to try again. Some of these names being brought up have been retired for a number of years and are so far out of touch with what the department needs it’s absurd! Keep bringing up these TBT names….it is entertaining! Give someone a chance who has a clue on what is going on today, not back in the golden age! Nice to hear some of those names from the past but I’m sure they are enjoying their retirements! Rest assured this is not “V”…We are all being entertained by the level of anger by some of you. Alex must have really gotten underneath your skin at some point. I seriously think he might not even remember most of you who are butt hurt. Not junior high school everyone! I’m not going to tell you my dad is going to beat up your dad!

  • I remember then Captain Leyva and the stories of how he fell from Baca’s good graces, was banished to custody and he career decade-ended until acting Sheriff Scott was hired. He seemed to be an honorable and fair person. I’m not sure if the Sheriffs Department is ready for that style of leadership yet.

  • Hey “2nd to none” what are the chances of you and I, “winner take all” in a “Melee in ELA” Fundraiser. Winner to give the proceeds to their candidate. I’ll triple the purse to give to Alex.
    That would quiet the naysayers real fast. We’ll use “Reyes” gloves. Are you game or tame?

    • Haaaaaa, you’re funny. You need to defend Ms V’s honor. Why triple the purse of a losing candidate. You sound like those ANTIFA pogues. If you love Alex so much, drive him around to debates, it mate secure you a position in his new Administration. Haaaaaaaaaaa bofo.

      • No worries, Chicken Little.

        Your game is all talk.
        It would only be a Fundraiser and bragging rights with a face, not a pseudonym on WLA.
        Chalk one up for yourself, another imposter on ink.

          • You saved yourself and East Los tradition from embarrassment.

            Thanks for the Junior compliment. Just don’t tell LACERA…..they’re paying me now.

  • I’m not defending Mrs. V’s honor, I am correcting your continued assumptions. Mrs. V (without a doubt) can defend herself. My guess is she avoids small minded people such as yourself. I think what bothers me the most is you keep bringing her up, she is not the one running so why don’t you grow up and leave her out of this. I’m not looking for any special handouts, Alex doesn’t work like that anyway. Alex is a good guy and I don’t like bullyies. Let it go, you keep throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks. Nothing is going to stick.

  • If these are the names we have to choose from
    We are in serious trouble. Soneone needs to put their name in the pot these two are not the answer and this person needs to do it fast!
    Everyone is waiting and watching….

  • 6 convicted…..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….”

    And years later under the command of now Sheriff McDonnell…. just one after another, of devastatingly sad days after days, of lost respect and confidence….

    • Buckles is a lost leader. He talked a big game coming in. Did not have the guts to really clean up the department. He does not have what it takes to stand up to the Tanaka crowd. His promotions prove that!

  • Alex is a cancer and not the answer. Laziest Cop I ever worked around. Cried constantly while others kept quiet and moved forward. Glad I’m out soon. Will be a circus.

  • Alex might not be the answer for all of you great cops that did the lords work, but at least he has had the balls to stand up to management time and time again. By throwing his name in the hat and publicly denouncing “Fresh Eyes” he has certainly gained my respect. Fresh Eyes continues to prove that he is absolutely terrified of the left over Tanaka group. I sit back now and laugh at the fools he continues to promote and at the ones now in the batters box. I too like many of you count the days. It is just very sad to see what we have become. 30 years ago when I came on, yea there was unit pride amongst all the stations, but Tanaka took that pride and used it against us and Fresh Eyes continues to carry the torch. There is no pride anymore in LASD. I have heard that the police and fire games coming up, is going to be a very low turnout from LASD and that is sad.

    • I too, agree that whether you like Villanueva or not, at least he had and still has the guts and nuts (excuse my vernacular) to stand up and call’em out. As stated in earlier comments, he put it all out there notwithstanding the repercussions. Good luck to him.

    • Unit pride was taken away from the LASD. Stations and units can no longer have logos or mascots! I don’t understand how Sheriff Buckles cannot see the people around him are laughing at him as he promotes them. He has made some not so “Smart” promotions. Moral is at an all time low and the upper echelon has him completely fooled. Does he even care or is he just pandering the people who can help him in the future?

      If he wants to be a leader for LASD maybe he can reach out to those at various stations and units and get an idea what’s going on. Get the pulse of the department and make the right changes. If he is only out for himself he will continue to do what he is doing now and sit in his new office an dictate without a clue as to what is going on. Just continue to listen to the “Tanaka” crowd that have surrounded him. He is so blind he does not even recognized it!

  • If we agree that Jim McDonnell should be replaced, then the only question that exists is which challenger is better positioned to defeat Jim one-on-one. Alex has his supporters and Bob Lindsey has his supporters. At the end of the day the candidate who matches up best to defeat Jim McDonnell and restore the Department to its proper place among US police agencies is Bob Lindsey. In that event, maybe Bob can bring Alex into the administration – as Spade suggested – in a way that can unite the Department against executive and command level corruption.

  • Thanks. Part of it was mentioned previously. But my point also weighed the preference between the two challengers in the post-primary one-on-one against Jim McDonnell. I don’t believe that point was mentioned. Because the trappings and advantages of office incumbency are significant, the challenger possessing the widest array of experience and deepest organizational knowledge and consistent level of integrity would likely have the advantage in the post-primary general election. (There is a thing called Condorcet’s voting paradox which also helped me in the analysis of the two challengers.) Bottom line for me, Villanueva gave a fine campaign interview above, and as an artillery man the rounds hit their target. Bob Lindsey, however, is hands down the most qualified candidate to restore and lead the Department. No doubt Alex appreciates that fact and will come to support him after the primary.

  • Let me to add one more bit of campaign strategy. McDonnell garnered 75% of the vote in 2014, Tanaka took 25%. The two challengers have a hill to climb. But they have a strong case to make. I recommend the following: to get get clear of Condorcet’s paradox (and Kenneth Arrow’s so-called “impossibility theorem”) the two challengers cannot risk attacking each other. They must together set the campaign agenda so that their campaign targeting cannot be conquered through division–and Jim will try to divide Bob from Alex, vice versa and get them fighting against each other. A new entrant into the race for sheriff might try something like this all the while working to elect McDonnell. (Detectives will recognize this as a kind of Prisoner’s Dilemma, which seeks a defection from an unspoken agreement not to target one’s fellow challenger.) As several in this thread have mentioned, Bob and Alex must exercise message discipline and keep their eyes on the prize: the hope of candidate Jim McDonnel’s strong showing in 2014 must give way to the reality of his failures as sheriff. That is the storyline. Both Lindsey and Villanueva have begun doing just that. Together, prior to June 2018, they must separate at minimum 25-30% of those voters who thought Jim McDonnell was a genuine reformer of the LASD. I haven’t studied the returns for the 5000 precincts covering LA County, so I don’t know where those voters might be. But surely they are in areas where rates of crime have increased, where concern about on-going fraud and public corruption is key, where there is a ready audience in learning that the performance of executives and command is slipshod, cowardly, and unethical. The fundamental problem with the LASD is at the top: the current sheriff and 3-5% of his top personnel, roughly 300-400 people. Got to catch him in a run-off in order to retire the guy.

  • For what its worth, we will all agree to disagree on people’s analysis of voting preferences. My analysis of similar data differs. I would like to point out some facts, as opposed to opinions, that may be important to your average voter. Alex has a long and compelling track record of fighting corruption, Lindsey has none. Alex is younger, more educated, and most importantly, has more relevant experience to reform the LASD than Lindsey does. Lindsey has been retired for quite some time now while Alex is still part of the organization and is aware of the current day to day operations. Intimate organizational experience is a great thing assuming you are talking about a functional, ethical, and forward-thinking organization. If your “deepest organizational knowledge” refers to the LASD of Baca and Tanaka, voters won’t care for that. If I were to handicap a runoff, I’d put my money on Alex over Lindsey to defeat the incumbent. Alex has challenged the corrupt status quo for a long time, and he’s been proven right time and time again. Both challengers are way better than McDonnell, who had his chance and failed. Alex has many more intangible qualities that will become apparent if/when a debate between challengers or the incumbent occur. My money is on the guy with the credibility and moral courage to reform. Alex has the documentation to back up all of the assertions he will make! Maybe Alex would consider bringing Lindsey on board after the primary? We will see!

    • Whether Alex makes it or not in his bid for Sheriff of Los Angeles County, I admire his courage.
      The fact that Alex saw the corruption & cover-up in ALADS and gave deputies an option by Co-Founding LASPA was a bold, daring and successful feat.

  • I hate to say it, but PPOA and ALADS will play a huge part in this. If they all of sudden grow a pair, and actually listen to the membership, only then will Lindsey or V have a shot. Without the unions, neither candidate will have a chance to get their messages out.

    The question is, do they have the guts to go against Buckles? History says their more worried about the next band of promotions than the betterment of the department.

  • Ownership’s comment is critical. For the “Alex is a leader” writer, I have a pending comment in review by Celeste that shifts the argument some; some advice that might be useful for both candidates and their advocates, including me. I’ll wait for that to surface (if it does) to respond to your advocacy for Alex. One thing I’ll mention, though. Education can be a wash. First, Anthony Batts took his doctor of public administration degree from the University of La Verne. Look how well that turned out in Long Beach, Oakland, and Baltimore police departments. I’m certain that Alex’s dissertation will be evaluated for empirical and logical strengths. All dissertations are available, even if they must be purchased from the University of Michigan’s diss. center. Second, if I recall correctly the brain trusts coming out of Harvard with MBAs and finance degrees helped to tank our economy in 2007-2009. Higher education without wisdom to ground it can be a dangerous thing. Third, as someone has already pointed out Dr. Baca took his doctorate from USC, but (in my ‘opinion’) wrote a dissertation that would barely qualify as a masters thesis in most good grad schools. So a light touch might work better on that subject.

  • Between both candidates, Villanueva and Lindsey, almost every deputy and supervisors I’ve spoken to are pushing for Lindsey. From reading his vision and bio on his site, he’s a well rounded retired commander from way back in the day. I joined this department because of its traditions and mainly, we as deputies were much different than LAPD. McDonnell has destroyed our department and has made it more and more like LAPD. Not one deputy has anything positive to say about him, not one. Everyone wants him gone, just like Long Beach PD did. As far as ALADS goes, if they don’t back and support a current or former tan and green candidate, that would be the worst and cowardly move this board makes. Let’s see if they have the heart to stand up against McDonnell and effect change for their members or they’re going to be all talk like all the other previous boards. I myself will be voting for Lindsey. Everyone I’ve spoken to who knows the man, has nothing but good things to say about him. If the unions have as much influence as the previous poster said, then ALADS needs to do the right thing.

    • With passed rigged elections and no real political power other than money, it will be interesting to see if ALADS get their shit together. Hopefully they can wise up and bury their hatchets after screwing over Robert Lindsey Jr (refusing to pay his attorney fees in criminal case).

    • McDonnell was vetted in his initial bid for Sheriff by LASD’s Political Advisor in Sacramento, Tim Yaryan. Almost all of the time his advice is adhered to. The backing of the 2010 election for California Governor was switched by ALADS at last minute to support Gov. Brown.

  • The funny thing is that many laughed when you took on ALADS, almost two decades ago. You won.
    The few disgruntled (per this thread) are kicking sand behind your back because they have no dirt and they’re obviously bored.

    Wishing you the best!

  • The reality is that the political power brokers anointed McDonnell to occupy the LASD throne relinquished by Sheriff Baca.

    The reality is that the political establishment and the privileged classes are adequately content with the performance of their new Sheriff. If they were looking to replace him, there would already be signs the process had begun.

    The reality is that no other elected officeholder will dare to rally in opposition to the incumbent Sheriff. They all need him more than he needs them – as the Office of Sheriff of Los Angeles County is the only position on the voter’s ballot not subject to term limits.

    The reality is that discontent and disillusionment among the employees of LASD is invisible to the general voting public.

    The voters display a strong tendency to hold on to an adequate incumbent Sheriff, even when provided the alternative of voting for very qualified, well presented opposing candidates.

    For any chance of Sheriff McDonnell to lose at the ballot box – he must be dethroned.
    His character must become sullied. His integrity must be impugned.
    Something must occur or must be revealed which turn McDonnell into damaged goods in the eyes of the voting public.

  • Brizz, sorry for not responding to your post sooner. Let me start out by saying that I think Baca was a good guy as was Tanaka. McDonnell and Lindsey are both nice guys, but we need more than a nice guy at this point. I will agree both candidates bring good things to the table. I don’t agree with you that education is a wash. Not too many GED’s were involved in putting a man on the moon, or running a Fortune 500 company. Having an education and being able to apply skills learned during the learning process is what is crucial. I will admit that I know a lot (as I am sure you do) of people who have higher degrees that are no smarter than rocks; I also know great people with no college who are smarter than most but a degree does make a difference. For some people that piece of paper looks great neatly framed on their wall and that is all it is good for. Alex will take his education and use it to the best of his ability to make our department a well-respected organization again. It takes both experience and education to build an organization from the ground up, and that is relevant in this race. The only reason Alex did not reach Commander or Chief (or higher for that matter) is because he was blackballed for trying to make things as fair as possible for all employees. I wish Lindsey the best, but the department is littered with Lindseys past and present. Villanueva is a once in a generation leader.

    • “Let me start out by saying that I think that Baca was a good guy as was Tanaka.”

      An interesting comment in the face of all the evidence to the contrary.

      Tell us: does that represent the viewpoint of Alex Villanueva?

      Expound?

  • My viewpoint does not reflect Villanueva’s thinking. Villanueva has devoted his career to fighting corruption, personified in Baca and Tanaka. My point is that in dealing with those two, they treated me well; but I did not represent a threat to them in my position.

Leave a Comment