LASD The Downfall of Paul Tanaka

The Trial of Paul Tanaka Part 6: The Verdict & the Jury

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon


THE VERDICT

It was around 9:20 a.m. on Wednesday, when U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson got a note from the jury in the federal trial of former Los Angeles County undersheriff Paul Tanaka, once the second most powerful person in the nation’s largest sheriff’s department.

The jurors had, by that time, been deliberating for less than three hours. So when word came down about the note, most of the attorneys and trial watchers figured the jury panel merely wanted some kind of clarification, or perhaps a read back of testimony.

But the jurors needed no additional information. They had a verdict.

The seven-woman, five-man federal jury found Paul Tanaka guilty on both counts of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice pertaining to allegations that Tanaka directed and oversaw deliberate efforts to disrupt an FBI investigation into a culture of brutality and corruption inside the LA County jails, that began in 2010.

Specifically, the prosecution contended that, from mid-August 2011 through September 26, 2011, Mr. Tanaka and department members under his direction, devised a scheme to hide a jail inmate turned-confidential informant from his FBI handlers through a complicated strategy of multiple name changes that made the federal informant, Anthony Brown, appear to vanish from the LA County jail system by making his name and distinguishing details vanish from the jail database.

The government also alleged that department members under Tanaka’s command attempted to intimidate potential witnesses, who had information on deputy wrongdoing, into refusing to cooperate with the FBI. Then the same group falsely threatened an FBI agent with arrest in an unsuccessful attempt to intimidate her into giving them information about the ongoing federal investigation.

Tanaka and company began their efforts to obstruct, according to Assistant United States Attorney Brandon Fox, and fellow prosecutors, Assistant U. S. Attorneys Lizabeth Rhodes and Eddie Jauregui, when by accident a deputy discovered a contraband cell phone among informant Brown’s belongings, and it came to light that Brown acquired phone by bribing a corrupt deputy, as part of an FBI sting.

The idea that the feds were not only investigating inside the jail system that department higher-ups considered “our house,” but that much of the investigation was an undercover operation, made Lee Baca and Paul Tanaka livid.

For the first week and a half of the trial, the prosecution presented a carefully constructed case that included a dozen witnesses to demonstrate that the result of that anger was the series of actions that came to be known, unofficially, Operation Pandora’s Box, and that Paul Tanaka was the operation’s undisputed leader, a leader who the said already had a long record of protecting deputies who stepped over the line of legality in the name of the kind of aggressive policing Tanaka favored. They brought in multiple witness who testified that Tanaka called that law enforcement style “working the gray,” and that anyone who in any way opposed the former undersheriff’s brand of leadership faced swift retaliation.

“He was running the show,” said prosecutor Fox of Tanaka. “We knew that from the beginning.”

When it was their turn, the defense worked to tell a very different story of a brilliant and demanding but scrupulously ethical lawman who did what his boss, the sheriff, lawfully ordered him to do, but who certainly was not the author of the actions underlying the charges he was facing. The primary form of evidence the defense used to tell their counter narrative, was the testimony of their client Paul Tanaka.

The jury didn’t buy the message or the messenger, whom they found “devious.”

When the guilty verdict was read aloud in court, Tanaka sat silently, his expression unmoving. His wife, an LASD detective began crying softly. Tanaka and his wife fled through a side door of the federal court building on Spring street in downtown Los Angeles. But his brother and sister and other family and extended family came out one of the court’s main doors, in spite of the mob of press. Tanaka’s brother, a municipal court judge, chatted briefly with reporters, his expression one of melancholy that he only partially masked. Tanaka’s sister, Cindy, a pretty, very slender woman, was sobbing. “Nobody gets it,” she sobbed. “My brother is the kindest man I know. I’m not kidding, the kindest man I know.”



“THE ENORMITY OF IT”

Corrine Zemliak, the jury forewoman said that she and her fellow jurors were close to announcing a verdict on Tuesday afternoon after talking for a little over an hour.

“The evidence was really strong. But we wanted to do our due diligence,” Zemliak said. “We wanted to make sure we hadn’t missed anything.”

“We realized the enormity of it,” added juror Mark Nolan. “And nobody wants to send somebody to prison.”

But jurors said that they became convinced early on that Tanaka was the man in charge. “The defense kept saying that Tanaka was a proactive leader,” said Zemliak, “and so he acted like a proactive leader.”

Jurors said this idea was strengthened by several of the witnesses who said that when Tanaka was assistant sheriff in charge of patrol, “he still was involved on the custody side,” telling people what to do, said Zemliak. And the lieutenants involved in moving Anthony Brown kept calling Tanaka, rather than “going through the normal chain of command,” she said. “Why would the lieutenants call the undersheriff if he wasn’t involved?”


ABOVE THE LAW

According to several jurors we spoke with, there was a list of things that tipped the scales early for the panel.

Among the most potent pieces of evidence, said juror Theresa Cisneros, was an audio recording of a call involving former LASD sergeants, Maricela Long and Scott Craig, who were the two department members that cornered FBI special agent Leah Marx outside her apartment. (Marx is now Leah Tanner, as the FBI agent recently got married.)

The audio is of a recording made by Long and Craig of a phone call they received from Marx’s boss at the FBI after the agent reported her encounter with the two sergeants who told her that a warrant was being sworn out for her arrest.

When he called, the boss got Long on the phone and he asked her if there was really a warrant and, if so, when it would be sworn out.

“It could be tomorrow, sir,” Long replied. “You’re going to have to talk to the undersheriff.”

Long repeated the instruction to call the undersheriff then, after ringing off, she clearly did not realize that she was still recording, so chuckled and said, “They’re scared! They’re like, do you know when– is the warrant….”

“You’re still rolling,” Craig warned her, and the recording ends there.

The jurors said they were similarly disturbed by the video taken by investigators from the department’s internal criminal investigative bureau (ICIB) of Marx being accosted by Long and Craig.

“It was bullying,” said Cisneros and juror Belinda Becerra of the encounter. “They are the law and they thought they could act above the law.”


PHONE PATTERNS

Another of the prosecution’s most powerful pieces of evidence, according to the jurors, was a labor-intensive series of phone call charts that FBI investigators put together for the trial. The charts tracked all phone activity between Mr. Tanaka and some of the main department members involved in the alleged obstruction activities—namely former Lt. Greg Thompson, former Lt. Steve Leavins, former Cpt. Tom Carey and others—during the crucial time period of August 18 through September 26, 2011. The charts also showed any phone activity between the former sheriff, Lee Baca, and the same department members during that same period.

The phone records were impressive, said jurors. Not only did they show relatively constant contact between the alleged co-conspirators. (Thompson, Leavins, and five others have already been convicted for obstruction of justice, with their cases on appeal. Carey, who was originally Tanaka’s co-defendant, took a plea deal last year, but he has yet to be sentenced. And, of course, Lee Baca pleaded guilty to lying to federal officials about his roll in events, although his deal will not be finalized until he is sentenced in May.)

According to the charts, the calls, along with flurries of emails, clustered around various significant events in the obstruction plan, such as the launch of the name-changing strategy to obscure the whereabouts of informant Brown, the confrontation with FBI agent Leah Marx in front of her apartment and, tellingly, August 23, after Marx and two of her FBI agent colleagues managed to get into the jail unimpeded to visit their informant, against Tanaka’s wishes. After the rash of phone calls, the hide-the-ball plan kicked in that same afternoon.

Tanaka and his attorneys, Jerome Haig and Dean Steward, still maintain it was Baca, not Tanaka, who was obsessed with the actions of the FBI and their covert investigation into departmental wrongdoing, and who directed the actions that became the basis for the government’s criminal charges against Mr. Tanaka.

Yet to the jurors, the phone charts suggested muscularly otherwise.

In his closing arguments, defense attorney Steward claimed that the government had manipulated the phone records to falsely strengthen their theory of the case, but the defense presented nothing with which to back-up the accusation, and the jury—which was provided with the charts, and the phone lists—didn’t believe him.

Jurors said they kept coming back to the phone call lists, and the pattern of calls from the main players “after every event. And none were with Lee Baca.”

The jurors also said they were surprised by the fact that they were never bored for a minute of this complicated trial that began on the afternoon of March 24, nearly three weeks ago.

“We understood a lot was at stake,” a juror said, and we really wanted to do our civic duty.



THE MEANING AND THE MESSAGE

“Mr. Tanaka created a culture of corruption seen only in the movies, and certainly nothing that anyone would expect from the nation’s largest Sheriff’s department,” said David Bowdich, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office when he and United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker spoke on the steps of the courthouse after the verdict was announced.

Decker herself talked about what the jury said with its verdict. “Another jury has spoken and sent a clear message that the former leaders of the Sheriff’s Department who abused their positions by encouraging, and then concealing, a corrupt culture, must be held accountable.”

After the verdict was announced, George Hofstetter, President of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS), put the sentiments in similar but even stronger terms.

“The era of corruption which characterized the upper management in the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department has ended with the conviction of former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka,” Hofstetter said in an official release from the union. “The Department can move forward now that the truth about the failed leadership of disgraced former Sheriff Lee Baca and Undersheriff Paul Tanaka has been revealed through the judicial process.”

Sheriff Jim McDonnell, who defeated Mr. Tanaka in the 2014 political race to succeed Lee Baca as head of the scandal scarred department, was more conciliatory.

“We look forward to closing this particularly troubling chapter in the Sheriff’s Department’s otherwise long history of providing essential public services in a professional and caring manner.”

Yet, when I asked members of the jury what, if anything, they learned through the trial regarding the allegations of corruption and brutality that the FBI had been investigating, and that Tanaka and those under his direction seemed intent on sweeping out of sight, they were much less upbeat.

“It was very concerning,” said forewoman Corrine Zemliak as several her fellow jurors murmured agreement. “We have a lot of work to do. A lot of work.”


YES, THERE WILL BE AN APPEAL

United States District Judge Percy Anderson will sentence Paul Tanaka, who is 57, on June 20. Tanaka faces a statutory maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison.

According to attorney Jerome Haig, Tanaka will certainly appeal the verdict. Among the points Tanaka and his team will make in their pitch for an appeal will be the court’s unwillingness to grant Baca immunity and compel him to testify as they did for one of the prosecution’s start witnesses, convicted former LASD deputy, Mickey Manzo.

“If there is a guilty party, Lee Baca is that guilty party,” said Haig. We wanted Lee Baca to testify, but he wouldn’t testify and we couldn’t force him to testify. We asked the court to force him to testify. The court denied that request.”

Mr. Haig also mentioned what he called former sheriff Baca’s “sweetheart deal” plea bargain, which suggests only a sentence of from 0 to 6 months in federal prison. Judge Anderson will sentence Leroy Baca in May.


In addition to the now ten former department members, Baca and Tanaka included, who have now been convicted of or pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice charges (or in Baca’s case, lying about the obstruction issue), another nine deputies who held various ranks have been convicted on charges related to the illegal use of force, illegal firearms and bribery. Two additional deputies are scheduled to go on trial May 3 in a case alleging an illegal use of force at the Twin Towers jail.

147 Comments

  • George: Don’t you feel a little hypocritical considering how many ALADS Board members have tattoos?

    Why should the good people of this country make a deal with Baca and get nothing in return?

    Will Tanaka come forth and clean up the horror of a mess he created? If he doesn’t then why should the judge sentence him to the max?

    Will the FBI keep Stonich and Waldie under survellence? BTW where were Baca’s most closest so-called brothers?

    McDonnell: What is exactly your plan to get rid of the gangs?
    ALL THIS HAPPENED AND THERE WAS NOTHING ON THE PHONE AND BROWN SAW NOTHING?

  • Sheriff McDonnell: ” we look forward to closing this particularly troubling chapter”. It not going to be that easy sir. The Department has lost the trust and respect of its personnel. Until changes are made to the command staff that allowed this corruption to exist, nothing will change. I heard good things about you from LAPD offices prior to your arrival, but to be honest, you have not lived up to your reputation nor the expectations of the officers you currently represent.

  • This has been an exhausting journey. I can remember looking at the walls at the Sheriff’s Headquarters building looking at the photographs of all the past chief’s and above proudly displayed. Where have we gotten to. The old Sheriff a convicted Felon. PT found guilty, another Felon. An A/S buying a stolen vehicle. Yah, I know, he had no idea. Really $3,000 for a fairly new car. A trainee could write that paper and get a conviction.

    PT was a genius on how he was able to manipulate the system and control the entire department. There was not a unit that was not infiltrated by the PT machine. He maintained his own calendar, had three LT aides, always promoted to Captain. He controlled all movement on the department. His minions controlled the department using fear tactics. Always threatening to call Paul if you didn’t do what was requested or challenged something.

    We should consider ourselves fortunate that all of this came to light. He could have been the Sheriff for the next 15+ years. Unless you provided money, walked the streets of Gardena, or did what he wanted when he wanted, your career was finished. How did it happen?

    I will be long gone before the department gets steered into the right direction. PT promoted so many folks at such a young age, his philosophy will be in power for many years. Just review the donation lists and the current executive list (Captains and above).

    Sheriff, please get some better advisors. You are loosing the support of the troops. You continue to promote his kind.

    Lastly, I hope that when PT puts his head down on a Federal pillow and night and closes his eyes, all he sees is the faces of the people he screwed over. I hope it haunts him. The lives and families he destroyed.

    For the PT supporters. Remember the Policy. FRATERNIZATION, and congratulations on destroying the reputation of the LASD from the inside.

  • Six years and six months ago Mitrice Richardson was released from Malibu Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station. Her naked remains were discovered in a canyon ravine in Montte Nido on August 9, 2010. Cause of death remains “undetermined” and investigations into the cause of her death were discouraged by names mentioned in the trial of Paul Tanaka. The documentary ” Lost Compassion”
    will be playing later this month.

    When will her death be investigated? It is thought that LAPD deputies were involved in her death. Let the investigation begin.

    The trial and guilty verdict for Paul Tanaka is a reminder of the level of obstruction in the culture of LASD. Now is the time for you who know to come forward and tell.

    Thank you WITNESS LA for covering this huge but sad saga.

  • Celeste: Thank you so much for all you accomplished for the men and woman of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Please keep the pressure on….corruption still exists within the Department and Sheriff McDonnell must be held accountable!

  • At the end of WWII children would ask their fathers “daddy, what did YOU do in the war?”

    ALADS: What did you do during the Tanaka reign?

  • Of all the days not to be available, I wanted to hear the closing and I would have ran across the street for sentencing, but, duty called. If anyone has further details of those days beyond what has been published, I would love to hear it.

    This day was coming for Paul, years in the making. He created this situation, years ago. He surrounded himself with goons and yes me of the highest order. Why? Because of his insecurities and inadequacies. He became the clinical “school yard bully,” and there was absolutely no reason for that to have happened. Why in the world do you think he “got his ink?” He was given the keys to the car, a gift that few would experience in a lifetime. He took that car and loaded it with circus clowns who were along for the free ride. And Paul drove that car over a cliff. Paul just could not help himself, he was so intoxicated with power but it wasn’t enough. Why do you think he became involved with Gardena? It was never enough. He was on a vendetta, retribution, people were going to pay for everything that happened to him during his childhood and formative years. All the sand kicked in his face, the juvenile teasing he received, the lunch money taken away, the scoldings by his Father. And in the end, what remains in the wake he created? Good people punished for doing their jobs, good people’s career destroyed for doing their jobs. Paul’s personal life has been destroyed, all by his own hands. He and Baca left LASD in shambles, it will never recover, not in my lifetime. It is impossible. LASD is entrenched with the spawn of Paul Tanaka. All they are looking for is another Paul to come by and they will revert back to their old ways. They are sycophants, they will do whatever it takes for self-gain.

    Well, it’s all over but the crying. For those who think Tanaka is going to have a Come to Jesus moment? Wishful thinking. Oh, he will do what he can for himself, if that opportunity arises. Paul is sitting home right now pissed, not at himself, but at the folks (in his mind) who turned against him, who had the audacity to speak out against him. Narcissists never blame themselves, it is always someone else who is at fault. Baca kicked him to the curb just as Tanaka kicked to the curb every single person involved in Pandora’s Box. “I knew nothing of this operation, it was Baca’s plan. I never told anyone to do anything.” If you ring kissers did see the “real” Paul Tanaka at that moment, then you never will. He was in it for himself from the moment Baca took office. Everyone was collateral damage, he used you, you use him. It’s the way it always is. By June 20, I will be on the roles of LACERA. That is one court date I won’t miss. And by the way Sheriff McDonnell, this will come of no shock to you, but you are surrounded by Tanaka loyalists who will turn on you in a hot second if it fits their fancy. You kept them, you own them, they are yours. Nothing has changed, just the way they do business, all under the radar.

  • I guess were halfway through the novel that is the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The curtain have been drawn back and the bare underbelly (most of it) has been exposed for the world to see. Until the rest of the novel unfolds and the “new scandal” are rooted out, we can just sit back and enjoy the ride. See what awaits everyone down the road. I look forward to the numerous books that will come out of this and congratulate all those who have used this momentous occasion to bolster their careers and pocketbooks (lawyers, lawsuits, book-deals, etc.). Good luck to all the hardworking, ethical members of the Sheriff’s Department who are left in the wake of the flood. They are the tried and true professionals and unfortunate collateral damages who will have to bear the public ire, scrutiny, distrust, disrespect, trial by public opinion and perception of always trying to cover thing up and being “guilty until proven innocent.”

  • I’ve debated participating in the often-ugly back and forth in the comment sections of these articles. I should start by saying I’m not a Tanaka fan. As a sergeant, I recognized his empire building in the early 2000s for what it was. I was lucky; I only came to his attention very late in the game, and when I turned down his career “advice” (through one of his proxies), I didn’t suffer for it too much (since Tanaka was soon consumed by other matters that brought us to yesterday’s verdict).

    My only plea is to give Sheriff McDonnell time; it took Tanaka a couple of decades to build his empire and plant “his” people throughout the Department. It will take a number of years to undo that influence.

    Will some former Tanaka-ites get the nod along the way. Yep. They’re everywhere; and like it or not, they hold a good deal of institutional knowledge that it would be difficult to purge from the Department all at once. Will some of those former Tanaka-ites be poor choices to promote? I certainly think so. But, will some of them end up serving the Department well? I think that is true as well. I don’t know who all of Tanaka’s supporters on the Department are/were – who does? But I have seen some I know doing right by the Department, just as I have seen some continue to use his “leadership” model.

    Everyone needs to look past any personal bitterness caused by either Baca, Tanaka or the Department and recognize that expectations have been raised, and the Department is recovering. It may not be happening as quickly as some wish, but it is happening. And with a view from the inside, my personal feeling is that it is happening about as quickly as can be legitimately expected. Then again, I’m also an optimist…

  • #10, Still On-
    I’ve debated about writing something similar for sometime and am relieved someone finally did.
    I can’t stand it when I see the griping that “Nothing has changed.” Things may not be the way people would like, and change may not have happened as fast as some think it should, but anyone who says that nothing has changed is either lying or hasn’t been paying attention.
    Standby for the slings and arrows, but it needed to be said and I appreciate you saying it.

  • Hear, hear #5 !!!
    I have attended every hearing, every pretrial motion, every status conference, and every trial since the beginning of the Pandora’s Box indictments – in memory of Mitrice. I have spent hundreds of hours in the courtroom (not to mention hundreds of dollars in parking!) and have even written to the judge about Mitrice pointing out that if all this could take place in the glare of Men’s Central, don’t think it doesn’t happen in the remote substations around the jurisdiction, even in the poshest part of town.

    Lies, cover-ups, hiding and mishandling of evidence, false reports, tampering, bad practices, lazy performance and holier than thou arrogant attitudes don’t just reside downtown or with this case. Lost IN THE Hills has a lot of explaining to do… Hopefully now that Mitrice is with the State Attorney, we’ll see some action, but…..

    And just a point of clarification re the above. Some may interpret my comments as being anti cop. Au contraire! What I am is against bad cops and a corrupt culture created and fostered by those at the very top. It is they who have sacrificed the integrity and good will of honest deputies and lo, the entire Department for their own selfish ends by expecting and then rewarding illegal behaviour and have been allowed to continue doing so with impunity.

    It seems by reading the posts here that the vast majority of the Department feels as I do and is looking forward to a new era that will refocus allegiance back to the core values of the Department and, (be still my heart) maybe even to us, the citizenry they are contracted to protect and to serve.

    Well, we, the People, can only hope…

  • If Pandora’s Box included the entire saga of moving and hiding Anthony Brown, but the shenanigans involving surveillance of Agent Lam and Agent Marx and the confrontation and threats against Agent Marx had never happened – then what is the probability DOJ would have settled everything at much lower level with no prosecution on Baca or Tanaka?
    Goodness gracious, Baca/Tanaka ordered a full scale undercover surveillance of 2 FBI agents. And they confronted and threatened Agent Marx when she was off-duty in her private civilian life!

    The FBI could have satisfied itself for another 10 or 20 years of “showing concern” and “looking into” the alleged illegal conduct inside County Jail, now and then updating their MOU with LASD and holding a joint news release pledging cooperation and reform.

    The DOJ could have continued forever their benign oversight, except that private plaintiff attorneys representing brutalized former MCJ inmates were winning civil judgements against LASD and Lee Baca.

    Even more embarrassing for DOJ, private attorneys were ready to collect on LASD and Baca for beating up jail visitors.

    That’s when the FBI had to show they weren’t pansies.
    So they swung into action, hooking up an inside informant – Anthony Brown, who they found right off the ACLU compendium of MCJ deputy brutality incidents which also contained case details of all the “alleged inmate beating victims” who were having no problem winning civil trials against LASD.

    Now who is going to prison? Paul Tanaka?
    Nobody has gone yet.
    And nobody is going tomorrow or next week.
    All those convicted are out on stay pending appeal, except those who voluntarily plead guilty.

    The DOJ is ready to tie a ribbon on Pandora’s Box and file it away.
    They saved face after private attorneys proved jail brutality by winning civil trials on the same cases the ACLU had already documented and disclosed.

    And they reclaimed their side of the sandbox after Baca/Tanaka tried to bully Agent Marx off the playground.

    DOJ is done with this.
    There is no interest in cleaning up systemic corruption at LASD. Lee Banaca or Paul Taka can spill their beans in front of a mirror, the FBI appointment book for confessionals is closed through 2018.

    Obama Administration is ready to start its farewell banquet national tour.
    There is no backing and no support for Loretta Lynch or Eileen Decker to tackle any more LASD nitty-gritty.

    The issue certainly won’t get any action from L.A. County D.A. Jackie Lacey.
    She is the protege and hand-selected successor of ex-D.A. Steve Cooley who was the unrepentant lapdog of ex-Sheriff Lee Baca.

    California Attorney General Kamala Harris is too busy shopping for a townhome in Silver Springs, MD to get involved.

    And don’t expect California Gov. Brown to get caught in the same room as anyone trying to clean house at LASD.
    When Brown held his public swearing in ceremony after the 2010 election, his chosen guests-of-honor were Sheriff and Mrs. Leroy Baca.

    The rank and file career employees of LASD and the voters of L.A. County are left with the remaining morass.

    The justice system apparatus is failing our aspirations of reform and a return to meritocracy at LASD.

    Baca’s guilty plea and Tanaka’s conviction are today’s headline, but there is something much heavier, impactful and long-term arising from the Pandora’s Box federal prosecution.

    That is the message sent far and wide, loud and clear by the sentencing of Deputy James Sexton.

    That message is:
    Do not come knocking on DOJ’s door with whistleblower testimony of LASD wrongdoing.

    Boy Scouts or Marine Code of Honor goodie-goods stay away if you weren’t subpeonaed.
    Write in your diary or tell it to your shrink if you must, but please don’t bring it to us.

    What the U.S. Attorney could have done and should have done was ask the court to sentence Sexton to 6 months,
    specifically stating for the record that although Sexton cooperated with the FBI while not represented by legal council, that his sentence was representative of the best deal an attorney could have negotiated for him from the start in exchange for the cooperation which Sexton delivered to them.

    That would have sent the right message.
    Instead, for any Deputy or honorable individual who wants to come in from the cold on a straight path – all the doors are marked “CLOSED”.

  • Recently it was discovered that the microphone in the EPC Conference Room uncovered by the Tech Crew was not deactivated. They merely reported its existence to the “Pandora’s Box” task force, assuming the task force would ask then-Undersheriff Tanaka what was to be done with it. When the task force reported its existence to Mr. Tanaka, he exploded and threw the task force out of his office. Left unsaid was what was to be done with the microphone – which remains connected to the Sheriff’s Data Network to this day.

    Recently Santa’s little helpers were able to get a transcript of part of this week’s EPC meeting which is as follows:

    Unknown 1st Male Voice: You’re here early.

    Unknown 2nd Male Voice: I’m not hungry so I skipped lunch.

    Unknown 1st Male Voice: Paul?

    Unknown 2nd Male Voice: Yeah, I’ve lost my appetite. We’re screwed if he cuts a deal and talks about his campaign stuff. A lot of heads in this room will roll. Yours and mine, included.

    Unknown !st Male Voice: No shit, but I think the Feds want him to do as much time as possible. I was sooooooo glad he lied his ass off when he was on the stand. Pissed everyone off, including the Judge. They won’t want to cut him a deal. But, I’m hoping any deal will involve the campaign finance shit Baca was pulling. There were plenty of bag men running around the county, and the money went somewhere. Paul was suppose to keep track of it all and you know how good he was at keeping records.

    Sound of laughter

    Unknown 2 Male Voice: I hope you’re right. Can you believe Kevin testified on his behalf? Paul must have put him on the rack to get him to do that.

    Unknown 1st Male Voice: I think Kevin figured, “What are they going to do, put me in Custody?”

    Sound of Laughter

    Sound of door opening

    Unknown 1st Male Voice: Hi Neal – we were just talking about how great it is to see Tanaka go down in flames. What an A-hole.

    Undersheriff Tyler: Have you two got those reports I asked about regarding the height of the flag poles at your facilities? We need to come up with an average height and make them all uniform for the Sheriff. He wants our facilities to look as sharp as our uniforms.

    Sound of chairs moving and people shuffling

    Sheriff McDonnell: Well, now we have the Tanaka thing behind us and we can forget about him and not look back. The future is bright for the LAP……SD!

    Unknown 3rd Male Voice: Sheriff, there are plenty of Tanaka operatives still in power who are influencing how we do business and the troops know it.

    McDonnell: Who?

    Unknown 3rd voice: When I go to my office, I’ll e-mail you the list of his campaign contributors and Gardena prescient walkers, that’s a good place to start. Don’t you have copies?

    McDonnell: I prefer to look ahead. Have you seen how the new buckle looks with our shield, er… I mean star?

    Unknown 3 Male voice: Speaking of looking ahead, how are we going to deal with one of our newly promoted Commanders testifying on behalf of a convicted felon? The people who work in this organization are wondering…………………….

    Undersheriff Tyler: Let’s not waste our time on old business. We have a 3 billion operation to run. Now, about those flag poles…………..

  • Still on: I hope you are right and change will be forthcoming. But even the conviction of Tanaka and Baca will offer little solace to those whos lives and careers were destroyed in their wake. Their convictions will not put food on the table nor help pay the mortgage. So please forgive me for holding on to my personal bitterness for awhile longer. Just be grateful you did not suffer the wrath of some our more unscrupulous leaders….otherwise your comments may have been different.

  • Still On, I’m going to have to disagree with you. McDonnell was elected on an overwhelming mandate of change, and at a minimum he has to set a new course for the department. Changing button colors and claiming “trust me I’m different” will NOT suffice. The damage is far too great and ongoing for pr stunts and half measures.

    You worry about the institutional knowledge of those who participated in the corruption? That’s a sick joke. I worry about the institutional knowledge of those who refused to play, were punished for their honesty, and are retiring in droves. That is the heart of the department. Your model will result in a continued culture of corruption and a bunch of impressionable boots with the worst role models possible.

    If McDonnell refuses to clean house and change the entire paradigm to one of service, integrity, and meritocracy, then I will work hard to make him a one-term wonder. Tell me what doctor would recommend aspirin for a Stage 4 cancer? This rationalization of those who defend McDonnell sounds like they have something invested in preserving the dysfunctional status quo.

  • @ 10. “Everyone needs to look past any personal bitterness”……

    Obviously you and your family were not affected by the convicts named Baca,Tanaka and the flunkys that kissed their ass.

    Watch what you say and who you say it to.

  • Thank you #10 and #11. Things are changing and it’s getting better. These people complaining you have to wonder where they are and they are bitter. You have to allow time for change. These people don’t want to see it and hopefully they will if they still work for the department. For those who don’t well they need to just be happy with their lives and move on.

  • #11…. What’s changed aside from gold buttons and epilets being sowed down. From who you refer to as a griper….

  • @ Still on, perhaps you haven’t been on all that long. That is NOT a slap in the face, it is just an observation. Our Sheriff came into our organization with blinders on, being guided by has beens, and decided to take the path of least resistance. He kept just about everyone in the same positions. Helmold got taken down one notch, he should have been taken down two, to commander. He has absolutely no business being anything beyond an EM Floor Sergeant at North Facility. Helmold is a poser, a liar and a cheat. Wonder if he is still stopping at the Starbucks on Beach and Whittier Blvd hitting on one particular barista?

    I agree here is only so much McD can do, but he did nothing. Oh, strike that, he promoted two lieutenants to captain who proudly wear the Paul Tanaka “Viking tattoo.” Now what kind of tone is that? “Oh, I didn’t know.” Well, who pushed those promotions? Oh the guy who drove the 3K G-Ride. So what has changed? What has he changed? Brass buttons and new shirts, really? All the years of suffering under the reign of terror by Tanaka carried out by his henchmen in the same chairs as today, and you think that’s okay? Just put on a happy face and forget what happen by the Cigar Club, Coin Holders who still hold the same positions? All is forgiven and all is forgotten? I think not, pal. McD took the path of least resistance and let us all down. He keeps drinking from the well supplied by his handlers just like Baca. Nothing has changed, I’m close to leaving, I’ve done my time, made my rank. So Still On, put on a happy face while you clap and bow. The opportunity to reform has passed. Same shit, different day. Same people in the same spots doing the same thing talking a good game.

  • A few years ago when all this pandora box none sense broke out I thought Tanaka had it coming. I did not like what was going on the department, specially the sergeant exam cheating. I missed on promotion because of that, and therefore i am still a patrol deputy. But now i miss Tanaka handling of the department. Now you have Deputy haters, Deputies who promoted to higher ranks screwing other deputies for none sense. There are stations in need of leadership, commanders empowered to get rid of mediocre captains, Captains empowered to get rid of Lieutenants, and sergeants who are deputy heaters. Industry station has a Lieutenant, Day shift watch commander to be exact, who needs to be demoted to a Deputy, and be ordered to handle SCAR reports….by the way Tanaka hated this specific lieutenant….and yet, he is still manages to make IDT personnel miserable on a daily basis…he is fighting a current IAB investigation for POE violations, yet he is still there, go figure….

  • With Paul Tanaka’s (self-described) proactive, demanding, yet ethical leadership style, perhaps he can usher the Federal inmate population into a new era of improved behavior:

    1) No pruno after 10:00 pm.
    2) Shanks shall be no longer the four inches.
    3) Each inmate may only “gas” a prison staff member, once a week.

    Hope abounds!

  • @4, evil dictators like PT will never feel for nobody but himself. His only regret is getting caught and being found quilt and going up the river to the big house.

  • Despite the conviction of Paul and the guilty plea of Leroy, the damage left will take years to correct. I look at some of Jim’s promotions and shake my head.

    We also have eight Tanaka supporters that sued the department and were awarded 800,000 dollars. County attorneys did a terrible job on that case. Look at some of those that that won that suit. Hebert, who The Captain of personnel during some well documented bad hiring decisions under his supervision. Waters shenanigans were covered on this very site. http://witnessla.com/lasd/2012/admin/motorcycle-madness-a-sheriffs-cdr-reportedly-used-lasd-workers-as-his-personal-mechanics/

    We also have those like Chuck who also admitted in court to having that special sports tattoo. http://abc7.com/news/tanaka-grilled-about-ties-to-the-lynwood-vikings-deputy-gang/1276687/

    Thanks to this site, but we still have a lot of housecleaning to be done, and I think at this rate Jim’s a one term Sheriff.

  • Obviously, these changes are cosmetic don’t you think? If your support for McD is genuine then you don’t need to worry. McD loves Smedleys. However, it appears that your ambition is starting to get in the way of your integrity. I could be wrong but shouldn’t you openly reveal yourself as a supporter of McD? It’s easy to be brave when there’s no risk, isn’t it? Go rent John Wooden, Values, Victory and Peace of Mind. Read his first book on Leadership. We’ll go over what you have read later.

    C: Why don’t you email, those of us you trust, and send out a survey of what’s important to us and LASD. McD is doing a mediocre job

  • Smedley, any elected official brought into office on a reform mandate has an expectancy from the public to make that change within his/her four year term of office. Based on McDonnell’s pace, you think achieving reform by 2050 is acceptable? You are as clueless as the day is long, and may I point out your “bitter” characterization sounds awfully similar to the Tanaka crowd’s old “he was put in check because he was lazy” routine.

  • #11- I’ll second that….. Still waiting to hear your specifics on what has changed besides uniforms. Oh and Tanaka’s #1 cheerleader Hebert getting promoted. Using your words, I guess I’m not paying attention.

  • Smedley. You had your lunch money taken last time you posted on this blog. Go tell McDonnell you and Still On attempts to change the dialogue and take the heat off the Department did not work. Once a mole, always a mole.

  • The common traits that Baca,Tanaka and Hayhurst shared, which resulted in the same “Swan Song”.

    1.Encircled by “Yes Men”.
    2.Owners of a criminal record (expo jobo)
    3.Dreamed of having life long position.
    4.Ignored the line deputies.
    5.Did not see the end coming.
    6.Will NEVER be missed.

  • And to heap into the dog pile, what is Sheriff McD doing about the trial of brass directly involved with Pandora’s Box who lied or disassociated?

    Clearly the I was not in the chain of command and I did not know defense is not working……. Why are we still tolerating it internally. That’s cool though. I think the brass buttons marks real progress for the new perception of the department.

    Nothing says change like spit shins and Roosevelt Jackets.

  • #31 – If you truly think that promotions and the way the Department conducts business is the same now as when Baca and Tanaka were in charge, I’m certainly not going to take time to engage in a back-and-forth debate on specifics with you.
    I see lots of folks on here crying to the sheriff to “fire them all!” and burn the command structure to the ground. Real easy to say, harder to do. I’ve got to wonder how many of these voices are supervisors whose careers have topped out and are looking for a slew of vacancies to maybe give them the next bump. I’m sure not all, but I would guess at least a few.
    I saw a voice of reason among all the chicken littles say, in effect, hold up, Rome wasn’t built in a day and let’s give this guy a shot at cleaning this shambles up. I admire the sentiment. I haven’t worked closely with the sheriff but from what I’ve observed so far he’s a good man, and he’s trying. So pardon me if I don’t join the rest of you in debating whether this or that supervisor deserved a promotion and whether Tanaka’s folks have been sufficiently spanked. This guy wasn’t demoted and that one should have been fired. It’s a losing game.
    I’m sure the rest of you would no doubt have everything running 100% by now and there wouldn’t be a detractor on this site. Hell, you’d probably have had it done your first month in office.

  • When will the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals make a decision on the other deputies cases? What is the hold up? Any news on which way that will go?

  • Second that: Not the first month, but certainly within the first year. I’m sure the Department has plenty of capable people that could step into the Command structure and replace those with let’s say questionable ethics. The voters will ultimately decide if Sheriff McDonnell has “cleaned house” or not. Lastly, it really should not be that difficult to list Sheriff McDonnell’s acompliments to date. Guess it’s easier to take your ball and go home.

  • Re: I’ll second that, if you’ve been in office over a year and still can’t put your finger on the problem, let alone address it in a competent fashion, you’re in way over your head. Those famous “fresh eyes” haven’t really panned out the way voters thought.

    Here’s a hint for you: it’s not the names as much as the game that needs to change. We are allowing new Tanakas to form as we speak, the political patronage game of rewarding friends and punishing enemies continues unabated. The only difference is that it is on McDonnell’s watch, and all he seems to care about are superficial appearances.

  • You pathetic pieces of shit on this blog, should be ashamed of yourselves. Love him or hate him, Mr. Tanaka was a cops cop, who loved this department, worked hard and promoted through the ranks. Mr. Tanaka loved hard working deputies and rewarded them for their hard work.( Not because they contributed to his campaign). He changed the philosophy of LASD by not just promoting the Admin Pogue’s. He looked out for, and respected the patrol guys who are the back bone of the Department. Pat Maxwell you retired 4 ranks higher than you should have. In fact YOU should have been fired years ago as a Deputy. Mr. Olmstead, you too are a tool. You got your ass kicked during the Sheriff’s election and are pissed off because you’ve been kissing Mcd’s ass since and have received nothing in return. Would you just please go away. Mr.Roller, you look horrible, try and enjoy what’s left of your retirement. And please don’t wear anything that has Century station written on it. Because you don’t deserve to. It’s amazing to me how many Tanaka supporters have jumped ship. How do you guys look at yourselves in the mirror? Seriously? When Mr. Tanaka was promoting thru the ranks, so many of you kissed his ass, hoping to benefit your own careers. Once he retired and lost the Sheriff’s election you apparently lost his phone number. Do you honestly think Mr. Tanaka, or anybody else involved actually intentionally obstructed justice? Oh plz. Look back at your own careers and count your blessings. Every one of you!!! Brian Moriguchi and George Hofstetter why don’t you shut the “F” up. You’re not the voice of the department. Mr. Tanaka, Greg, Steve and the rest of you who got caught up in this mess I wish you all the best. It breaks my heart. If any of you ever need anything please reach out. Most of all don’t pay attention to what is being said on this blog. It’s being written by a bunch of do nothing disgruntled posers hiding behind fictitious screen names.

  • @22. Argus – I have 6 stars sewn on my sleeve, it’s just now they’re in a pyramid, rather than a line. 😉

    You mention that 3K G-ride. Not too long ago, an Assistant Sheriff (or Undersheriff) receiving an inappropriate gift, or one he failed to claim, would have been allowed to explain it away and continued on with his job. Today, that’s a forced retirement.

    You mentioned an Assistant Sheriff’s demotion to Chief and complain it wasn’t far enough. You didn’t mention two Captains being demoted to Lieutenant for failing to live up to expectations. When was the last time either of those things happened under Baca/Tanaka?

    Integrity is crucial to our jobs and the reputation of our Department in our community. Liars are being fired today, and as much as I hate to admit it, that wasn’t the case in the past.

    Beyond some of the promotions of former Tanaka-ites that bother everyone so much (and some bother me as well), there really is the expectation being instilled from the bottom up that one will do the job the right way, the honorable way, or one will face the consequences.

    Yes, things have changed, and they’re continuing to change. Not fast enough for some, but they are changing.

  • This just in: a look at Tanaka’s first promotional exam that he orchestrated the results, and how:

    Candidate Final Score Revised Final Score Current rank
    M5 93.143 94.942 Lieutenant
    F3 86.286 91.085 Lieutenant
    M1 86.682 88.685 Lieutenant
    M1 87.400 89.200 Capt
    M7 87.557 88.757 Capt
    M3 87.829 90.828 Cmdr ret
    M3 93.400 94.600 Cmdr
    M1 88.100 90.100 Captain
    F3 88.429 90.228 Lieutenant
    M1 88.429 89.628 Lt ret
    M7 87.543 89.542 Lieutenant
    M5 88.214 89.114 Lt ret
    M3 89.200 92.800 Lt ret
    M5 88.257 90.057 Lt ret
    F1 92.771 94.771 Capt ret
    M3 85.771 89.971 Cmdr
    F1 87.657 89.457 Lt ret
    M3 87.886 88.857 Cmdr ret
    M1 85.600 88.600 Capt ret

    This was how the game was played early on. Tanaka ordered Ronnie Williams and Dennis Conte to alter the test results as indicated above and according to a “do not promote” list that apparently is still in play. The 2005 test was leaked from the start, and those who couldn’t even muster a 70.000 on the written in 2003 walked away with 95+ two years later and that was the overwhelming majority of the 109 in band One. Between these two groups you have the bulk of your lieutenants, captains, and above today.

    Eventually Tanaka loyalists controlled the results of every sergeant and lieutenant examination, and disseminated the answers in advance of the tests to the select few. The 2005 was the first large scale effort, and Tanaka was upset about the lack of discipline in the cheating – hilarious. Needless to say, they perfected the system in subsequent tests.

    Those bags of rocks who mysteriously got into a Band One, now you know how. Of course, this is old news, right? Not while people are still vying to be promoted while having profited for years from cheating. Not while executives still use the “Do Not Promote” list from the Tanaka regime.

    McDonnell, the department continues to screw over honest people and promote unethical ass kissers from the prior regime. Focus on something better than button colors, you are negatively affecting future generations of leadership.

  • Re: Sgt M.Long to think FBI “Leah Marx was scared”…….That siily ass thinking is what got her arrogant hips a Federal Sentence.

  • Everyone keeps saying our current Sheriff will be a one term Sheriff. I’m not really getting your logic. The voters don’t really care about our internal gripes. He’s doing exactly what he needs to get himself re-elected, if he chooses to do so, and that is allowing Deputies to get fired and disciplined in droves, with very little supervisors being disciplined. It’s not like, we, department members determine who is our Sheriff!

  • When all the promotional cheating was taking place, I saw good deputies promoting by allegedly cheating. At that time, I believed those Deputies had paid their dues as patrol Deputies and deserved the answers to be given to them to pass the test. They were experienced but not too smart to pass a test. The problem was these Deputies gave the answers to other mediocre, sack of rocks, awful deputies who were not intended to be promoted. Some of those who unintendedly promoted, are now the Sgts, Lts, Cpts, etc, screwing other deputies now, just because they can. Look at post 23….same kind as that MCJ visiting, Sgt. Gonzalez who sank other deputies with him…

  • FYI, I worked for Dennis Conte, he was the most ethical and honest person, I have ever worked for. Ronnie Williams on the other hand gave the questions on the test to BA,JS,JL,JF and several other BPO members..

  • Marc King, I hope you’re well. It’s been a while. I really enjoyed reading your post. Personally, I thought the day PT was convicted was a sad day. Anybody who celebrates a fellow cop, friend or foe, going to jail either has some serious issues, a dark heart, or is simply lame beyond explanation. LATBG-Please find another outlet to complain about your career. As far as I know you’ve worked for 3 Sheriff’s, 7 undersheriffs, countless chiefs and commanders, and multiple captains all with the same result, nothing. At what point are you going to do some self-introspection and admit that perhaps it’s YOU that has failed yourself. Your continued pleas for the new Sheriff to clean house and give you a chance are not being heard and turn my stomach. I’d recommend another avenue. The Sheriff is not going to wipe out the entire command staff as you suggest for you to ride up on a white horse and save the day. And please, no more lawsuits. God Bless the men and women of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the law enforcement profession. It’s a tough job. I’m confident Leroy and Paul wish they had called over to Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood and asked how they could help with the investigation. After all, did we really need deputies who jumped other deputies gang style at a Christmas party, tattooed 2000 or 3000 on their ankles (pathetic), and carried themselves on and off duty like gangsters in our ranks? Do you think there was a correlation between the lowered hiring standards and these guys? Unfortunately, Leroy didn’t have the foresight to see what was really going on in his jail. His ego and arrogance superseded rational thinking. Paul’s biggest mistake was serving him loyally out of his own insatiable need for power. This is the case study of case studies. Until next time. Stay Safe!

  • Hey Marc King, apparently you haven’t wiped the excrement from your nose yet. Stop, I mean stop drinking the kool aide. Your daddy is bought and paid for. His cronies, bought and paid for. Folks, Mr King is a prime example of the Tanaka regime, him and everyone else. Convict Tanaka is gone homie, get over it. PS, your tattoos and big mouth doesn’t scare anyone and never have partner.

  • @Marc King, weren’t you that bag of hot air throwing the Tanaka poison everywhere about election time. Sorry it didn’t work out. Guess you’ll remain just a Dep like me. I was a victim of that lil Tyrant because I worked Region 1. Now you’re a victim 2. You can always sell your “Tanaka for Sheriff” hat collection. Glad he’s goin to the big house. I pray I one day see him. I have a few choice words for the lil guy. Marc, now your stuck promoting on merit, not arse-kissing.

  • #36–I’ll second that. I never called for terminations. Simply highlighted a same ol same ol promotion. You came on here about changes and that us “gripers” must not be paying attention. Me and a couple other people have asked for specifics and not surprisingly you can’t name even one.

  • Who the f…is Mark King. I worked Century as sergeant and do not remember him. Either he got there after I left or didn’t make an impression. I had the pleasure of supervising some really good cops though….

  • Hi all, been a while. Busy at that new spot I’ve been working. Sounds like a lot has been happening. Me, since I’m newer (15+ years), I’m not concerned about the Mr T BS. Who’s thing Marc King guy, if he’s got ink, I guess he’s cool. Where can I get a Mr T hat. Sounds like they will go up in value as time goes on. Well, back to the grind, sleeves rolled up, ink showing, chawing on my favorite tobacco product. Don’t like it? Come and git me!!!!

  • #40 and #44 LATBG,
    You, sir, are a credit to the institution of law enforcement, in principal part because your focus is on the citizens of Los Angeles County and the honest hard working public servants who protect and serve (unlike the focus of some who post to WLA). Corruption, like rust, never sleeps—why is this lesson so easily forgotten? Fine detective work. In fact, it will help to continue to work this like a criminal case.

    In essence, it appears from your initial data that Paul and friends at minimum conspired to perpetrate widespread, organized, fraudulent promotions and associated activities on the following public agencies: the LA County Civil Service Commission (fraudulent test scores and other unlawful tampering led to a number of fraudulent promotions in rank and corresponding salary and benefits increases),* the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (fraudulent rank promotions led to POST granting illegitimate supervisory and management state certifications and corresponding monthly pay stipends for unqualified persons based upon the LASD’s deceptive representations),** the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement System (fraudulent promotions led to base salary increases, equaling lucrative retirement increases to the fraudulently promoted personnel—friends and allies of Paul),*** the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (as the LACERA Plan Sponsor, the Board is legally responsible under ERISA for ensuring fiduciary duties to all members of a plan—the Board may have a serious ERISA problem on its hands) as well as the governing political body over the Civil Service Commission (the Board has legal oversight duty to protect the integrity of the Commission’s rules for all civil servants falling within its jurisdiction), and perpetrating a fraud upon the federal Employee Retirement Security Income Act, which comes under the jurisdiction of the US Department of Labor.**** I have not even touched upon possible violations of election law.

    There are a number of possibilities here given the existence (and presumably evidence) of multiple acts of fraud, including the possibility of a class action ERISA suit if the certification of a class can be brought about. Given concrete evidence of fraud, POST could de-certify individual supervisor and management certifications previously provided. Given the organized criminal nature of these and other schemes, RICO might come into play. And the fact that Civil Service was so fundamentally undermined is a scandal of immense importance. And participants of the fraud could lose part of their pensions after the date of the crime. What can be done about it? The feds already have their pound of flesh, as has been pointed out.

    There might be a possibility of finding a firm of heavy hitting (contingency fee) attorneys to file a “qui tam” lawsuit under the False Claims Act (31 USC 3729-3733). Under the False Claims Act, a private citizen may sue an individual(s) that is defrauding the government and recover funds on the government’s behalf. One might have to go outside of Los Angeles to find a firm without conflicts of interest. (If this has already been tried and failed, disregard the rest of the post.)

    Finding a good public interest lawyer to sue him (and all other persons involved) to recover funds on the government’s behalf could do at least five concurrent things: (a) plaintiff and attorneys would bypass the political barriers mentioned by some of our friends commenting on this website—you drive the federal investigation and in effect take the place of the government; (b) it would perform a vital public service and become a rather important deterrent for other corrupt officials in LA County, while serving an educative function for the next generation of law enforcement to go outside the Department, the County, and the unions if they have to in order to stop the Tanaka’s of the LE world; (c) hit Paul and others in the pocket book on behalf of the hard working LA county taxpayer and those colleagues who suffered miserably under his reign of terror, if possible; (d) prove to be an embarrassment to our current Sheriff who has so far refused to pursue the agents and on-going beneficiaries of corruption and effectively given them immunity within his administration; and (e) it might be another way to make a case again to ALADS and PPOA members to bring on new more aggressive law firms, arguing for a union and union’s law firm to be using its collective resources to protect the membership from unlawful, fraudulent, and corrupt activities by filing multiple federal lawsuits during any future reign of terror (e.g., look at some of the more powerful LE unions around, LAPD’s or Long Beach’s, and how their law firms are vigilant in reportedly protecting ALL members).

    If people have the evidence the qui tam suit might be worth discussing with competent counsel from a reliable firm. Until Sheriff Jim McDonnell (or his successor) can swing a dead cat in a room full of command and executive staff without a high probability of hitting a Tanaka loyalist (or another kind of criminal or sociopath), the newer deputies and civilians are not entirely shielded from this particular kind of corruption. Hence the citizens of Los Angeles County remain at risk. One might lump Baca into the qui tam suit, even if he suffers from invisible orchestra conductor syndrome (or IOCS), where one is constantly conducting an orchestra no one else can see or hear.

    Players Legend for Further Investigation:
    * LA County Civil Service Commission, Executive Director is Lawrence D. Crocker, III. Background: Prior to joining Los Angeles County, Larry served as the Designated Agency Ethics Official and the head of General and Administrative Law for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Previously, he served as legal advisor to FERC’s Chairman. Larry practiced administrative law for more than 20 years, rising to the position of General Counsel with the District of Columbia Public Service Commission and later the D.C. Public Schools. Larry also served as a hearing officer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and an administrative judge for the Council of the City of New Orleans.

    **CA POST Executive Director is Bob Stresak, Executive Director. Background: Bob Stresak was appointed Executive Director in 2012. Bob brings 45 years of California law enforcement to the position. Previously, he served with the Los Angeles Police Department for 27 years. After retiring in 1997, he was appointed by Governor Wilson to serve as Assistant Director for the California Youth Authority (CYA) and was charged with establishing operational policy for professional performance and internal investigations for fourteen statewide CYA institutions and camps. He later conducted administrative investigations for the Office of Inspector General.

    ***LACERA’s Chief Executive Officer is Gregg Rademacher. Background: In addressing the committee of California legislators, Mr. Rademacher pointed out Los Angeles County has been exercising ongoing pension reform on its own for close to 40 years.

    **** The US Department of Labor’s Secretary is Thomas E. Perez, the nation’s 26th secretary of labor. Perez has dedicated his entire career to making good on the promise of opportunity for all. A civil rights lawyer by training, Secretary Perez leads the U.S. Department of Labor in its mission of giving all Americans the chance to get ahead and stay ahead.

  • #53 You say your chief complaint is “a same ol same ol promotion.” So apparently you feel that if there is a promotion occurring now that would have occurred under Baca/Tanaka, then McDonnell is a failure. Correct me if I’m wrong, if you’re trying to say something else.
    I don’t recall the sheriff ever promising that anyone connected to Tanaka would have their career frozen. Given that recent trial verdict, it would have been reckless and irresponsible of him to do that before, and the same applies even more so now. Still on actually said it in his original post: some of his crowd will get the nod. I’m not thrilled about that myself, but I see how it will happen occasionally. That doesn’t meet with your approval, run for sheriff in a couple years. I’ve never said the sheriff is perfect (neither am I, neither are you), but you and everyone else seem to want to put forth a false equation: you promote a Tanaka guy/gal, you’re the same as Tanaka. That’s silly and I’m not going to debate the logic of it, either you choose not to see it, or you really don’t, in which case I’m never going to convince you.

    Still on offered some examples of how things have changed. I’ll comment that when an incompetent (Baca) and sometimes evil (Tanaka) empire is overthrown, the collective damage that was inflicted over many years WILL take time to undo. And it won’t be in a year, and it won’t even be in a single term. And almost certainly, as another commenter mentioned, that second term will be his if he wants it, the voices of dissent, yours included, are unlikely to have any say in that whatsoever. I love that recurring threat on here “You’ll be a one term sheriff for cause.” I’ll bet that one keeps the sheriff up at night.

    What’s changed? I’ll say again, as much as you and some others will make the general statements that promotions are the same, you can’t equal some questionable choices with the political campaign pay to play promotions that existed before. If McDonnel has been shaking anyone down, by all means, enlighten us. Because if you don’t have evidence of that, then things have actually changed.
    Under Tanaka, no one but Tanaka had input into promotions. Zero. Now, at least the chiefs have some input. “But they’re all Tanaka folks, so what’s the difference.” And there’s the over-generalizations again, although some are, many are not. So there’s a difference. The decision-making has at least been decentralized somewhat, and the people closer to the performance of the individuals being considered finally have some input. Not a perfect system, but better than before.

    People want to say say the sheriff is focused on buttons and uniforms and therefore misses the big picture. Again, a false premise, as if you can’t be concerned about uniform appearance and juggle a few other thoughts and concerns at the same time. I don’t really see the importance of gold buttons myself, but it’s his Department, and I’m not going to say “You’re focused on that, so you’re missing the big stuff.” Because I don’t assume that has to be the case. There are real complex issues being debated including force policy changes, implementation of body cameras, DOJ investigations and consent decrees, and balancing huge vacancy numbers and the need to fill them with the necessity of not lowering standards. I really don’t think the sheriff is so limited in vision and ability that he’s taking his eye of those balls because uniforms take up too much of his attention.

    Someone else mentioned that nothing has changed because knowing the right people still gets you promoted. Well, duh. Show me a single agency that doesn’t promote based on making a good impression on the folks in high places. The difference is, there is a post up above relating to blatant violation of civil service rules re giving test answers to a chosen few (who apparently went and gave them to other folks, who could have seen that coming?), which besides being wrong because it allowed people to succeed who had no business getting promoted, betrayed the hard effort other people put in studying who didn’t make it because their spot was taken by a cheater. Presumably, leaked answers is not occurring now, and if you have any evidence that it is, please share. So there’s a change.

    The Department has been restructured to ensure greater independence of the investigative units, and that they’re not controlled by a sociopath who protects his minions and torpedoes people he holds grudges against. Also, people working those units have the same chance of promoting as anyone else and aren’t blackballed because of where they work – unless, of course, they’re in the car.

    CARPing was finally done away with after years of promises that it was a “temporary fix.” And yes, I do hear it may come back temporarily. But the sheriff was straight up about it, clued us in early, explained it and promised it will be short as he can make it. I believe him. Call me naive, that’s fine. To me, that’s a change. And a welcome one, I had enough work to do without playing that game once a week, although it was sort of a welcome break. But the work was always worse the next day.

    To my knowledge, McDonnel has not gone to the Middle East or any other world tour, he’s been staying at home trying to focus on fixing the Department. If he did go, however, I have far more faith in the man who would be in charge in his absence. To me, that’s a major change.

    I have promised myself not to engage in this useless back-and-forth, like anyone else, I’ve seen many comments I disagreed with and was tempted to get on here but I knew I’d do exactly this, and I didn’t want to. There’s no gain in this, no one changes their mind. What originally got me on here was Still On’s plea to quit bitching about the sheriff and give the man some time. I believe that is an excellent idea. I guess my idea of the timeframe needed is different than some of the folks on here, although I will continue to believe that many of the people bitching about the promotions (which seems to be at the heart of most of the beefs when you cut through it) are upset because it’s not working out the way they think it should. I look at the promotions since the Scott and McDonnell regimes and I’m much happier with them. Don’t agree with everyone, but I don’t expect too. They’re better than Tanaka’s promotions every day of the week. And before anyone starts saying “Give specifics” I’ll say ahead of time, I’m not going to get into a person by person discussion, Celeste probably wouldn’t allow it, (nor should she) and those discussions are meant to be had over a cup or glass. Some incompetents will get the nod, some who may have previously been in the car, but many who have earned it through work and performance. And many sergeants and lieutenants will make it out of band 2 without having to go kiss the ring (private meeting with Tanaka where you acknowledge his power and basically swear allegiance) or have the endorsement of someone who has the undersheriff’s ear.

    Finally, for all the malcontents clamoring for specific examples of change – in a situation like this, coming out of the tragedy of going from a premier agency to a laughingstock, sometimes the biggest change is simply making progress in small steps, doing the work we’re meant to do without field deputies with county cars given for no other reason than pandering for votes, reserve badges given for donations and political favors, and the top officer traveling on the tax-payer’s dime for no other reason than to feel important. Accomplishing our mission without those embarrassments is a pretty welcome change.

  • For those who don’t quite grasp the significance of what transpired, can’t help you there. I am NOT advocating wiping out the entire command staff, get real. Whar I do hope happens is that there is a full accounting of what happened so we can hold accountable those who continue to play games, and most importantly, figure out how to not let it happen again.

    Cops4trump, if you ever considered Tanaka to be a fellow cop, that speaks more about you then my attempts at getting the department back on track. I’ve done well enough to be able to look myself in the mirror every morning.

    Marc King, thanks for the reminder of what won’t be missed. I have yet to find a boss who told me I was lazy. It was a nice tool for fools to believe they were somehow better than their fellow deputy who did not kiss the little emperors ass.

  • Second That: Well stated. Evidently you and Still On are optimists……You may even work on the same floor. The men and woman of this Department have been in an abused relationship for many years now. How about giving them the courtesy of sounding off and releasing some pent up frustration and anger. Not every commenter on this post is bitching about not being promoted. So be careful how you label people (malcontents). Personally. I find some of your comments condescending and elitist. Sheriff Mc Donnell will get the opportunity to make changes, hopefully they will be sooner than later. The men and woman of this Department deserve that much. Just one malcontent’s opinion.

  • Bandwagon, if I sound defensive or “Condescending and elitist” it is probably due to the fact that between my original post and the time I checked back several commenters called me out for not responding with specifics quickly enough, as if I check in on a daily basis and was somehow too intimidated. Or perhaps you don’t remember your jibe – “Guess it’s easier to take your ball and go home.”? Did you want to fire away at me again with the condescending label after that one?

    I couldn’t agree with your sentiment more that hopefully the sheriff will make changes sooner rather than later. I agree even more that the men and women of the Department deserve that. Our main disagreement appears to be the timeframe necessary. And I was part of the abusive relationship just like you, most likely for as many years. It’s one of the reasons I’m so glad to be out of it.

  • Mrs. Tanaka, have you submitted you memo requesting to associate with your convicted felon husband? If not you are subject to termination. Better yet, did the trial shine any light on the type of person your husband is? How can you live with that? Perhaps it’s Stockholm syndrome by now…

  • Second: Truly you spent a lot of time defending what exactly? If it wasn’t the the truly brave who stepped up and complained over and over then Tanaka would be sheriff and we would all be in Hell. But, try again for specifics? No axe to grind just give facts. How should we get rid of the Vikings would be a good question-don’t you think?

  • I’ll Second That, although I prefer to have an open dialogue and comment occasionally, I have to take exception to your exceptionally long post. For starters, most who advocate on behalf of serious reform are not doing so for self-interest, as you seem to believe. Most department members want to see our reputation restored, and the integrity of all inner workings based on factual information that advances the PUBLIC’S interest.

    Believe it or not, this department is not McDonnell’s. It belongs to the good people of Los Angeles County. It always has, and always will. The sheriff is merely the elected leader who has to act on behalf of the county in his capacity as sheriff. He does not own the department, period.

    Sheriff McDonnell has the capacity to effect positive change, but as I’ve said many times, we are at Stage 4 cancer and aspirin won’t suffice. You think that decentralizing decision making in terms of promotions is somehow an improvement? I will merely point out the obvious: the mechanism by which Tanaka and his followers were empowered is alive and well, and basically unrepentant.

    I’ll Second That, your standards for improvement have mediocrity written all over them. Is that the best we can hope for in McDonnell’s first term? Really? Like many, I don’t care about any particular result when it comes to appointing department leadership. All I ask for, and I’m pretty sure LA County taxpayers ask for, is that whatever system is employed produces top notch leadership whose loyalty lies with their oath of office and the public’s interest. What we don’t need are a bunch of executives with compromised ethics surrounding themselves with mediocre yes men who can never be trusted to put the public’s interests ahead of their own.

    Undoubtedly there are some good people being put into leadership positions, but they still remain the exception, not the rule. My guess is you had no problem with the game as it’s played, you are just happy that your friends in charge are the ones playing it now instead of Tanaka. It’s no wonder you are in no hurry to see real reform take place – you may have to earn your position the hard way.

  • LATBG and Bandwagon – I don’t think we are on opposite sides this thing. Bandwagon correctly identified me as an optimist.

    LATBG – I am a bit confused by the info you provided on the people who appealed their promotional results (@44). I took that test, and finished with a 94.29 (without any advance knowledge of the test). Dennis Conte later told me I should have appealed. I was one of the 30 or so folks left behind in the “promotable” band. I see a bunch of folks who appealed and evidently prevailed and got a higher score. I guess that can happen when people appeal. What is the point you are trying to make, other than the fact that these folks later got promoted?

    My point, in all of this, is that I understand being pissed off at Mr. Tanaka’s machinations and perversions, but don’t take it out on the new guy. I’ve met Sheriff McDonnell, and he seems like a straight shooter. I think he deserves a chance to make a difference in the organization we both love, and my personal feeling is that he is making a positive difference.

    And believe it or not, I’m not angling for a promotion. As the saying goes, “I’ve got mine.” In a year, I’ll be gone. I truly think he is the right person for the Department at this time.

  • #54: Mr. Bandwagon. Your language is not appropriate for the rank you represent. These are the same tone Mr. Tanaka, or soon to be Federal Inmate Tanaka used. Were you on the Pay to Play list?

  • Response to post #41. Marc King, I couldn’t agree more with your comments on Mr. Tanaka, a very solid leader who cares about deputies all the way! There are no words to put it better than you did, so true! Mr. Tanaka was absolutely a “cops cop” and demonstrated that his entire career.
    And for you “Bandwaggon”, just post your name and we can talk about when you were at Century???

  • Where you at Bandwagon? Why so quiet? I see you post on every article on this LA Witness site, whether it’s LASD or not. Sling your name!

  • Tanaka, Steve, and Greg. You laid your boys out and sent them on a suicide mission. You were terrible leaders and are terrible people.

  • I’m not a cop, just a (generally) law abiding citizen who finds true delight in the forum blog pal Celeste has created here. Love the fact that here folks that do a hard job get to express their mindsets and all the frustrations encountered. Good on you all, and good on the blog host.

  • 1. Matt Brady…..don’t recall you either. Leave your phone number with Celeste and we discuss….by the way…I was there 1998-2001.

    2. 280L. No I never contributed to Tanaka’s campaign. Sorry if my language offended you. I guess we really are the “softer gentler” Department.

    3. Second That: Agreed

  • Matt: I see only 21 minutes passed between your two posts. Sorry I took so long to reply. Contrary to popular belief, I am not on this blog 24-7. Celeste…please forward Matt’s phone number should he reply. Thnx

  • Nancy Drew brings up an interesting situation. If a retired cop gets convicted of a felony, does the cop spouse have to obey fraternization policy? What happens to his CCW and personal firearms? What does the spouse do with her guns? Can a person who is required to be armed cohabitate with a convicted felon and keep firearms in the same home where the felon has access? What are the laws and policy concerning this situation? Will they be enforced or ignored? Are there any legal exceptions?

  • Marc King? Haaaaaa. Partner, I knew you drank the kool aid but didn’t think you swallowed it. A Cops Cop? Tanaka? Let me enlighten you Marc and friends. Paul was at Carson for a hot minute. Struggled but got off training. Almost immediately, went to recruitment. Get your factoids strait. Paul cared nothing about street cops unless they did his bidding. He ruined many a Region 1 and 3 Deps career. Didn’t matter how good a street cop the guy/gal was. Marc, if you believe all of the Lil Emperor’s BS, you’re much dummer than I thought you were. Maybe you need to be deprogrammed Marc. As for the others involved, I feel bad, but they knew what they did was illegal and thought “Mr Tanaka” would take care of everything. Lastly, Marc, if you are so enamorated with Lil Paul, put money on his books for canteen. He’ll need it to pay rent and protection.

  • @ Matt. I will say that unfortunately for you, you never saw the real side of the little man. Yes he was a vindictive SOB, that did not give enough people a fair chance. Had he looked at the hard work being done everyday by those outside of the 3 or 4 stations he cared about, he would have seen there were a lot of great hard working Deputies, that he would have put his stamp on. However he did not do that, therefore, he did not give others a chance to prove their worth. And that basically brings us to today, that and the fact his minnions are still in charge of the circus. The facts speak for themselves, had he been such a “Cops Cop” he would not have led people down the wrong path, those now waiting to go to prison. It’s unfortunate, but he and he alone caused that, and we all damn well know it. Enjoy your retirement years as I will be joining you in about a year.

  • @Marc King…go visit your “cops cop” in prison. He is a mentally ill narcissist. His true character is crystal clear. It is a sad day when someone like yourself, who proclaims to be some law enforcement officer extraordinaire, is blinded by ambition & admiration. Sad for you. Seek therapy. Purchase lots of stamps so you can write to your new pen pal. He’ll have lots of time on his hands to respond. You two can talk about how wonderful he is.

  • @ Brizz. Very concise and to the point. Pandora’s box was only an oops as compared to much more that is not uncovered, especially when it comes to an “Qui Tam” lawsuit along with other violations which fall under the Rico Act. Your institutional knowledge tells me that you are in upper management with pivotal information which can still effect some changes.

  • I’ve been a Cop for over 30 years…

    I consider myself A Cops Cop.

    I ALWAYS supported my fellow Cops, regardless of liking them personally or not. Unfortunately there were times I had to support some Cops with VERY different attitudes towards their duties then I, but if it was not illegal, going to unreasonably physically hurt someone, even if it may have been a situation where I would have exercised spirit, instead of the letter of the law being enforced, I still supported the Cop taking his/her action.

    I ALWAYS followed the cardinal rule of WE ALL Go Home Safe Tonight!

    I Always respected, supported, and conducted, Leadership that was Business based, for the public good, not Personally based, for ones personal values and/or advancement.

    I worked with and for, and around, Tanaka and MANY of his chosen ones. I found them to be NOTHING like the TRUE Cops Cop. The MAJORITY of what they did was personal, not the business of performing for the public good. If the public good was a collateral result, well, ok (as it being any type of considered bullet point for what they were doing was NEVER even a consideration).

    It has been said Tanaka WORKED HARD, and people don’t like that….

    Yes, I saw him work hard, AND I saw many people not like it. However, I SAW him work hard for HIMSELF, and the collateral few he selected, and not for the public and the majority of LASD members who deserved it (Good Ethical Leadership).

    So, A Cops Cop. I, possessing good knowledge, disagree.

    A SELF SERVING, POWER hungry, politician, with a penchant to do ANYTHING that will get me where I wanna be….

    YEP! That he was ALWAYS.

  • Still On, Dennis Conte was not being completely truthful with you. What he left out about the appeals process was the fact that Tanaka decided whether or not your appeal was granted, and then the scores were adjusted accordingly, regardless of merit. Your score placed you in Band 2, and you were not in the car, so getting elevated to Band 1 was totally out of the question, regardless of whether or not you were technically correct in your appeal.

    Ronnie Williams has already admitted, under oath during recent depositions, that he adjusted scores or ignored appeals on the orders of Tanaka. It had nothing to do with what the candidate did in the examination process, the entire thing was a massive hoax.

    At face value it looks like people appealed and their scores were elevated as a result. That was incidental to the actual game being played. This was part of the first phase of Pay to Play, and a lot more unlawful actions followed.

  • Marc, any rebuttal? Or is this the typical Marc that shuts down when confronted. Marc, the lil man can’t save you now bro.

  • When I posted on this Blog I forgot to say that I would not be responding to the comments. But please keep responding. I enjoy them. I’ve also never really cared about what station you trained at or what path you took in your career. I just appreciate hard work, dedication and loyalty. No station or unit is better than the other. However BANDWAGON you say you were a sergeant at Century station from 98-01? Well that explains it. You really never worked Century Station. You just back doored your way in as a sergeant. So all the rest of you posers and haters on this blog, let me share a phrase with you, that one of the great partners I was fortunate enough to have worked with throughout my career would use “Those that know! Know!”

  • LASD is a better place without Paul Tanaka. But, we still have several of his friends still with us. Sheriff McDonald, please do your job and clean house. ( ͡ᵔ ͜ʖ ͡ᵔ ) CPT4LIFE

  • The bottom line is if you’re too much of a coward to say who you are, there is no sense engaging in this bullshit! The fact none of you will, tells the story!

  • One way to help out Jim is to move the pieces on the board a little bit.

    California Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) offers an immediate remedy for fraud. The POST Administrative Manual (PAM), Section B, Regulation 1011 covers Certificates, all POST certificates, including “professional certificates” for peace officers. Regulation 1011(g)(1) Cancellation Reasons reads in part: “POST shall cancel a professional certificate(s) for the following reasons: (A) The certificate was obtained through misrepresentation [or] fraud…” There is no statute of limitations I could find.

    The POST criteria for awarding Supervisory, Management, and Executive certificates is also covered in Regulation 1011. It is the application process wherein the employing agency, in this case, the LASD, and the individual law enforcement person being promoted to a higher rank, must represent to POST truthfully and accurately that all POST criteria have been met and, implicitly, that there has been no misrepresentation or fraud (see above). “It is the joint responsibility of the employing department and the employee (peace officers, reserve officers, dispatchers, and record supervisors) to apply for the award of a POST professional certificate” (www.post.ca.gov/forms.aspx).

    The POST application attestation by the applicant reads: “I attest that I have read and subscribe to the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics and that all of the information in this application is true and correct” (Section 5, line 27). The Department/Agency Coordinator’s section permits the following affirmation: “The above applicant has satisfactorily completed the training, service, and education required in POST Regulation 1011(a)(7), (8), (9), (10), or (11)” (Section 5, line 29).

    So, assuming for purposes of discussion there is ample corroborating evidence required to prove the elements of the crime, when Paul and his people (e.g., Ronnie Williams) conspired to engage in a set of activities that, in effect, led to the fraudulent promotion of deputy or sergeant so-and-so (thereby breaking the law – at minimum – by violating Civil Service rules), Paul’s actions caused the LASD as a certified POST law enforcement organization to misrepresent (conceal) to POST that laws had in fact been broken in order to secure a new level of POST certificate for that employee. In essence, LASD – at the behest of Paul and his people – perpetrated a fraud on POST (and, possibly, the civilian personnel at the LASD). And, what’s more (this is where Jim comes in), that fraud is on-going to this day because the original promotion of persons X, Y, and Z was fraudulent, and any subsequently awarded POST certificate(s) for those persons were likewise fraudulent (because the original fraud taints all subsequent promotions and certificates), arguably making any present or future promotions and assignments illegitimate and fraudulent.

    Hence Jim’s logic of ‘new eyes’ and new administration, et cetera, cannot claim a cloak or a mantle of objective ethics until these types of matters are resolved once and for all. Indeed, Jim’s permitting the ON-GOING fraud threatens the very legitimacy of his own leadership, as well as the organization he leads.

    Jim is rightly concerned about lawsuits from Paul’s people. Yet Jim can be protected from Tanaka ally lawsuits if he is by forced to investigate and report to / respond to POST (under the real possibility of the LASD being suspended or losing its POST organization certification) that a promotion fraud and test cheating scandal was uncovered which, regrettably, led to factual misrepresentations to POST of certain information that was clearly and provably false (or unreliable, or created fraudulently, et cetera). For POST to maintain its own integrity, it will have to comply with its own Regulation 1011(g)(1) and cancel the fraudulently awarded certificates.

    Once those POST supervisory, management, and executive certifications are cancelled, there is, in effect, a decertification of those personnel involved in this particular Paul Tanaka scandal. The job descriptions for those positions probably list the criterion of holding the commensurate-level POST certificate. Those persons would no longer be in compliance with the job description. Bringing resolution to this scandal will send a strong message NOT TO TAMPER WITH CIVIL SERVICE in order to preserve genuine meritocracy. Naturally, Paul and his co-conspirators will need to be brought up on state charges (felonies and misdemeanors), which means, after a plea or conviction, they might have to forfeit much more of their LACERA retirement benefits, depending when the crimes occurred, and/or pay out money in restitution. And the other willing accomplices who became direct beneficiaries of the fraud on POST cannot occupy their respective assignments once they have been decertified (same reason as above). They must forfeit subsequent certificates and be immediately demoted back to the original rank where the first fraud occurred. And, since the on-going fraud is coupled to many, many thousands of dollars in pay and benefits multiplied by say 25 people, a “qui tam” lawsuit under the False Claims Act (31 USC 3729-3733) or California’s version, Government Code Sections 12650-12656, or even county council, could pursue considerable restitution.

    Remember, this is simply one leftover Paul Tanaka case. As LATBG notes, there is much more coming. ERISA may yet prove to be the big federal case. But getting Paul’s friends and co-conspirators decertified by POST will go a long way to shoring up the integrity and ethics of the LASD. It will send an unequivocal signal that finally, there is indeed a new sheriff in town. All due respect to the younger fellas and gals wishing this stuff was all over, I implore you to listen to the elder statesmen in this and other websites, and meetings. They are trying to create the ethical conditions necessary so you can have the best career possible serving the citizens of LA County. It is a mistake to confuse their concern for bitterness. These are mighty men and women of valor. Have the patience to consider what they say and what is at stake. Speak up, too, as iron sharpens iron, but never lose sight of the Constitution and the people of Los Angeles County.

  • I’m so disgruntled, who gives a “rip” about PT or LB. I’ll be gone at 25 years anyways. Forget it all… Pock Pock, I’m a coward and or a chicken however, if you want, call me what you will. I call being anonymous a warm blanket. I have no desire to promote and I never will call me a slapd*ck too. Do my eight and hit the gate…..That’s my motto…….. 21 years and ticking!!!!!!!

  • #82: Matt Brady, why are you engaging in LASD conversation? You are not a LASD employee. SD folks here will not use real names due to retaliation. If Tanaka’s corrupted uppers finds out my real name,,,I will not have a job. CPT4LIFE

  • Marc: Relax gunslinger. I’m not trying to “claim” Century. That would be like getting a station tattoo as a sergeant.

  • Matt Brady….. Wow. Really easy to call us out for not using our real names. You retired over 25 to 28 years ago after about….what…6 minutes at LNX. How’s the AA meetings going? There’s a reason everyone cringed when you showed up at the funeral and didn’t want you there. Go away… You’re truly pathetic and have nothing of value to add to this conversation. Let the adults talk now.

  • I’ll second that….. Respect your post and yes, it opened my eyes of frustration. For the record, even before the Sheriff threw his name in the hat, he was my #1 pick. And still is. Sorry, but I still think the priorities have been poorly timed. But I’m his soldier, and will stand by him til the end. This is just a good place to safely voice my gripes as you put them…lol…. Stay well

  • #89 – Thanks and much appreciated.
    #87 – Pretty damn funny, took me a second but I haven’t had my coffee yet.

  • I actually like Marc King, but lets be honest Marc, Paul Tanaka was everything that you stand against! He was never a street cop, never spent hours after shift booking felonies or helping a sister car book evidence. PT was never an investigator, never worked a specialized assignment, never had to pay his dues testing to get a sought after assignment. PT was an ACCOUNTANT with a badge, plain and simple. Everything you despise Marc. When Deputies were being rolled up at Lynwood Station for their Viking tattoos what did PT do? He was quiet, disappeared, let them go down the drain. PT never stood up and said as a tattooed supervisor, that this “Viking Thing” is just what we call our station softball team, it’s a station mascot? (Marc we all know different) No, PT was quiet and let some young deputies fall, careers ruined. Just like during his trial when they brought up the Federal Lawsuit against the Vikings, PT said he was unaware of the specifics in that lawsuit because he “wasn’t named in it”. PT sure didn’t preach that when he was drinking beer with everyone outside the Lynwood City Library now was he? Of course we all saw what PT and his crew did with the recent group of young men, yep went quiet, again, covered his ass and let them all go to prison!!! Marc, deep down inside you know I am right! PT is the very creature we all could never stomach, he just gained power, power to give people very lucrative things which made the blind look the other way at what we all knew he was, including you Marc. PT was the type of Pathetic Rat that you and I both would have thrown his coveted assignment application in the trash at the first smell test. But again, like the beautiful 25 year old blond on the arm of the wealthy 60 year old, they knew what he could DO FOR THEM! PT got what was coming. So Marc, like you say, “THOSE THAT KNOW, KNOW”.

  • Hey OWNERSHIP, you better be a little more careful with your posts before you “fat mouth” somebody! You got the wrong Matt Brady. Same name, different guy! Careful with the personal attacks when you don’t know who your talking about! That can get you in trouble re your “AA meetings” and funeral comment. I was never assigned to Lennox.

  • @Matt “Paul is my HERO” Brady and Marc “I’m a REAL cop and you can’t possibly be if you didn’t work Century” King…please stop trying to show how “big & tough” you are, how you know what “being a cop is all about”, and how EVERYone else outside of Century are losers. It’s over. The fat lady has sung her beautiful song “Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead”. Accept it. Move on. Buy stamps & send PT ALL the love letters you want. Pontificate about how EVERYONE else is wrong but those on the PT bandwagon. You are both annoying and your ignorance is off-putting.

  • It’s the other Matt Brady, not that Matt Brady, and definitely NOT the OTHER Matt Brady you may be thinking of, REALLY how could you think it could be that other Matt Brady… Because I’m the REAL Matt Brady… And I stand up… Would the Real Matt Brady please stand up, please stand up…straight Eminem slim shady style…

    Or maybe it’s not really Matt Brady??? Maybe it’s just a screen name???

    Signed,

    John Smith

  • Celeste: Besides the May 3rd trial, do you know of any other pending indictments/trials in the near future? Or is this the final one ?

  • For those of you who whine and snivel, have a good time with it! You’re the type that always find something to complain about, because you’re always the victims. And for “make him stop”, no one said anything negative about working other stations, that’s obviously your own issue! And “Ghetto Vet”, nice name, keep up the “self love.”

  • I worked with and know both Marc King and Matt Brady at both LYN and CEN. I can attest that both these guys were/are fantastic deputies and human beings. They put in the hard work along with many of the great deputies that worked LYN/FPK/CEN. PT appreciated hard work and rewarded those who did it, he also held the lame and the lazy accountable. This whole thing is very unfortunate, good men and women of our Dept. have had there lives ruined over a pissing match. The inmates are now running the asylum thank to this ACLU supported Leftist website. Like Marc King said, “Those that know, know!

    “Thanks for showing up!”

  • Second That: Thnx, although I doubt Marc and Matt will see the irony. They’re a little high strung. Marc…you are right..I didn’t work Century. I was just assigned there as a sergeant. That being said, I was always in the field where I belonged , not hovering around the watch sergeant’s desk. I also spent many a weekend at home writing force reports, pursuits, etc. on my own time because that was the nature of the job. Most of the guys I supervised there were good cops without the gunslinger/ghetto mentality. I have a Century Station Jacket with a flag shoulder patch and St. Michaels Policeman’s prayer which was given to me by an older very respected deputy at the station. Bottom line…you obviously still have a lot of growing up to do. Time for some self introspection.

  • @3 it’s not over yet. Another deputy is getting ready to go on trial for beating inmates. There is still a lot more corrupt sworn on the department. Are you listening McD?

  • @47, you just proved my point when I say there are still a lot of corrupt sworn in this department. Your comment saying the good cops were cheating to pass a test and then gave answers to other sworn. If you’re a good cop you won’t cheat on tests and you won’t give answers to other corrupt cops. Just because you thought these dishonest cops paid their dues. Give me a friggin break! Those are certainly not good in any shape or form. Every time we log onto our computers at work we are always being bombarded with the so called bullshit policy and procedures reminding us to be honest, integrity, conduct towards others and all the jokes that give me a good laugh every time I log on. The only time this department gives a darn about policy is when they want to write some one up who they don’t like.

  • Why such a strong need to get on this blog and defend a man who no matter what anyone says played a big part in the down hill slide of the department. It happened. It’s sad for everyone, lets move on.

    Marc and Matt, it’s disappointing that you didn’t chime in earlier with comments defending the many Deputies whose careers have been ruined and/or ended because of all this nonsense, because after all, if PT is not guilty of anything, neither are they, right?

    I know allot of the same people who you guys know, and are friendly with, but weren’t in the PT circle and I have personally witnessed those people’s names thrown under the bus simply for not being a devoted PT supporter.

  • The LASD was once considered a premier law enforcement agency and was trusted by the public. Public trust starts at the top of the organization, but every member is entrusted and required to uphold and obey the law. There is no quarter in the military, law enforcement and other pubic service to hide behind following the unlawful orders of superiors. Law enforcement officers are given great authority and latitude in their decision making. None more apparent than in the use of force. The courts and the public heretofore have often deferred to the split second judgment required of an officer and couple this with a long standing history of obedience to the constitution. Also, in court testimony the word of an office is given great deference. There is no excuse or argument that supports leaders or subordinates engaging in illegal behavior. It is truly sad the senior command promoted “leaders” of corrupt intent, who in turn encouraged the rank and file constitutionally empowered officers to violate the law, and in many cases inflict great bodily harm outside of any authority for use of force. Or lie. Absent the argument that LASD was hiring and training thugs, there is no logical means of explaining or condoning the behavior at any level. LASD is not under siege by the US Government or public, they are merely being held accountable to the standards which they set with decades of honorably and often heroic service and were the standard bearer for decades. Those unworthy of service must be expunged and their means repudiated.
    The Sheriff has his hands full. He commands an organization largely composed of some of the finest law enforcement officers in the country. He also is saddled with deputies, hired and supervised by a cadre of “leaders” who abandoned their call to duty and the rule of law and the tenets of leadership. Clearly some in the leadership ranks did not uphold the standards of the department.
    As a taxpayer, born and raised in LA County, I look forward to the removal of the stain of failed and corrupt leadership and their disciples,and the return of the reputation and public support for an agency critical to safety, integrity and economic well being of our country.

  • Well, it has been about a week now since the little man was served a nice slice of Karma. It looks like 90% of the comments (at a glance) equate to folks dancing in the street and handing out candy behind this conviction because it was well earned. Tanaka, in his true form, threw everyone possible under the bus with his witness stand testimony about having no idea what was going on with Pandora’s Box. I wonder how Tom Carey, Greg Thompson and the rest of the convicted felons who carried out “his” orders, “his” schemes, felt about those statements? Did they say, “Paul is just doing what he has to do (lie) for himself,” or did they say, “Well that SOB,”? Just think how they would have felt if he got away with it, now that would have been almost funny to think of it. Tanaka has always been about Tanaka. What ever it takes, what ever needs to be done, what ever needs to be said, for him. Tanaka has always distanced himself from everything and let others take the fall. The only reason he ascended into a position of power was Baca. Tanaka has no skills, no experience, no resume at all. He has always surrounded himself with two types of individuals. Those who had experience (because he had none) and those who would do anything he asked. Both did what they did for their own personal gain. So who was using whom? It was a circle jerk. Virtually everyone associated with Tanaka was using him as much as he was using them. Most of the users were losers and had nothing coming but a long and lonely career pushing a radio car. Suddenly they were provided opportunities in exchange for being Yes Men and lighting Tanaka’s cigar. They walked the neighborhoods of Gardena and LA County, knocking on doors and exulting Tanaka for Mayor, Tanaka for Sheriff propaganda to unsuspecting citizens. They donated money, they found people to donate money, they bundled, they gave him envelopes stuffed with cash. They were told, “Paul never forgets his people, he never forgets those who produce results.” Well, we say, how much of that sentiment did he forget during his ego driven testimony?

    And Paul’s agenda of amassing power and control over LASD grew each and every day. None of Paul’s power was used for good, for the benefit of LASD, it was all for, himself. His sick and warped little ego was satisfied at each meeting he attended where his ass was kissed ad nauseam, at each opportunity he had to scream and yell at people, as was done to him as a child. Paul was unhinged and unstoppable, the Gray Zone was his zone. Until those pesky FBI agents locked onto LASD and determined Paul Tanaka was the root of all evil inside the organization. Not Leroy, but Paul. From that point, the Feds set their sights on the big prize, the little man. Isn’t it hilarious that Lee Baca will (tentatively) walk away with 6 months of house arrest and Paul Tanaka will receive many, many years in Federal prison? Couldn’t happen to a better guy. Right now Tanaka is leading a very scary and lonely life, it’s all over but the crying. He’s lonely because all of the user losers have moved on, they got theirs, he can’t do anything more for them so they are looking for those who can. Paul’s inner circle probably shrunk by 50% over the last week. How fitting; what a wonderful and fitting end to this story. Come June 20, this horror film comes to an end, and I will be on the LACERA payroll. It is coming to an end that resembles a train wreck. After all, that is all Tanaka’s career ever was, a slow motion train wreck. He will have plenty of time to think about all of the good people he hurt. All aboard!

  • @ 96: the May 3rd trial is for Branum and Brunsting (beating of TTCF Inmate), counts 4-6 of the Indictment. In July, Brunsting faces counts 1-3.

    In addition, Byron Dredd is in Pretrial hearings (no trial date set yet). Related to Gonzales, et al., his indictment was probably born out of the information obtained from the Womack/Zunggeemor flip.

  • To Guy Montag @ 104: You should copy your most eloquent post verbatim and mail it to the judge!

    In my opinion not enough emphasis has been placed on the invisible victims in all of this. It’s not (just) those employees who lost their jobs because they dared to say no, or tried to reform. It’s not (just) green deputies led astray by corrupt leadership. And it’s certainly not the defendant himself. No, as you voice in your final paragraph so well, it is we, the citizens who are made to pay – and in so many ways.

    I urge you to consider writing Judge Anderson, and ask him to consider the maximum sentence.

    And for anyone else so inclined:

    Judge Percy Anderson
    United States District Court
    Central District of California
    Courtroom #15
    312 N. Spring Street
    Los Angeles, CA. 90012

    Sentencing is June 20th.

  • #104- Guy Montag— Through years of infighting, personal insults, accusations and just plain garbage, you manage to come on here and write the best post of them all. Everything you wrote was classy and spot on. Bravo!!

  • Slight correction to my own post @ 108:
    Proper form of address for a federal judge on the envelope is:

    The Honorable Percy Anderson.

    Then: Dear Judge Anderson:

    Then within the body of your text: your Honor

    Let’s voice our opinion, not just here, but WHERE IT COUNTS!!!

  • Wow, what a breath of fresh air from Guy Montag! A much needed reminder of the standards we should aspire to live up to and who we work for: the public. Then, on the other end of the ethics continuum, we have Rabbit:

    “When all the promotional cheating was taking place, I saw good deputies promoting by allegedly cheating. At that time, I believed those Deputies had paid their dues as patrol Deputies and deserved the answers to be given to them to pass the test. They were experienced but not too smart to pass a test. The problem was these Deputies gave the answers to other mediocre, sack of rocks, awful deputies who were not intended to be promoted.?”

    There you have it folks, the rationalization for cheating – it’s okay to cheat as long as you’ve convinced yourself you’ve earned the right to cheat! Well, if you’re not too smart, doesn’t that make you too a bag or rocks Mr. Rabbit? We definitely know who decided who was “intended to be promoted,” and that man is facing 15 years in the federal pen.

    Brizz, thank you for your amazing, detailed legal analysis. It’s funny how the operation was named Pandora’s Box, yet the true Pandora’s box, as you elude, is far greater and continues to expand under McDonnell’s bizarre method to address it. Hopefully we can see your ideas implemented, as there doesn’t appear to be any desire on the part of the current administration to take the matters seriously. They think they’ll just go away if they’re ignored. Doubt it.

  • LATBG, I had to go back and read the postings of Rabbit: OMG, rationalization is an understatement. They were good deputies, but not smart enough to pass a promotional exam, so it was perfectly fine that someone, as if we don’t know who, from Personnel providing them the test questions and answers in advance because they were good dudes? So everyone else who did not donate to Tanaka’s Gardena and Sheriff campaigns, those who walked the neighborhoods in uniform and had their kids along for the optics, those who were on Paul’s leg and did all of the 10-30 stuff he asked, they were “good dudes” and were deserving to be called into the throne room and provided the questions and answers? So everyone else, Mr. Rabbit, who studied for months, actually read the MPP and prepared for the exam in the conventional manner of hard work, dedication and commitment are really, in your mind, schmoes. Well there, the spawn of Paul Tanaka, the ethics Mr. T instilled in his minions is there for all to read. Do as I say, stroke my ego and line my pockets with fistful of cash, and you will be provided what you need to promote. Well, call me Joe Schmoe.

    LAGBT, the pathetic results of Rabbit’s statements are, when you analyze everything he stated, the actual words and connotations of it all, he thinks cheating and lying your way to stripes, bars and stars is perfectly justified, its fine, there is nothing wrong with it. But the cheaters who gave their ill gotten answers to lesser deputies, “bag of rocks,” well then, we’ll have none of that. Hell, that is unethical, it is wrong. Look what Paul’s boyz at Personnel hired, trained and retained. We are worse off than I thought. And the scary thing, there are probably thousands in the organization who think like him. Oh Paul, your stain on LASD will be here a lot longer than I anticipated. It’s a good thing I am bugging out, I’m counting the days and hours. And we wonder why our country has gone to hell in a hand basket, it’s because the likes of Mr. Rabbit.

  • Yeah, while we’re at it, we should all send letters to the agencies Brizz points out in his fabulous post @ 83. Now that the axe has fallen, why not let it fall all the way!! Follow the money!

    Pay to Play was an aspect during the trial that the jurors never heard about, as it was to be left off the table unless the door was legally opened. It was, but Fox said he showed great restraint in not pursuing the topic. But, WE can, and to those agencies where it counts.

    Since the Clever Accountant held the Purse strings, I wonder if an outside audit might turn up some diversion of funds for both Tanaka and Baca campaigns. Hmmm?? Well, we know he all but extorted funds from colleagues for promotions or choice assignments, so is it such a stretch of the imagination to think he might very well have done some creative campaign financing???

    Also, does anyone know whether he manages to keep his pension? Did he get his “retirement” in under the wire?

  • Argus & malibucvb – Well said!

    Also, I would respectfully recommend for the victims of the Baca and Tanaka “regime”, that for the sake of closure for the multitude of retaliation victims of their “evil” machinations – please consider attending the sentencing hearings for one or both of the, now, convicted felons.

    Nothing will ever bring back the purposefully destroyed careers and lives, but that step might help move all of their victims forward.

  • Hi Guy Montag, great words, and very inspirational! Just by chance, did we meet for an Irish Whiskey at Toads in South Gate, your name is very familiar! I think you sat with a guy named Art?

  • Hey Argus post 116, you’re a mess, completely wrong and apparently failed an exam! At what point in your career were you treated so unfairly? Do you have tissues?

  • Such beautiful words from someone who won’t post his name! Just read your bullshit Argus, you must really be proud! Take a moment to back your words, but you won’t, which makes them meaningless!

  • Oh Mr. Brady, you appear to be an angry individual, perhaps your juice card just had his ass handed to him and now you see your career aspirations sinking with the sun, if you are still on the job, if you’ve ever been on the job, I have never heard of you since it has been established your not the Matt Brady known by others. As for me, I only took two exams in my career, the Sergeant and Lieutenant’s exam. I guess I’m a Joe Schmoe, because I joined a study group, not a cigar club, I studied and studied hard. I passed both tests and promoted long ago the old fashion way, I earned it. From there, all I had to do was file for anything else. Perhaps that is what your crew simply did, file for sergeant, file for lieutenant, and the rest was done for you or your friends. Pick a fight with someone else, son. You’re way out of your league with me, I have no beef with you. I just read your posts and take them for what they are, your opinion. Chill.

  • Ms. Brady why all the talk about forcing one to reveal their name on this site? Would you then attempt to contact them and/or attempt to negatively affect their career? No Brady you don’t have that power. I’ll refer to your one of your characterizations, “You’re weak sauce”. See I know the Matt Brady’s of the world well. I could one day tap you on the shoulder as you are standing in line at your favorite coffee shop, introduce myself, refer to your post about asking for people to identify themselves and I would hear the audible “gulp” and then your stored fecal matter would suddenly and uncontrollably, touch the cloth of your ragged boxer shorts. This would then be followed up with the nervous reply of, “Hey brother it’s all fun and games, just trying to back Pauls play brother, you know”. Yup, thats how it would go down. It always goes down like that.

  • Beginning yesterday… Hopefully the current and younger deputy personnel of LASD will adhere to proper policy and procedures and NOT follow personnel within LASD who believe that LASD is their personal fiefdom. This would and should apply to ALADS as well, Re:the law firm of Shinee & Sheep replaced with a genuine Law Firm and directors who are truly looking out for ALL deputies.

  • Sheriff, I want to mention something about the Department and the current leadership or command staff. With great power comes great responsibility. Leaders must build trust and commitment to others. It takes trustworthy and exemplary character. Which this Department is lacking. You can’t separate professional and personal life. Whether your at work or at home, you are required to be honest and trusting. You must not breach the trust that you build with peers and subordinates. You can’t put on one hat at home and another hat at work. Leaders need effectiveness in their private lives and public lives to be successful. How can deputies follow leaders that are not ethical. Very seldom are they honest. There is no communication or direction. Basically they talk out of both sides of the face. What kind of leadership is that. Don’t do as I do, Do as I say. Check your command staff, A/S and find out which one is having an affair with a Deputy. This is the same thing that has been happening for the past 15 years. You promote people that have founded investigations for sexual harassment. Oh did I mention that the female deputy just recently was hand picked for a job. What is the saying, “Quid Pro Quo”. Another lawsuit in the making.

  • Hi fellas, who is this Matt Brady turd. Seems like a cool dude that has been everywhere and done everything. Never heard of hm. Oh well, time to rise and shine for that great spot I now have. And guess what, oh ya, I’ll be doing it with my sleeves rolled up, ink showing, while chewing my favorite tobacco product. Don’t like it? Come and git me!

  • Matt: I will buy your lunch for the rest of the week. I’m sure your short after post #27 and #28. You might think about therapy for your anger management issues.
    Life is too short to walk around with a chip on your shoulder.

  • Matt: All kidding aside. You remind me of myself when I had just a few years in patrol. Thought I knew everything and you could tell me nothing. It’s a stage most cops go through. Most of us finally figure out were not as smart as we thought…comes with age and maturity. Hopefully you will reach that point…if not your in for a lot of disappointment…y

  • My last post: “Bandwagon”, “Post” and “Argus”, I can only imagine the amazing patrol experience each of you has, I could only hope to have spent the time in a radio car as you obviously have, I’m sure you could teach me a lot!!! I would love to know who you are, but obviously wont re weak!

    I only became engaged in this site because I saw that many people didn’t know who Paul Tanaka was and I venture to say many of you who are negative, never met the man. Those who have, obviously you’re entitled to an opinion, many I disagree with.

    I hope that those of you who feel “victimized”, will grow up a bit and realize we all make our way through the Dept with hard work.

    And for you “stuff”, we didn’t have the opportunity to stand in lines for coffee, we were handling radio calls, but you wouldn’t understand that!!!

  • I’ve sat on the sideline and watched this. I can only say that I know personally of a Captain, who made Commander from a jail in the north end… only reason it might matter is this Captain sued to become a Commander. He actually had a portion of his masters course work completed by deputies who where on duty, they have the evidence and will testify. Don’t be so happy, chips will fall…can you say perjury for lying on an application!

  • @Mr. Brady-
    I have met him (Mr. Tanaka), well sort of because when he was introduced to me he refused to shake my hand. I did not know who he was at the time but quickly found out. I found him and his posse quite rude and their attempts to intimidate me was confusing at the time (2010) but now I get it. So good for you Mr. Brady that you had good experiences with him but that should not negate other peoples experience or perception of him.

    Ronda L. Hampton
    (951) 660-8031
    drrondahampton@yahoo.com

  • Can’t speak for anybody else. But my previous offer to talk with you still stands. Leave ur number with Celeste….more than wiling to meet with u. I live in the Santa Clarita Valley. Can meet u anywhere in 15 minutes if you’re up here.

  • Matt: Don’t think anybody has an issue with “Mr. Tanaka’s” work ethic. It was his abuse of power that was the problem. Your lack of maturity and judgment is evident in your posts. One of these days when your called into the Captain’s office to turn in your badge/gun. Remember…. we “tried” to warn you?

  • Matt Brady: aren’t you retired or something like that? Didn’t see you on the lasd email list. Kind of easy to call people out when you don’t have to fear repercussions from the dept. And, no I’m not talking about the other Matt Brady.

  • Matt, just hang tight, In 72 hours they will give you your shoelaces back and trust you to eat with utensils again without using them to harm yourself or others.

  • I swore to myself I wouldn’t visit this site ever again Watched the news and see that the death of “Prince” is somehow more important than our troops who serve every day! I know none of us will ever agree but I’m back on here to ask that each of you will donate to “Wounded Warriors” foundation. Yes, it’s that important! I think we at least share those values!

  • Matt Brady, re: your post #134: “I hope that those of you who feel “victimized”, will grow up a bit and realize we all make our way through the Dept with hard work.”

    Thank you once again for so succinctly demonstrating the sheer arrogance and incompetence of the Tanaka clown car. I’ve dealt with the would be emperor on many occasions, sized him up, and found both he and his followers wanting. Has it ever occurred to you that the clown car fooled themselves into believing they gained entrance because of “hard work,” with the misguided notion no one else was doing it? Reality was quite the opposite.

    Son, if you want to grow up I suggest you don’t question the work ethic of people on this forum, tell them to their face. I’m going to venture you lack the intestinal fortitude to do it.

  • LATBG: The millenial generation are non confrontational. Oh, they will talk the talk, but rarely walk the walk. Meeting in the parking lot to discuss your differences has been replaced. Instead they file POE complaints and sue their fellow deputies and supervisors. That is what happens when you parents give you a time out vs discipline.

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