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LASD INVESTIGATIONS: AERO BUREAU – PART 2: IRREGULARITIES… Tales of Safety-Risking Policies, Loyalty Oaths, Falsified Records & Take-home Helicopters


When 31-year Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department
veteran Lieutenant Edison Cook came to the LASD’s Aero Bureau in June of 2009, he was genuinely thrilled about the assignment.

Cook’s last two postings had been the department’s Palmdale station for a number of years then Catalina Island where he led a swift crackdown on what the department felt was a growing gang problem on the idyllic resort island. The crackdown made national news, which caused local officials to fear that the negative publicity would drive away vacationers from tourist-dependent Avalon.

Yet Sheriff Baca was reportedly pleased with Cook’s work and asked him where, if he had his druthers, he would like to be stationed next.

Cook told the sheriff he’d like to become a helicopter pilot at Aero bureau.

He was by no means confident his wish would be granted. Most people who transferred into Aero were reportedly hand-picked by its commanding officer, Captain Louis Duran, who was, as he liked to mention, an old friend of Undersheriff Paul Tanaka. (Some said it was his wife who was the older Tanaka friend. But no matter, the principle is the same.) In any case, since Duran’s arrival at the bureau, the majority of Aero transfers were from from Region II, which featured the hard charging stations like Lennox and Century, to which Tanaka was partial.

Still, in short order, Cook was surprised to find that his transfer had been arranged, presumably by the sheriff. He was going to Aero Bureau.

Ed Cook had no inkling of the firestorm that was to come.

AERO Bureau, as the name implies, is an elite LASD division that oversees the department’s aircraft—mostly helicopters. The bureau has a fleet of more than a dozen single engine light helicopters, Eurocopter AStars, that are used primarily to support law enforcement work on the ground throughout Los Angeles County. In addition to the air support fleet, there are the 2-engine Sikorsky Sea Kings (soon to be replaced by Eurocopter Super Pumas) operated by the department’s Rescue 5 pilots. These are the sturdier search-and-rescue aircraft we often see in footage on the evening news performing dramatic back-country life-saving missions. The department also owns a Beechcraft King Air turbo prop, that can seat up to eleven people and is used for specific kinds of personnel transport needs, like if, for example, a couple of detectives need to speak immediately to an inmate in the state prison at Pelican Bay, where there is no big commercial airport nearby, the King Air is the most time and cost efficient way to get the detectives there and back.

When Cook arrived on the job, according to sources who watched his transition to the new assignment, he was well regarded by the deputies under him from the beginning. “You could see he was a straight arrow,” said one source, “but he was also this very approachable kind of guy. People liked him.”

Cook’s performance evaluations prior to his transfer would tend to support that assessment. In addition, to year after year of Outstanding ratings, the comments that accompanied the ratings indicated an unusually responsible and ethical officer with “exceptional interpersonal skills, and “splendid oral communications skills.” Judging solely from the last 9 years of work-place evaluations, the cumulative impression is of a capable, ethics-driven supervisor who also inspired confidence in those below him.

Cook was so approachable, in fact, that as time went along, he was reportedly the supervisor to whom deputies who had some concern or other about the bureau came to confide. “They felt they could be honest with him,” said one bureau veteran. “With Ed, they weren’t afraid of repercussions.”

As the months wore on, the deputies’ complaints and concerns reportedly began to group themselves into three main categories: the distribution of overtime assignments, the alleged falsification of work records by others in the bureau, including overtime records, and the concern that assignments and schedules were being deliberately manipulated to create missed service calls that would, in turn, give the impression that the bureau needed more overtime, but which raised some clear and troubling ethical issues.


After economic crash of 2008 forced both the sheriff’s department and the LAPD into angst-causing budget cuts, the issue of overtime—the time-and-a-half-paid work that many law enforcement personnel coveted as a source of extra income, and which allowed more deputies to be available at times of high need—was one of those areas targeted for cutting by both of LA’s law enforcement agencies.

The LASD in particular was pressed to make deep cuts after a 2009 audit found that the department had exceeded its annual overtime budget by an average of 104 percent, or $83 million a year, in each of the previous five years.

As a consequence, Sheriff Baca reluctantly imposed a severe overtime diet across the department.

It was in this context that, in the spring of 2010, deputies told Cook that what overtime the bureau was allowed was not being distributed fairly. Cook decided to check into the matter himself. “He went and pulled up the time sheets,” explained a source. “Cook allegedly found that a cluster of deputies and a couple of sergeants at AERO seemed to be getting a lot of more of the lucrative overtime than the rest of the bureau’s personnel.

In a year’s time, these assignments translated into significant dollar amounts—even, surprisingly, in spite of the department-wide overtime diet.

For instance, one pilot, a deputy, who was perceived to be one of those most favored with assignments, made $81,816 in overtime in addition to his base pay and benefits in 2009. A sergeant made $70,178 that same year. Another sergeant made $56,641 in overtime in 2009.

In 2010, when most LASD were making close to zero in overtime, county records show this same cluster still made between 30 and 40 percent extra on top of their base salaries, amounts that were unusual even in the good years. In the belt tightening years, “it was unheard of.”

Even weirder, the super-overtime pilot made another 57 percent in overtime income on top of his salary in 2010.

During the next supervisors’ staff meeting, Cook brought the matter up to Captain Duran, explaining that he was fairly sure that overtime was being abused, and asked how matters could be rectified. According to Cook, rather than questioning him further to get to the bottom of the matter, Duran’s response was, “Who’s the snitch?”

“With Louie, everything’s all about loyalty”—said one source, referring to Duran. “When you first come to Aero Bureau he actually gives you a loyalty lecture, and he’ll ask, ‘Are you loyal to me? Are you loyal to me?’ And you want to say, ‘Dude. I’m loyal to the bureau, but I don’t want to swear loyalty to some guy, even if you are the captain.’ But you can’t say that, of course.”

“After that, a group of deputies filed complaints with the union,” said another insider. “But nothing seemed to change.”


The deputy’s complaints kept on coming.. Early in the fall of 2010, guys began telling Cook that some of the supervisors had instituted a plan to “manipulate service calls for the purpose of seeking overtime funding for Aero Bureau personnel.” The deputies allegedly said that their sergeants had directed them to “slow down” on service calls—-in order to be busy when other requests for their services came in, thus generating more missed calls on their log. The missed calls would then in turn be reported up the line to sheriff’s headquarters as evidence that more overtime funding was needed for Aero Bureau.

Deputies also told Cook that “in-service reports”-–the daily logs that designated where personnel and equipment—were being falsified so that some airships (helicopters) were written down as being in the air and working—making things appear that the unit was working to capacity—-when in fact those birds were on the ground and not in service at all.

This pretense reportedly generated even more missed calls to add additional fuel to the overtime scheme.

Another wrinkle in the reported overtime garnering strategy occurred on or around October 7, 2010 when Cook arrived to work at the Long Beach flight facility where Aero Bureau keeps most of its planes. Right away one of his deputies approached him and told Cook that he’d not been assigned to a helicopter for his shift, and wondered why. Cook simply fixed the matter by adding another flight-ready ‘copter to the “in-service” list put himself on as a pilot, taking the man as his tactical flight deputy. (Both positions were needed for every flight.) One of Captain Duran’s inner circle, and also one of the overtime favorites, Sergeant John Haughey, approached and, according to Cook, became “very upset.” Minutes later, as Cook and his deputy were in the midst-of their pre-flight safety checks, Duran himself came out to the helicopter to talk and, according to Cook, began reciting the now-familiar overtime mantra. “We don’t want to field too many ships,” he allegedly told Cook, “because then it would look like we could get along without overtime.”

Cook said he explained to Duran that the deputy was scheduled to work, but was not on the “in-service” list, so he’d simply corrected the matter as it was a waste of manpower to have a him sitting around. Finally Duran relented and agreed to let them fly.

WitnessLA spoke to other sources inside Aero Bureau who gave us their own versions of the allegations. “We were told, ‘We need to miss these calls,’” said one pilot. “When we’d volunteer to fly so that we wouldn’t miss calls, we were told not to, ‘Because we want to show that we have a need.’”

Instead pilots reported that they often sat behind desks during their shifts, with nothing relevant to do. And once a week we do ‘special projects,’ explained a pilot. That means we wash cars and aircraft. And on those very same days, calls are dropped due to “Air 23 overtime redirection.”

Of course, as the direct and unavoidable consequence of dropped calls officers on the ground did not get the back up they needed.

“It’s a fragile thing covering a large area like LA County with a small asset [meaning Aero Bureau’s pilots and fleet],” one of the bureau’s pilots explained. “We’re good at it. But if we even lose one helicopter we have to decide what areas are not going to be covered. Then if you hobble us further, it’s hard to accommodate anybody properly.’

The missed call may be something minor, he said. Or it could be a call where the lack of air support is crucial, “something like an officer involved shooting, or a foot pursuit, or a jail escape.”

A patrol veteran went further. “Not having air support can be a safety issue. When they play around with dropped calls like that they have no idea which time it’s going to really matter.”


Cook soon discovered one more piece of the puzzle of the alleged overtime-generating scheme that had to do with a then-new LASD policy called CARPing.

CARP is a department program that was first introduced in 2009 as a strategy to cut down on the need for expensive overtime hours. CARP—which stands for Cadre of Administrative Resource Personnel—operated on a simple principle: all administrative personnel, including supervisors, would work 4/5ths of their workweek—or 32-hours—at their regular job. Then they’d work the remaining eight-hour shift on a “CARP” assignment, in which they would cover a frontline vacancy where more uniformed bodies were particularly needed, like at say a patrol station, a jail facility, a courthouse or, in the case of Aero Bureau, a shift as a pilot or observer, so that more aircraft could be manned and in the air. Even Sheriff Baca very publicly did a patrol shift. At Aero Bureau, the extra help was most likely to be needed at night, when largest number of the emergency service calls generally came in.

The first irregularities Cook noticed with CARP came in early October of 2010 when he gave one of his sergeants the task of preparing the weekly CARP report, which listed who had worked what shifts on what days and times. As the Sergeant compiled the report, he learned from various deputies that there were supervisors in the bureau who had reported working the requisite CARP assignment on certain days, but who had, in fact, not worked at all.

Matters got worse in mid-October, according to Cook, when an email went out from the bureau’s Operations Sergeant, whose name was Casey Dowling, to all Aero Bureau supervisors and managers. It read, “Supervisors that are CARPing need to CARP on days, no more night CARPing. “ Since the biggest volume of service calls came at night, Cook feared this was yet another strategy designed to generate more missed calls—-and thus make a stronger case for still more overtime. In fact, Dowling’s email reportedly stated as much. “If we go short and calls are missed,” Dowling wrote, according to Cook, “we need to record the missed calls and provide our executives with the paper records so they can fight the good fight.”

The “good fight” being getting money to pay for yet more overtime.

WitnessLA’s sources echoed Cook’s allegations. Several reported having seen the Dowling email. They also told us of instances they’d witnessed of manipulating the CARP system by a sergeant or deputy, instead of filling in where the need was greatest, in reality simply moving to a desk one desk over from their own, and marking themselves down for taking a CARP shift.

“We’d see people down for CARPing on shifts when they’re not present,” said one source. In other instances, said sources, a deputy or a supervisor would be listed as taking a pilot’s shift during a high traffic period when calls were likely to be missed, “but we could see by the records, that the helicopter didn’t fly during that time period.”

Infuriated by what seemed to be a blatant and regular manipulation and/or falsification of CARP and other work logs, in addition to Cook’s note taking, some Aero deputies began to keep their own records.


Both Cook and others inside Aero Bureau with whom we spoke, talked about their perception—often backed by first-hand observation— that, apart from the CARP problems, a cadre of insiders routinely changed time records to reflect work times that were false.

Unlike at some work places where a punch-in system electronically records time in and time out, thus making cheating difficult, at Aero Bureau the time sheets are manually recorded.

According to sources, it used to be that monthly time reports—showing all Aero personnel’s hours worked, overtime, and sick or vacation time—were printed out and distributed to everyone so that each bureau employee could double-check their own times, and see when the others worked. The transparent method provided a fail-safe of sorts, so that if someone wrote down the wrong time, or claimed to have worked a shift he or she did not actually work, others would see it and could mention the error. By the same token, if someone felt they were not credited for time they worked, they could make that correction too.

“The system wasn’t perfect, but it worked,” said one pilot.

Reportedly, however, after Cook first took the matter of the inequitable overtime assignments et al, to Duran, all at once the monthly reports were no longer distributed. Moreover, reportedly a cadre of Aero Bureau people—specifically those perceived to be part of Duran’s inner circle—no longer had their names in the “in-service” lists that specified daily assignments.

“Suddenly everything got secretive,” said a source.

Unhappy at the information blackout by their captain, many Aero Bureau deputies still found ways to ferret out who was cheating, which to them also meant who was being protected.

“Duran always tells people he’s protected by Tanaka,” said an Aero bureau source. “That’s who he wants to be like. He protects the people who are loyal to him, and let’s them get away with things, because. in return, he knows they protect him.”


Another of Cook’s allegations had to do with questionable use of some of the county’s aircraft, in particular the Beechcraft King Air turboprop purchased by the department in 2001.

The King-Air is used by the Sheriff for trips to Sacramento, and by department investigators to fly to remote California prisons, or by other department executives at times of professional need when its use is practical and cost effective. The LAPD also has a King-Air that it uses for similar purposes.

The plane requires two pilots and reportedly costs the department approximately $700 to $1000 per hour to fly, depending upon what costs are factored into the equation.

Cook began to notice that Captain Duran and some of his inner circle took the King Air to conferences and the like although, according to his calculations, commercial flights would have been far cheaper. One of the trips that Cook flagged took place in mid July of 2010, when Captain Duran decided to take the turboprop to an event in Tucson, Arizona, a yearly conference sponsored by ALEA, The Airborne Law Enforcement Association.

The conference was admittedly good for networking, and for examining the array of new flight-related gew gaws displayed by the many venders who had booths at the event. Plus it was fun. But this particular year, travel plans—commercial flights or otherwise—would have been unlikely to have gotten the necessary approval by higher-ups because, a month before, the LA County Board of Supervisors had voted to suspend all county-funded travel to Arizona “unless the county’s chief executive determines that county interests would be seriously harmed.”

(Sources assured us that missing an ALEA conference for one year would not “seriously harm” the county’s interests.)

So, to get around the prohibition, Duran allegedly simply approved his own trip and took the King Air, reportedly asking the plane’s pilots to mark it down as a “training exercise.”

“Even though we never do training exercises by flying out of state,” said a source.

Another example of a King Air flight that caused bureau eyebrows to be raised, occurred in December of 2008, some months before Cook arrived, when Duran reportedly flew the plane to Bridgeport, Connecticut, to visit the Sikorsky helicopter factory. According to several sources familiar with bureau flight logs, the flight to Bridgeport on December 15, took 7.6 hours. The return flight on December 18, was another 14 hours. “They hit head winds,” a source said, explaining that the King Air is a small plane ideal for flights within the state or for a hop one state over. “They aren’t meant to be flown cross country.”

In any case, the Long Beach to Bridgeport round trip amounted to 21.6 total flight hours.

At $700 an hour, this means the flight alone cost $15,121. At $1000 an hour the cost would be …well you can do the math. Whereas to fly a commercial airline on an unrestricted ticket is less than $1800 round trip, even at today’s high fuel prices, $7200 if four people went. “And you don’t need four people,” said a source. “You need one or two at most. Four is just Louie traveling with an entourage.”


In addition to the questionable King Air trips, three sources have reported to WitnessLA that one deputy, an experienced pilot named Dale Ryken, occasionally flies a department helicopter home. Or to be more precise, the observers allege that Ryken flies from where he works in the main facility in Long Beach (and where most of the aircraft are hangared), to a small satellite Aero facility at the Pitchess Detention Center, which happens to be very close to the deputy’s home in Santa Clarita.

“We’ve had an unmarked patrol car up at Pitchess since 2009,” said one of the sources who reported they had observed Ryken’s take home helicopter patterns. “So he just drives that county car home and parks it in his garage.” In the morning, Ryken reportedly drives back to Pitchess, climbs into the take-home aircraft and begins his shift.

In at least one case, Ryken reportedly kept the helicopter over the weekend.

“The rest of us get in our cars after we finish work, and fight traffic,” said a source. “after we’ve just watched Dale take a helicopter.”

Reportedly the take-home helicopter flight was not a daily or even a weekly occurrence. But it happened often enough that several at Aero Bureau claim to have kept written records documenting the incidents, (although WitnessLA has not seen them).

As to whether others had been allowed a take-home aircraft in times of personal need or professional convenience, our sources say no.

“Except for Dale,” said one pilot, “I’ve never seen it happen.”

Our sources also said that many at the bureau were dismayed that the practice had been allowed to continue without any seeming consequence for Ryken, whom they named as one of those high on Captain Duran’s favorites list. This is the same list of people sources claim were repeatedly assigned a disproportionate amount of overtime—a noticeable proportion of which, according to several sources, he may not have actually worked.

Indeed, county records show that Deputy Ryken’s overtime earnings for 2009 was $81,816, the highest in the unit. In 2010, the year in which overtime was cut department-wide to almost nothing, Ryken still pulled in $69,364 in extra pay on top of his base salary of $121,188 plus benefits.


Cook happened to arrive at Aero Bureau right around the time the sheriff’s department was beginning the process of obtaining bids for and negotiating the purchase and outfitting of a fleet of new helicopters. In watching the bidding process, and the further negotiations for and delivery of the 12 new helicopters, Cook began to notice things in the bidding machinations and in the contract itself that seemed alarmingly out-of-whack to him. As he researched further, Cook—like Richard Gurr (see WLA’s earlier report)—gradually became convinced that Aero Bureau supervisors had colluded to rig the bidding process so as to exclude all but one vender, the comparatively inexperienced, Carlsbad-based Hangar One Avionics.

He further concluded that the resulting Hangar One contract was loaded with huge overcharges, double charges, and the purchase of equipment that was either excessive or unnecessary, or both—all amounting to millions of dollars of expenditure by which, Cook alleged, someone other than the County of Los Angeles was assuredly benefiting.

[More on this in Part 3]


As Cook noticed more instances of what he believed to be misconduct—or worse—he reported what he had observed to his superiors through the appropriate chain of command, going as high up the department food chain as Chief Michael Grossman. In some instances Cook went so far as to request a criminal investigation. According to the statements made in his lawsuit, each time he attempted a report, he was rebuffed and told, in so many words, to sit down and shut up.

When Cook did not shut up, he was removed from his duties as supervising lieutenant at the main Aero Bureau facility in Long Beach and transferred to one of the bureau’s satellite facilities in Palmdale, with no supervisory duties at all.

Ed was still a pilot so he decided not to worry about the change. But while Cook was stationed in Palmdale, Captain Duran reportedly upped the ante. According to Cook’s lawsuit, Duran “initiated a rumor that [Cook] was moved out of the Long Beach facility for substandard performance,” and then was directed by Duran to retire. If he didn’t retire, Duran allegedly told him, Cook would be transferred out of Aero Bureau and lose his flight pay. Duran further informed Cook that he was going to be investigated for improprieties, namely taking his “girlfriend” for flights in a department helicopter.

Cook—who is in a long-term marriage and reportedly did not have a girlfriend, then or now,—-responded by telling Duran, in essence: bring it on. “I want you to initiate and IAB investigation,” Cook reportedly said. “In fact I’m asking you to do it.”

According to Cook’s attorney, Greg Smith, no such investigation was ever initiated.

“But,” said a source, “they kept on with the character assassination anyway.”

And, Cook kept on with his examination of what he believed to be a growing list of improprieties—and possibly illegalities—hoping he could eventually get higher-ups in the department to wake up and look into what he was alleging.

Instead, according to his lawsuit, Cook was transferred punitively to a jail assignment, and then was “constructively terminated,” when he was told he must retire “or face continuing retaliatory acts, which could lead to his termination.”

Reportedly, it was Undersheriff Paul Tanaka who personally approved the order for Cook’s transfer.

It was then that Cook found a lawyer.

“Ed Cook is probably the most honest man I know in the department,” said one bureau insider. “He’s super nice guy. And he’s honest and ethical. That’s why the rumors they pass don’t hold water. In a way, that’s his failing. He’s honest to a fault.”


Subsequent to Cook’s reports about alleged wrongdoing, ICIB, the LASD’s criminal investigative bureau, and the LA County’s auditor-controller’s office, each opened investigations into some of the Hangar One allegations.

As WitnessLA previously reported, according to Sheriff’s Department Spokesman Steve Whitmore, both investigations found Cook’s allegations to be “without merit,” yet the case was passed along to the Los Angeles District Attorneys office for possible further investigation.

In the meantime, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky told his fellow supervisors last Tuesday that he wanted a more comprehensive audit by the County Auditor Controller, whose initial audit he described as narrow.

More specifically, according to some who have read the approximately six-page confidential report from the auditor-controller’s office, the report suggests the audit investigated very little, and it gives almost no details about its methods or processes. (By the way, no one has a good explanation as to why the thing is confidential, except that the Sheriff’s Department insisted that it needed to be confidential, a choice that it would be helpful if the Supervisors would override.)

IAB, the department’s other investigative arm, is reportedly doing its own probe.

Yet, according to all those with whom we spoke inside and close to Aero Bureau, not one of the many investigators has talked to anyone in the bureau save Captain Louis Duran and a handful of his inner circle—who are precisely the people who are accused of wrongdoing.

“We’re all waiting for someone to ask us what we know,” one source told me last night. “But no one has. We didn’t even know there was an ICIB investigation.”

With all of the above in mind, WitnessLA would like to respectfully suggest that LASD’s Internal Affairs Bureau investigators, and those investigating for the Office of Independent Review, would do well to talk to all of the ordinary deputies and pilots in the bureau.

“Anyone who doesn’t bother to come to talk to the rest of us,” said another pilot, “is by definition not serious about finding answers. It’s just another whitewash.”

POST SCRIPT: On Tuesday of last week, March 27, the day WitnessLA and the LA Times both ran stories about Aero Bureau and the Hangar One contract, Undersheriff Paul Tanaka reportedly called Lt. Robert Wheat, Sergeant Casey Dowling, Sergeant John Haughey and Sergeant Howard Fuchs (formerly of Aero Bureau, now at Century) into his office for a closed door meeting. These four are the core of Duran’s inner circle. This is also the group that reportedly worked on the Hangar One bid and contract, in particular Dowling and Fuchs.

All four are reportedly also long-time Tanaka loyalists.

That same morning, Captain Duran was called in to meet with Lee Baca. It is not clear, however, whether or not Duran was invited to the Tanaka meeting.

EDITORS NOTE: To check for yourself the salary, overtime, et al, of any county employee, go here for 2009, here for 2010.

In the meantime, here are the figures for three of Aero Bureau’s highest overtime earners:

Deputy Dale Ryken 2009: Base salary – $121,188, Overtime $81,816

2010: Base salary – $121,188 Overtime $ 69,364

Sergeant Casey Dowling 2009: Base salary – $99,982, Overtime – $70,178

2010: Base salary – $105,557, Overtime $35,411

Sergeant John Haughey 2009 – Base salary: $100,896 Overtime: $56,641
2010 – Base salary: $109,739 Overtime: $43,888


  • Tanaka doing some damage control with Wheat et al. Probably too late. It was good while it lasted.

  • excellent reporting celeste very well written I can’t wait to see the co
    mments now that casey dowlings name is being brought up more than once this is all making sense to me

  • Celeste, please publish or attach a link to the memo authored by Sergeant Gurr. I believe it would be a blessing for all to see as much as the campaign donor lists were. I commend you for uncovering the memo. It was great to see Supervisor Zev Y. angered by its uncovering while I watched the board meeting last week on TV. Rarely does the public have an opportunity to see such inside info. But, just like any other major investigation dealing with whistle blowers and the uncovered corruption, the associated emails and internal memos rarely lie. Whether you have to redact names or not (which I doubt you would have to) I’m sure others would echo my request and equally implore you to release it. Thank you.

  • This is not the first time that Aero Bureau has violated County rules, department personnel involved in budget and procurement had to go to re-training because of violations by this Bureau. Everyone was complaining, unfortunately, it seems that nothing has changed. Too bad that Sheriff Block disbanded Inspectional Services Bureau. Now, you have the fox inspecting the hen house.

  • Tanaka’s meeting with the select few from Aero Bureau is interesting. It could be looked at two different ways. Maybe he should be included in the investigation.

    As far as all of the sources in Aero and IAB or ICIB not interviewing them, it sounds like they need to. They have to. You would have to believe that the many sources are “disgruntled” and that WitnessLA (Celeste Fremon) is grinding an axe. You would have to be very simple minded to believe all of that at this point. Captain Duran’s juvenile, defensive outburst at the BOS meeting last week underscored a lot of the culture and Tanaka’s mentorship. Loyal to certain, select individuals; not the department or the county as a whole. Fundamentally wrong. The OIR (Office of Independent Review) needs to direct the investigators to speak with ALL Aero personnel to see what else in brought to light regarding this issue. If not, then the OIR is not paying attention and it would be time for the Attorney General to step in. These allegations are criminal.

  • Celeste your reporting is right on. I’m sure you have already heard about, and are already investigating the Aero bureau’s purchase of twelve microwave down link units ,one for each helicopter. This purchase came out of nowhere, is outrageously expensive , adds too much weight to every helicopter, and serves practically no purpose what so ever. This thing was rammed through by “Louie and the boys”. It was purchased through a company called helinet and their salesman J T Alpaugh. the whole thing stinks

  • For years problems have exited at Aero but never to this level of corruption! Duran (as reported) always brags about how Tanaka will protect him and nothing will happen. Howard: Are you really going to place your family’s well being in the hands of Louie Duran? True to Louie’s character he will give you up in a heart beat! Think about it and save yourself.

  • Great report, well written. Louie Duran, now there is a piece of wor for you. He is as arrogant and sleazy as they come. He wants everyone to know Tanaka is his daddy, that is how the game is played. And the roll of Aero Bureau’s Commander and Chief during all of this? (crickets). And the threat to open an IAB case on Ed? Right out of the Duran handbook. In fact, look at Duran’s specific statements in front of the BOS last week. Pathetic and so artfully inarticulate but with Louie’s mindset “if I say it is true they will believe me because I’m bitchen, right fellas?”

    And Cook bringing forward serious misconduct and Duran’s first response? “Whose the snitch?” an overt admission of knowledge and acceptance by Duran. Typical of a Tanaka Cigar Club member. Kill the messenger, punish any supervisor who tries to do the right thing. Dozens and dozens of victims punished, all with Tanaka’s approval.

    Unless the FBI or California State Attorney General investigates, once again, nothing will happen. OIR, ICIB and IAB are all controlled by Tanaka. Ed Cook, prove your case with facts and evidence, don’t back down. Even when the Tanaka wants to settle.

  • This report is dead on as far as the happenings at Aero Bureau. Lets see if anything is done. Baca can’t stick his head in the sand on this.

  • The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

    Our Core Values:

    As a leader in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, I commit myself to honorably perform my duties with respect for the dignity of all people, integrity to do right and fight wrongs, wisdom to apply common sense and fairness in all I do and courage to stand against racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, homophobia and bigotry in all its forms.

  • My Oh My! This is some kind of investigating and reporting.
    Not sure the person in charge of this BLOG can really be objective by the reports and posts that come through here! I really wanted this to be a positive dialoged BLOG but this place is really starting to lose it’s credability. It is reported here that in 2009 Aero was more than 100% over budget the prior 5 years, excuse me but was the current Capt there then? Regarding overtime Casey Dowling was tasked to help clean up the S#*t the prior Capt left, bring in some semblance and order, but after years of the tail wagging the dog, it is obviously not an easy task considering the malcontents that resist change when they have to be accountable. Wasn’t Haughey doing alot of surveillance work? Should he just leave at 8hrs and hope to pick up the trail again later? If Mr Cook was so concerned about the overtime going to only a few, I wonder if he ever put his name up for OT, if it comes available, or if his womanizing got in the way of actually caring about such things like OT??? And I wonder all you wonderful BLOGGERS, how many have you actually met Mr Tanaka? Or is the crap your spewing just heresay like all your other supposed facts. I think maybe in the future Aero might consider private citizen pilots (like Fire Dept) and let deputy’s be policemen. Also glad to see “FTF” has given it a break for a while, but knowing him he will rear his ugly head shortly! FACTS!! Gentlemen, FACTS!! Geez!!!!!

  • My, what a tangled web we weave when we deceive. Folks, earlier we brought up the Government Code in regards to unlawful campaign contribution solicitations from the dynamic duo. Now we will break out the Penal Code, Section 424, which states something to the effect of Falsification of Records, Embezzlement by Public Officials. Oh, and by the way, it’s a FELONY.

    Forget the DA, OIR, IAB, or ICIB. Their integrity has been compromised from day one. We need a grand jury, state or federal, and sit each and every one of these folks down, under oath (penalty of perjury, of course) and see how well they sing the company song.

    For those who paid attention to Mike Carona’s shenanigans in OC, he called his in-crowd “Team Forever.” We know how that worked out for him. For those who think the dynamic duo are untouchable, guess again…

  • 1 of the 4 to tanaka loyalist is going to crush under pressure when investigated he doesn’t wanna lose his job and get a filing against him just the look on his face when the board of supervisors recommended a wider audit was priceless I guess time will tell whether he’s loyal to his boss or to his family. he better do some serious soul searching before he commits to testifying to anybody

  • Please look at all this malfeasance. It has been going on for decades. Now is the time to stop it. Why are we paying these cops, with just a GED, six figure salaries and seven figure retirements for this type of nonsense? Contact your local representative and support the claw back tax. This will cut current police pensioners salary back by 25%. Sign the below petition to roll back defined benefit pensions for future and current cops. They should get a 401K like everyone else. It is time to hold cops accountable.

  • 1 of the 4 may be a conservative number! If the loyalists exemplified core values as they would like us to believe, we would not be dealing with this mess! and now front page of A.L.E.A.??? This cannot conclude soon enough.

  • @ Benjamin Cole. Other dept’s use the Sheriff’s Aero Bureau as support. This has to do with a 6 people in the bureau that are trouble. Use your head. Getting rid of the Bureau will only hurt the citizens and the troops on the ground.

  • Dave sounds like a Capt. You don’t quit a sutveillance, Dave, but only one guy rotating through, and a Sgt at that? Everyone knows Ryken hogs as much t as possible, with the help of Haughey. Ryken working inside LB so he can get to the sign up sheet faster?. Abd your pal Dowling has a history too, he almost screwed up again on your trip with the $200.00 bottle s of wine, trying to get cozy with a person he shouldn’t.

  • @ The Public Says..LA County employees pay their retirement, and it’s not a six figure salary with a GED, get a clue. When times are good nobody wants this job when times get tough the ones that can’t, won’t, or have the balls to do this job bitch like you “The Public Says!” COPS are always furthering their education. If you want to complain, how about taking back the “six figure” salaries from the Harvard, Yale, Ivy league College grads that are f*^@%!* this country up.

  • Yes. We should get on that right away. Replace Harvard, Yale, Ivy league College grads with GED cops that can’t be trusted to fly helicopters or buy parts without getting bribed or loading their girl friends into the copter while their wife sits at home. Good idea NUT.

  • Hmm, Harvard and Yale,,,,home schools for the same CIA that blew Iran, blew Viet Nam, got us into Iraq, and are currently running black ops in other countries. The same schools that gave us GW Bush, Barry Obama, and half of our Congress that is busy giving away our country. Great places. They so impressed one railroad tycoon that he built Stanford, just to front them off.
    Public, the LA County retirement system is one of the few in the State that is actually keeping its head above water. That’s because, unlike your beloved teachers, County employees actually pay into their retirement. But your pal Gerry Brown (another wonderfully educated man) can’t balance the State budget, so he wants to rob the local ones to bail him out.
    And no, I would not take those guilty of crimes that our department ferrets out and put them in any position of trust again. (Unlike some elected officials, who seem to be able to reinvent themselves at will, and always find a sucker to pay for it.)
    But again, you are getting off subject. Once more, people are abusing the system, and being protected by none other that Paul Tanaka. The Jails, Patrol, Aero, and other places have been corrupted, and all signs keep pointing back to that one guy. Why?

  • Yet another scandal. According to Baghdad Bob Whitmore, there is nothing to this. According to “King Louie” this is just garbage from three disgruntled employees. I suspect the BOS will dig deep on this with a real audit. IF, and I say IF, there is truth to all of this then what will Baca’s spin be to it. I hope someone outside of LASD can conduct an in-depth investigation and then throw the cards on the table for all to see. Perhaps a Federal Grand Jury is warming up in the bull pen as we speak. ICIB/IAB and OIR will cover it up at the direction of Tanaka. King Louie, stand-by to stand-by. You might have some tough questions to answer in an unfriendly forum sooner than you think.

  • I think it’s time to consider the use of private sector pilots at the air unit. Some of the smaller agencies around the country and have had some success with this. The savings to the tax payers would be huge. The county might even be able to recoup some of the lost money from the alleged bungled helicopter contract. The local news agencies fly similar if not the identical helicopters as LASD. Many of their pilots are former police pilots. The county could also hire retired LAPD or Anaheim police pilots for a fraction of the cost. Also the aforementioned Beechcraft King Air could easily be flown by civilian pilots from the private sector. Just a suggestion.

  • I agree. Let’s civilianize the whole bureau. Why pay a bunch of safety retirements to a bunch of GED cops who can’t get along and throw daggers at each other. This isn’t about a group attacking Baca and his UnderSheriff for supposed misdeeds. It’s about another group just trying to get theirs. All this crap about one side being the defenders of “righteousness” is a joke. Read through all their posts, not just here, but through all these lasd stories. Thanks for exposing this WitnessLA! Let me see, get rid of the pilots, or get rid of Harvard and Yale….hmmm.

  • One thing you always hated hearing as a patrol deputy over the radio when calling for much needed air support …. “aero is down due to weather” (even though it was a cool clear night)….. hmmm, now we know why.

  • Ok let’s play this game… First off civilian pilots in the county fire department make a lot more money that sworn Deputy pilots. Second what the heck does the GED have to do with anything? I know it’s just being used as an exaggeration, but so what? Is there some secret cast system that says someone with a GED can’t work thier way up through the department to become a helicopter pilot? It would make a lot more sence to hire civilian managers. You know guys with degrees and experience in managing money and people. What you pay pilots is nothing compared to the money that goes out the window due to waste,incompetence, corruption, and not to mention civil court.

  • First of all, another big thanks to Matt and Celeste for their fine work. I can’t wait to see Part 5 and 6 and the follow up to Part 2 of Aero Bureau.

    Well, let’s briefly analyze how all of this has gotten to this point. Tanaka has controlled and ran the Department into the ground over the past 12 years by doing what he wanted to and not being put in check by Baca or other executives, who were afraid of destroying their own careers. Tanaka did this with his favoritism, nepotism, mistreating people, ruining careers and reputations, placing inferior people in key and coveted positions and with promotions they did not earn or deserve, and controlled transfers, budgets, and key units and bureaus. All of this became so easy after several years that it has blossomed into what we see now as major ethical, safety, and criminal matters. Tanaka and his car load of pay to play cronies felt they were untouchable.

    Take a look at the cases of Abrams and Duran. They both went to school in their earlier years with Tanaka, have extremely questionable ethics and backgrounds, and have been recipients of favored treatment. Abrams could never pull herself out of the ghetto, maintained relationships with gang members and supplied them with confidential investigative information that compromised criminal investigations and the safety of numerous sworn members. Duran decided that it was more important and ethical to line the pockets of himself and others “in the Tanaka car” with significant overtime while purposely compromising the safety of the community at large and the hard working patrol personnel who dearly rely daily on Aero Bureau for back up and assistance. Ladies and gentleman, this type of behavior is so far over the top and across the line that termination and indictments are the only solutions.

    Tanaka is the head of this giant octopus and the Grand Jury, and F.B.I. need to follow the tentacles that have been exposed in all of these postings for the last few months in order to clean this mess up. Oh, one last thought. If Tanaka has been doing Baca’s income taxes for years, I wonder what the I.R.S. would find during an audit of both of their taxes. Oh my.

  • im sure glad i have a mirror in every room of my house because in my house I can look at myself everyday in can say I did good I understand some people have taken all the mirrors down in their house because they can’t stand a look at themselves anymore it’s a pity considering they still carry the badge that honors our department

  • Hey “Time for Change” With that kind of honesty, righteousness, and integrity why hide behind a BLOG name? I would be proud to say who I was? Whaddya think? Hmmmm……

  • Deputy Dale Ryken 2009: Base salary – $121,188, Overtime $81,816

    2010: Base salary – $121,188 Overtime $ 69,364

    Sergeant Casey Dowling 2009: Base salary – $99,982, Overtime – $70,178

    2010: Base salary – $105,557, Overtime $35,411

    Sergeant John Haughey 2009 – Base salary: $100,896 Overtime: $56,641
    2010 – Base salary: $109,739 Overtime: $43,888

    Hey- I believe there are quite a few deputies there that have made around or more than Sergeant Haughey with there OT. Why are they not on the list???? Hmmmm…..

  • Hey “Truth”!!! You mention these the 2 people Abrams and Duran as being high school chums with Tanaka. Did you go to their school and walk the halls with them? Or are you just parroting again?? You would be so much more credible if you did go there or hung out with this so called crowd, but I’m sure you didn’t. So now your opinion is like an A-hole, everyone has one!! Are you also saying that all the other promotions that Tanaka approved over the years were because the grew up in California?? Geez, You are as Nutty as “NUT”.

  • Dave, you made a curious comment about whether or not someone met Tanaka, and you referenced it again with your drivel about “did you go there or hung out with this so called crowd.” Please entertain us all with what it is like to meet this very insecure, corrupt, individual? When you kissed his ring were you magically bestowed with a unique insight that humbles a mere mortal?

    Instead of suggesting that if people got to know the dynamic duo they would think differently of them, just respond to the allegations in detail. Hint: you would be the first from the administration, because they have kept mum about it all, save for the useless spin coming out of Whitmore and Parker’s mouths.

  • Dear Mole,

    I put quite a number of names through the database and found those three to be the highest. But there may be others. That’s why I posted links to the two databases so everyone can check for themselves. If you feel there are important names left off, and that I’m somehow unfairly skewing things, by all means find them and post them in a comment.


    FYI: The string of comments that endlessly trash the sheriff’s department and law enforcement in general are going straight into the trash. Ditto the comments that are nothing but character assassinations.

  • I am not sure why my posts are getting blocked, other than they are not fitting your agenda today. Is answering a question regarding why the sheriffs should not hire GED recipients considered trashing the sheriffs. Does it not seem reasonable to believe that higher education would reduce the frequency of bribes and girl friend transports? Is it also not reasonable to assume that higher education would reduce the amount of sheriffs who are bullied into participating in some of the wrong doing? Wouldn’t they be much better prepared to report these incidents and know how to avoid things being swept under the rug?

    I did not mention any names, but I see other posters repeatedly mentioning names without supporting documentation. Maybe you should look at the Times. They don’t find the need for censoring comments. They allow all non- vulgar comments and count on their readers to make their own decisions. Maybe they have less of an agenda.

  • thanks celeste. the potential grand jury investigaton will either prove or disprove it all

  • Hey, my favorite Martin, LATBG, the only one who ever used the phrase “kiss the ring” on this Department was your buddy Ronnie Williams. We haven’t heard that since he left.

    I think it’s a hoot that WitnessLA has whipped up this frenzy. They just sit back and watch the comedy. They win either way! Feels like a brothel.

    It will be nice once the Cook and Gurr hootenanny goes to court. Then, at least, people will actually have to testify. If it turns out there is merit to their claims, then we will all thank the site and those guys will be heroes.

    But if it turns out that it is all a bunch of invented crap, they should reap the full rewards of that as well. Along with everyone else who has taken cheap shots at people who have dedicated their lives to law enforcement. Will we see an apology? Will we see their names revealed by this site? What if it turns out the “insider sources” the site has relied on without a second thought are really the unethical bunch?

    The consensus on the Department now is that if they had true conviction and honor, they would be holding a press conference, not blogging.

  • dave you need to tone it down or transfer from 5400 ramona blvd. everyone is gonna get the axe if we dont chill a bit

  • I have known Ed Cook for some time and have never known a better man or leader. He always leads by example and cares about only two things: 1) Provide the best possible service to the community; and 2) Take care of his people. It’s very sad to see such a great man and leader end his impressive career like this.

  • First Monday in October (?), according to you:

    “The consensus on the Department now is that if they had true conviction and honor, they would be holding a press conference, not blogging.”

    You should stop counting heads at EPC or the cigar club in order to decide what constitutes “consensus.” If the dynamic duo of Baca and Tanaka had true conviction and honor, they would do their job honestly and bring credit to the department. The last decade has proven otherwise.

    You and your buddies on Ramona sound angry that you can’t retaliate against people who post the truth on this site. Get used to it because there’s a lot more to come.

    And as I’ve said before, Ronnie is and was an embarrassment to the department, and he rates a distant third to the dynamic duo in terms of corruption.

  • So Aero Bureau may have some issues with it’s Captain, some of his cronies and it may be related to Mr. Tanaka.
    How does that translate to higher education?

    I believe Mr Tanaka has a degree, the Sheriff has a few and most of the Executives have degrees. So if higher education is to solve this how come they can’t manage it?

    I’ll take my life experiences in the military and learning how to work and live with other culturals over a degree any day. Book smart doesn’t equal life smart.

    Oh and by the way, even my minor education can smell a problem in the department, but sending everyone to college won’t solve it.
    So can we stay on topic please.

  • Lots of LASD and LAPD officers or deputies, not only have degrees, they have advanced degrees. In fact, over the years, I’ve gotten to know plenty of cops who have multiple advanced degrees or in some cases law degrees. Paul Tanaka is a CPA, for crying out load. I know an LAPD Lt. who has a PhD in philosophy. Still many of the savviest law enforcement officers are autodidacts who have educated themselves in the course of life and work, in addition to the ongoing education that both departments require to advance.

    So give it a rest.

    Okay, I’m retreating from the comments again. And Mr. The Public, if you write me privately with a real email address I’d be happy to explain why many of your comments get spiked.

  • Celeste, I was told someone was placing “Scatch and Sniff” stickers on lockers at aero too. Any way you can have your informants find out if that is true.

  • Dave Says: “How many of you have actually met Mr. Tanaka?”

    Is that you Howie? How did the meeting go with Paul? Give it a rest Dave, the boat is sinking. Time to get off and move on.

  • Anyone interested in going to the new audit page? We kinda beat this down and there are only 2 comments on that page.

    I say we all hold hands and skip on over to the boxing ring.

  • I think this whole aero bureau fiasco is losing steam. Just like everything else, the longer an issue sits, the more bored people become, and go away. That’s what the players are hoping

  • Go 10-8 Says:- “Celeste, I was told someone was placing “Scatch and Sniff” stickers on lockers at aero too. Any way you can have your informants find out if that is true.”

    Celeste – what an embarrassing comment for an alleged “department member” to make.

    It’s as if employees real lives don’t matter to them

    My life and my career were destroyed years ago and “they” still can’t stop harming me.


    Why won’t the corruption be discovered by the authorities?

    Where are the “authorities”?

    I risked my life and my career to do what is right.

    Where are my legal protections?

    Why am I still targeted?

  • DOE Inc., Who still targets you? If it’s that bad, don’t you have legal counsel? Maybe you should talk to Celeste in a more formal manner.

    BTW, Celeste. When the 30 days is up for the audit of Aero Bureau, do you plan on following up at the Board meeting? The only way, this will end, is persistence and not just a one time story.

    I can’t believe, based on certain comments that people aren’t close to the issues, and therefore there has to be validity, however slight to support this investigation.

    I look forward to hearing a “house cleaning” took place irregardless of the outcome. It has happened many times in the past under similar circumstances and usually for cause regardless of the findings. The lack of this happening, leads me to believe people have other people dirty or are so embedded in the association of the power players that you won’t see what, in the best interest of the Department, is the right thing to do

  • Here are some additional Aero personnel and their earned overtime. There may be some value in this portion of the story, or this may be a complete non issue. Its getting harder to tell what exactly the issue is. Is WLA on to something or is the reporting on overtime merely pure nonsense. Is this just whining from a group of highly trained law enforcement professionals who are acting out like toddlers and throwing a temper tantrum? Overtime worked and earned was likely justified. Overtime is always a less expensive option when filling positions when compared to hiring full time personnel. Here are some more payroll numbers which includes a wider group of employees. How many of the deputies on this list complained to Ed Cook about the amount of overtime they received? How many complained about the use or alleged abuse of overtime in general? Is it fair to surmise the entire list has personnel at both ends of the spectrum. The list below, albeit partial is more comprehensive and wider representation than the three names printed in the WLA article. Was Dowling a pilot or observer in 2009/2010. Therefore, is it fair to say the overtime he worked is presumably administrative? What are we to believe by snippets of information? How many deputies worked outside overtime at other units such as patrol, court services or parks bureau? How many deputies were trained for all of the aero missions such as rescue, marijuana reconnaissance and eradication and surveillance? There are many variables in play. The reporting of the information is far from comprehensive, but is definitely a starting point with respect to overtime. Okay, so one deputy is an absolute overtime whore and the next guy doesnt work as much. Some guys are as reliable as the rising sun and others are flakes who fail to show up on time or cancel at the last minute. The list means nothing at all and everything depending on what variables are used to interpret it. Who on this list was harmed by the distribution of overtime?

    Sgt. Mark Wolf: 09: 146,154 – 69,106 2010:146,155 – 27,585
    Sgt. Craig Anderson: 09: 138,937 – 60,337 2010:140,505 – 46,307
    Sgt. Jonathon Brick: 09: 140,504 – 20,497 2010:140,505 – 8,470

    Dep. James Wolfhope: 09: 117,649 – 77,460 2010:119,153 – 47,002
    Dep. Scott Helbing: 09: 94,789 – 70,682 2010: 93,321 – 53,236
    Dep. Lonnie Deck: 09: 96,118 – 66,342 2010: 96,119 – 42,054
    Dep. Michael Cadiz: 09: 108,123 – 60,508 2010:114,151 – 40,808
    Dep. Eric Allen: 09: 117,649 – 56,986 2010:117,421 – 31,914
    Dep. Mark Kocisko: 09: 109,616 – 51,729 2010:115,726 – 31,302
    Dep. Todd Kocisko: 09: 121,188 – 46,564 2010:121,188 – 41,626
    Dep. Michael Voge: 09: 122,082 – 45,482 2010:126,067 – 38,758
    Dep. Clint Hughes: 09: 96,619 – 42,507 2010:105,039 40,749

  • Will someone please get the facts straight. Please dont write stuff you heard second and third hand. You sound like Gang Members. First, Ed Cook did not clean up Catalina. He was ordered to by Tanaka in the weekly monday meetings. he was given help by Cops Bureau, OSS, and Narco. I like Ed Cook but please don’t give him all the credit he was just following orders. Secondly, Bobby Wheat was not moved to Aero by Tanaka. He got rolled out of SEB and Waldie had him moved there. FACT Why does every article even about a unit that Tanaka has no control over come back on Tanaka. I am embarrassed to be a Sergeant on this department. All the non working employees get to spread lies without identifying themselves. Celeste, you should be embarrassed, you remind me of Al Sharpton.

  • Look at that list! Life must be good. Hey, did they ever do anything about those guys who didnt roll to the dep inv shooting in lakewood? That one where lapd had to respond. I think one of those guys also got in some trouble when the east la dep got shot. He landed at lost hills for chow while the lost hills deps were driving out the gate to race to east la. Everyone knows about that mess.

  • Hey dolls bill.. That whole “pilot eating during the east la shooting” thing is a bogus story being thrown out by ” Louie and the boys” . Ya a guy was eating with his family on a lunch break, and the shooting was handled by another Lasd air unit. Everyone always knew about it, it never was an issue until……. Louie decided the pilots brother ( also an aero pilot) was not “loyal”. Louie called the brother into his (louie’s) office and asked him if he had a problem with Louie. The brother said , “Well since you asked” and told Louie what a knuckle head he is. Louie tried to get this brother (the one he had lured into his office) thrown out of aero on a trumped up P.o.e. Well even the chief saw through this and sent the brother back to aero. Of course that’s when Louie and the boys started making noise about the east la shooting.

  • If you add up the overtime, it would more than pay for two deputy items. There is a monetary breakeven point,, and this certainly exceeds that. Also, with all the overtime, you have pilot fatigue, poor judgement, and more reasons to stay spooled down in the pilots lounge.

    And maxibolin, just because tanaka doesn’t oversee a unit or bureau doesn’t mean he doesn’t have influence. Really? If tanaka called and said I want a sergeant moved, what is the unit commander going to say, “no”? Be serious

  • More Info – It is obvious there was a huge amount of overtime avavilable in 2009 and many benefited from it. looks like it was reduced a great deal in 2010. Many of the questions you have will be answered when you take a look at 2011. That was when department members were told there is no overtime. This report will not only answer your questions but will surely raise others as well.

  • Celeste, Will you be following up with the Board when the Audit is due in the 30 day request?

  • Well Done “MORE INFO”. I cannot believe that Mr Cook will even try to bring that up in his deposition. Guys, get your shovels out, someone is going to get buried!!!!

  • The overtime adds up to more than 2 deputy items. Thats not the issue, overtime fills more holes in a schedule than full time items.

    Celeste, any idea when you’re going to release the Gurr memo we are all waiting for? This should validate a lot of what is being said here as well as your article and reporting. Standing by.

  • Further to Follow: Of course. Obviously. (Can you imagine that I wouldn’t?) I think we will all be awaiting that audit with intense interest.

    Need to Know: Working on it. Friday, or Monday latest.

  • Can’t wait for Gurr Memo as well. Then the focus will shift off Cook for the moment and Gurr will get his turn to be scrutinized intensely. I can just see him now….Should I do it????

  • Dave, is that an actual threat of some kind or just free-floating hostility plus a generalized hope to intimidate whistleblowers?

    This is not an idle question. I’d genuinely like to know.

  • Celeste- It is not any sort of threat, that would be wrong!!
    I just follow the posts that go up here, give my opinion of what is written here, and can only surmise what might happen??? Threats!!! That wouldn’t be wise, right???

  • Hey Celeste??? I tried to answer you honestly and I see you took my response to your inquiry down. Is that how things works here. “Post only what you want up”! I didn’t slam anyone or give you anything but what you asked for. I would genuinely like to know from you and I will wait for your honest reply. Thank You

  • Celeste, I won’t speak for Dave, but I interpreted his post to mean more people would attack Sgt. Gurr on the comment section of your website after you post the memo. Here’s my take regarding the memo, Sgt. Gurr already displayed the courage to detail his account of the alleged wrongdoing when he came forward with his memo. He will no doubt face some attacks by the anonymous comment postings, but those will not amount to anything of substance. His bravery to come forward was a huge risk and sacrafice. There are many members of oth the department and general public who are supportive of his actions.

  • We never heard about a pilot not responding to ELA when Deputy Ahmed was shot in Jan of last year. Thats complete BS if true. I have a copy of the tape at work and will review it tomorrow morning. Ive been to other 998’s and went to FTO training and heard Aero deputies say they have had 2 helicopters at a single 998. Thats some weak shit. Nice job. Way to be part of the team.

  • Celeste. What is the status of the filing to the DA’s office? Haven’t heard and they will quietly reject when the drama is over.

    Dave, I can’t wait for the Gurr memo as well. It’s free advertising for the attorney. We won’t see this go to trial since the county will settle. The power of supoena will drag all aero employees in this, and they won’t lie to protect supervisors. Purjury is a dangerous game, and i wouldn’t lose my home or family to cover for some self serving arrogant ass. If there is no wrongdoing, then let the trial begin.

    Mole. You stand up to your name. Unfortunately, when one confides in another and that other person is a mole for personal game, well, you get my drift. Wanna see the DSB list? You might just be smack dab on the radar. Your call.

  • And since everyone else is putting a list out of names, salaries, and the like, who cares if I’m right or wrong? All that matters is what the execs see. It kind of jades their views and puts the ball back in the court of the individuals. Sort of like playing golf in Catalina

  • To ELA Dep, Aero DEPUTIES have the most respect for ELA, you should know that. Personally, I don’t think you are an ELA Dep, I think you are a supervisor under the gun. The Aero crew was down at LHS on Code 7. When the 998 went down they contacted Aero via radio. Over the radio Century Sergeant Howard Fuchs who rolled to the loc said supect down, no outstanding suspects. There were no other relief ships that night due to the Aero Bureau staff scheduling gimmick to obtain more deputies and overtime. Listen to the tapes and please correct me if I am wrong.

  • would have been nice to have some overhead eyes since it was a crime scene, but I guess code 7 takes priority at aero. I worked ELA and I have thrown my King Taco dinner in the trash because of a 245 J/O, back up request, etc. But that’s what we did. Kind of a pride issue and taking care of our own

  • Is this why Aero personnel had to go to briefings in Region II because of the bitching that went on due to lack of airships. Big hint, if aero was down for fuel, code 7 or that dreaded weather night, I asked for LAPD, and they never hesitated to roll if they were available. You shoulda seen the aero desk calling the W/C (watch commander) doing a hat dance.

  • To ? says: You are correct! I sense that all of us are just feeling angry and furious that this crap has been going on so long at it took reporters to effect some change. What was Aero going to do? What until someone got injured or killed? I miss Doug Travis!

  • Yeah, remember when those guys didn’t play the hourly flight time then took a mandated break. Whn the dod doo hit the fan, you could count on those guys.

    Now, it’s just a bunch of “bitchen guys” walking around with their permanent press nomex gloves. The only patrol area they know best is the “pad”.

  • I agree. You know, its just like a station, when a 998 goes down, and you just brought back some food and getting ready to write end of shift reports…998 goes out and everyone runs to thier cars and screeches out the driveway, roaring engines all the way to help. But since your shift is over and you got food, no need to roll, it will go code 4. No big deal.

  • Oh My!!! Senor, “FURTHER” you are starting to sound, well, deflated!! You were so forthright when this all broke, and now, you are posting “what a fiasco haaaaaaaaaahaaaaaa”! “Correction on the spelling. That was for “personal gain”. Anyone interested in going to the new audit page? “We kinda beat this down and there are only 2 comments on that page”!!! Senor “FURTHER” out of pity I’ll give you, senor, and I do appreciate your tenacity. Hey, it’s OK, you tried and guess what?? NOT!!! But don’t feel bad, after the coming audit, and all is “not even remotely what you wanted” I’ll give you an “A” for effort! BTW, are you back from Hawaiian Gardens? I want to sit with you and get some coffee, I’m Buying!!!

  • Celeste! Let me apologize to you! When I posted #69 I saw it and when I refreshed it was gone. But I realize it takes time for you to look at it and decide if it’s offensive or hurtful. I jumped the gun! I hope you accept my apologies and I will (though I don’t sit here all day and read posts as they come up) but I will wait until your staff can digest and approve of the post!

  • How on earth could you swallow your food knowing you could be doing something. Especially when you land at lost hills and they even responded from way out there. Crazy…

  • Dave, what is senor? Do you not have the keyboard insert to make you look bilingual? You left a little character off that goes right over the “N”. Dufus.

    Perhaps everyone has remained here, because, well sometimes people don’t know what buttons to push to the next page.

    Actually, buy my buddy the mole a cup. He’s gonna need it on earlies. And yes, I hope we all are wrong about the audit. It tarnishes us all. But I guess Zev see’s something too, so you tell me compadre. Buenas noches. tu sabes mucho, pero tu sabes nada. Hasta la vista baboso

  • Dave, again, I thank you for detailing my posts and repeating what I have said. That tells me I am still “the twinkle in your eye” and you fear my keyboard. I wouldn’t have the time to go back on a persons posts, but you are one who stands out.

    Thanks again muchacho.

  • Celeste. Please let me apologize for Dave. He can’t keep track of his own posts or which numbers. Next thing he’ll be doing is apologizing for me. ETOH maybe?

  • It’s late and I am reading “FURTHERS” posts. “FURTHER” it’s late and maybe you had too many, the spelling and context is starting to SLUR! Good Night!
    But take solice, recite the words of “JERRY Mc GUIRE’S mentor who told him “tomorrow is a new day”. Start fresh amigo! Good Night!!!!

  • ELA Dep.- I also tend to agree with ‘? says” regarding your identity. Let`s assume I`m wrong…. The only helicopter flying during the time this deputy got shot was assigned to Palmdale/Lancaster. The issue had been raised several times prior to this incident by other concerned personnel at aero regarding inadequate coverage such as a case when a deputy gets shot at, pursuits,998`s, etc. When this deputy was shot, the L.A. Basin helicopter was down on a scheduled refuel and Code-7. Another words, there were no helicopters flying except for the north county. Immediately after this shooting the pilots checked in on the radio and were told the palmdale/Lancaster helicopter as well as the early morning helicopter was going to immediately launch. Both of these helicopers stated they had a shorter ETA than the crew responding from Lost Hills Station. Information was also put out that the deputy was transported and no suspects were outstanding. The crew at Lost Hills station coordinated with the desk and was available in case any additional support was needed. They were told the situation was handled and were not called. These are the facts! If there is any doubt about that, feel free to call anytime to discuss this incident with the guys who were working that night. Regarding any other issues or concerns, most of us are willing to chat anytime and will always give you a straight answer.

  • Talk all the smack you want, but there are bad eggs at every unit of assignment, SEB, ESD, CEN, ELA, SLA or whatever station or bureau you want to mention. Just because a weak link didn’t feel the need to put his fork down, say goodbye to his family members and take his trainee observer to the ELA 998 where deputy Ahmed was shot, doesn’t mean that you need to condemn the rest of the hard working Aero deputies. Like the Air 29 (North county) ship that rolled from Palmdale and the Air 24 crew that rolled. Further more, if any of you hear Aero is down due to weather, feel free to give them a call and find out exactly why if it is confusing to you. I guarantee LASD Aero’s “minimum weather restrictions” are more laxed than LAPD’s. It all depends on where the clouds are as to who is up. Sometimes LAPD is and LASD isn’t and vise versa. You never hear about LAPD down for weather and LASD is responding to assist Harbor Division, but you don’t work Harbor Division do you? Further more, if your radio car gets a flat tire or your A/C goes out you can just pull over or back to the station. Rotorcraft can fall out of the sky and crash due to “maintenence” issues. Talk all the smack you want about certain players and supervisors, but if you want to say ALL Aero deputies are lazy no fly slaps, come on down to 3235 N Lakewood Blvd and see what’s really going on.

  • OK…Due to the scheduling gimmick enforced by the administration at Aero Bureau there was only 1 ship 10-8 in the basin on that night, even though there are so many pilots and observers sitting around on their arse because the brass won’t schedule PATROL as a priority. PATROL is not a priority with the brass at Aero Bureau. The ship went down for their scheduled break and was away from the bird in a r/c monitoring the radio. When they heard the ELA incident go down they were in radio contact with the Aero desk. They heard there was a suspect down, no outstanding, per Sgt. Fuchs. They heard Air-29 come down from AV and go overhead within 8 mins, and provide crime scene containment. Crews were standing by for family transport but no requests were made. Some special personnel made it to Aero because they were SPECIALLY SELECTED. We got down to Aero because of the numerous Tams, King Taco, and Hat that was thrown out the window because of an assistance request, because of our hard work and reputations. The DEPUTIES at Aero are 100% behind patrol. We fight the fight with our administration to put out more ships. We HAVE the personnel to put ships up but its all about the image and wanting more OT for the brass. Come down to Aero sometime and see how many helicopters we have sitting on the ground. Examine our inservices and ask why so many people are scheduled to be off when there are no ships 10-8. Why on a Saturday is there a ship going down at 3am and no ships up til 7pm all day. WHY? Scheduling gimmick. We have plenty of personnel at Aero. We cannot speak up for fear of retaliation. So, I apoligize, but the ground Deputies at patrol go without. You do your own examination and come back with your results. I put no blame on anyone, I leave it up to you to make your own assessment.

  • I call B.S >This East LA shooting played out exactally how you wanted it to. Don`t staff patrol helicopters with bodies to give the appearance more overtime is needed. If the plan backfires and a deputy really does get shot, we`ll just point the finger at whoever is not flying and call him lazy. Sounds good to say “everybody needs to roll” but if all they are doing is looking at a crime scene with two helicopters already overhead plus news media, even an idiot would realize that is stupid. Smoke and mirrors won`t fool everybody!

  • ? You gotts to be kidding. Everyone down there knows one of those sgts saved that pilots butt. He should have been stripped of his TO status. How do you take a brand new trainee flight deputy all the way out to Lost Hills just so you can eat with mom and dad outside the county line? I bet he high fived the responding lost hills deps az they passed each other at the gate. Pitiful!

  • If there is any doubt, Look at the number of people assigned to aero bureau then look at the schedule. there are more people than ever assigned however flight hours are down. One pilot is even assigned to work exclussively inside unless he`s on o.t. You may ask yourself why surveillance and “special missions” are more of a priority than patrol. Answer- more $$$$$$. There have been countless days where pilots and observers were assigned “special duties/admin” when there were large gaps in day coverage. Pilots were assigned cleaning hanger and radio cars or told to just “hang out”. For many months there have been built in lapses of coverage on pm`s and em`s also. The field units know exactaly what I`m talking about “aero unavailable”. Once again, smoke and mirrors, but it`s becomming easier to see.

  • To The Brass made me do it, NO, I’M NOT KIDDING! 3265 N LAKEWOOD BL. COME TAKE A LOOK AT OUR TIMESHEETS AND INSERVICES, IF THE BRASS WILL ALLOW YOU TO. Please believe there is no angst against patrol. Our fight is against the brass at Aero Bureau. It is sad to say that the BRASS at Aero Bureau was waiting for an ELA, Deputy down incident to occur to provide a basis for more personnel and OT at Aero Bureau, to trump up stats to HQ and the BOS. How SICK is that. HOW WRONG IS THAT??? Don’t be downloading on the Deputies at Aero Bureau. We WANT to be there for you. We can only fly when they ALLOW us to. Sincerely, from the DEPUTIES at Aero, I apoligize for the lack of air support. Please take up your fight with ALADS and Sheriff Leroy Baca. We at Aero have exhauxted all of our avenues to provide air support to the ground Deputies of Field Operations Regions I, II, and III. And don’t get me started on North County Air support. We have more than enough personnel to provide a Day shift and an overlap helicopter crew up there. I am so upset with this issue I won/t even correct my typos…lol…LOL…LO F’n L…

  • To Further to Follow: We are not a bunch of “Bitchin Guys”. Believe me, the DEPUTIES working at Aero Bureau are grateful, and count their blessings that they are privelidged to be assigned to the best assignment on the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, in our humble opinion. There are Supervisors there that have been selected to transfer down that believe we are an ‘ELITE” unit. Believe me, the Deputies flying patrol don’t believe we are “Elite”. We just want to help patrol Deputies however we can, to keep you safe, and to lock that Suspect up. FTF, please don’t confuse us with the false postings by Aero Supervisors under the gun. We are only lowly patrol Deputies, what influence can we have on changing policy at Aero Bureau. Once again, if you don’t believe my ramblings, please come down to Aero Bureau, 3265 N. Lakewood Bl, Long Beach and take a look at our “TRANSPARENT” in-services and timesheets.

  • AERO DEP, I CALL BS AND “?” You really have shown your colors to everyone. I set the bait on the hook and the trout came.

    You all say aero is hard working, you’ll take a grenade for your comrade, it’s all about patrol, and you never forgot where your roots lie. Well, the undertone I keep hearing, is the hard working deputy pilots have done all they can, blame the brass and that’s all that can be done.

    Try this. Why don’t you pick ten of your most respected, trusted and ethical pilots. Reqest a person to person meeting with the Sheriff and Board of Supervisors. Throw everything out that you know, have done to correct, and really want to see changed for the good of the Bureau, but most importantly for the Deputies and citizens we serve.

    How’s that for courage? Anyone at 3265 N. Lakewood Blvd. willing to stand with Gurr or anyone else? We all would like a realistic answer to this. You guys and girls have the power to change, but you don’t have it in you. You’re afraid of losing flight pay, demotion, transfer, etc. That will happen anyway if you get caught dirty.

    Again, we look forward to your candid response and hope you all will take my advise and be leaders, not the following sheep in the pasture.

  • Also, thanks for the memo release Celeste. Vendor agreements, propriatary products, etc. is really a joke in the avionics world. Many, and I mean many certified companies can purchase and install just about anything you want.

  • I call BS. I might take you up on your invite to Aero. Would you object if I solicited one of the Board’s Field Reps. to accompany me? Do you think we would be denied entry?

    Check with the boss first, whomever that might be.

  • Like I said before. None of this was an issue until Louie tried the old getto “rock in the sock” maneuver (frame up) on the pilot in question’s brother. After all nothing was ever done about it. If is such a big deal “Dave” and “mole” why didn’t you do something about it? (pretty obvious you guys are aero supervisors)

  • I guess based on the lack of responses to my post 99, the sheep will continue to graze and be handfed.

    What a pity that the word “courage” is so scant in our daily lives.

  • I haven’t read this blog for awhile, and I see my blog name was taken by another. Oh well, by the mindless banter I see I haven’t been missing much. I see Further to Follow still tends to drunk blog as the evening comes. Now I see you have worked ELA and threw your King Taco in the trash to roll to stuff. Those that do the job do it, and don’t need to brag about it on a site like this. It does not validate your opinion. If any sane person read your blogs, they would not believe any of your claims of bravdo. Your inability to stick to topic is incredible. How can you debate another person’s courage you do not know?

  • FTF, you are sooooo courageous passing judgement on others while tickling your keyboard in defiance to all evil on the department, anonymously of course. You’re a blowhard and a joke. Bring whoever you want down to Aero if you really had the balls to show up. You said you know the gate codes dating back to when the was a jet ranger and you were rolling babies in the back seat of a Nova while involved in a shooting and earning the department’s highest award. So you should be able to get onto the facility no problem. But then if you showed up you wouldn’t be the Wizard of WLA hiding behind the curtain anymore. I don’t know who from 3265 N Lakewood would stand with Gurr, since that is the address to an airport employee parking lot, dufus. Besides, I don’t know any deputies that liked that idiot when he was there, let alone after he got rolled up. Don’t be so narcissistic either due to lack of response to your rhetoric. Everyone else has a life and doesn’t look at this BS site every hour to see if anyone responded. And what is this nonsense about how I took some bait you set? People are acting like there wasn’t any response to the ELA deputy down when there were two helicopters there. The only bait I took was responding to the BS posted on this BS site. But I can gauranty one thing, this will be the last of that mistake. Be sure to announce your presence when you show up with your entourage so we know who the Wizard is.

  • BS, you haven’t addressed the challenge I proposed. Am I assuming all is well at Aero, particularly in your world? The are are many posts that contain information only privy to aero employees. You especially. And calling Gurr an idiot is most ignorant of you, especially if you realize what you just did.

    I will ask all Aero employees the same question i asked before. Are you willing to have courage and stand together? If not,well then you know my view.

    And BS, the mere anger in your post is so evident. I can just see your hands shaking. You go from attacking me to the ELA shooting. HUH? Anyway, there are frustrated pilots who would like to divulge, but are afraid of the consequences. Again, courage is a huge endeavor in one’s life. In the end, you will reap the reward of your good judgement. Still waiting for a response to post 99

  • oh. and my bad, i stand corrected 3235. I read a post and keyed on it. Does it make it better now?

  • I concur with I CALL BS. Why do my blogs always get edited out when I disagree with FURTHER TO FOLLOW? They are fair and contain no bad language. There have been times he has blogged late at night and it appears he has been drinking. What’s so terrible about this observation. And what was so bad about pointing out previous ? bloggs were not me? It appears you can’t respond to LATB OR FURTHER TO FOLLOW in a opposing opinion without getting taken out. That’s fair journalism?

  • I have a glass of wine at night at dinner. Does that make me a drunk?

    I don’t control what get’s edited, however, since I have asked the same question as in post 99, the keyboards are silent.

    I predict a meeting by the worker bees discussing any alleged wrongdoing will never come to fruition.

    Remember the word “courage” Write it down, recite it, and we all might see a huge revelation of facts other than the one’s on WLA.

  • To Aero DEP and “?”. I’m an ELA patrol deputy. I used my real email when I logged on to this site. You are more than welcome to give your real email on your next bs post and tell the Witness LA people to provide my email to you. I ain’t hiding behind this site. I sure as he’ll ain’t no aero supervisor like you said. I go 10-8 and work for a living. I dont know if it’s true about the guys at lost hills the night of Ahmeds 998. All I said is we never heard it. Witness LA, you can give my email to the aero deps if they ask and want to hash this out so I can let them no Im not a imposter. You can also email me. Thanks.

  • To Aero DEP and “?”. I’m an ELA patrol deputy. I used my real email when I logged on to this site. You are more than welcome to give your real email on your next bs post and tell the Witness LA people to provide my email to you. I ain’t hiding behind this site. I sure as he’ll ain’t no aero supervisor like you said. I go 10-8 and work for a living. I dont know if it’s true about the guys at lost hills the night of Ahmeds 998. All I said is we never heard it. Witness LA, you can give my email to the aero deps if they ask and want to hash this out so I can let them no Im not a imposter. You can also email me. Thanks. If it’s true and only they know, they’re a bunch of weak asses. If not, then I stand corrected.

  • Good evening all. This is really ironic, but I was sitting in an office today, and saw this in a magazine. Look at the key words in this article. “Moral courage”. I have been saying this since post 99.

    Although this applies to the medical industry, ethics, moral standing, and I will say it again, courage have no boundries.

    For you people who are on the fence of reporting right or wrong, you will be respected by all and resented by the few who live by the immoral creed. Happy Easter to all.

  • Good for you ELA Dep. I worked the overlap car 21A/23A relief. That was awhile back, but I share the frustration looking for an armed suspect and K-9 was pissd because they wanted the FLIR. I got so tired of hearing the “gotta go for fuel”.

    Problem was, in most cases, we were still searching and they never came back up on the tac channel. Strange, isn’t it? Let’s face it, after working Aero for any period of time, circling in an orbit over a containment will cause them to use any excuse. Bet the fuel logs didn’t match their low fuel excuse.

    Anyway, it is what it is. Please refer back to post 99 if anyone is willing to step up

  • Anyway, post 99 was placed at 0700 yesterday. Tomm morning will be 48hrs. Can you believe the silence? Bet alot of soul searching is going on in those professional minds. NOT!

  • ELA DEP- Cut the Crap and just say who you are for crying out loud! You seem very standup in your posts! SO STAND UP! Or STAND DOWN! GEEZ…

  • As a prior employee of AERO BUREAU your writings are not new between the political infighting, errant policies to benefit the clique and not support the mission and all the waste that I saw that culminated in crashes,destruction of property, mistreatment of employees,nothing changes but the names on the big government machines ..policies what’s that???Teddy Roach was going to tell me all ,he died before he could..he was a one of the kindest Deputies in the place… air 5 S 58s should have been re engined rather than retired can’t beat $76 an hour airframe cost with the utility provided..hope the Pumas don’t eat them alive…

  • I worked with both Lt. Cook and Capt. Duran during the time I was on the department. Ed Cook is a true professional that genuinely cares about the department and how it’s run. Capt. Duran as a deputy and a supervisor has always worried about himself and contacts he makes. He grew up with Tanaka. Voter beware…..Duran is now currently suing the department because his career was somehow derailed. He has derailed so many careers for the sake of his boy Tanaka and needs to retire and go away.

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