Anatomy of the Jails Commission Jail LA County Board of Supervisors LA County Jail Sheriff Lee Baca

ANATOMY OF A JAILS COMMISSION: Part 1 – A Reluctant Sergeant Testifies

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

No one knows for sure if the Jails Commission will matter at all. It is entirely possible it will issue a fat and earnest report that generates a few news stories, and some congratulatory action on the part of the Board of Supervisors, and then for all practical purposes vanishes.

Yet, having obsessively monitored their meetings for the past five months, I can report that at least some of the seven commissioners—maybe all, if we’re lucky—do not intend to be irrelevant, not if they can possibly help it. Furthermore, even the most conservative members of the commission are beginning to apprehend, to their evident surprise, the severity of the problem in the jails. It also appears they are starting to suspect that its real causes don’t lie with an old jail facility that needs to be shut down, and/or a few out of control deputies that need better training or whatever, that the issue is far more entrenched and complex and may very well have much to do with those at the very top of the department.

How this will all play out, and whether the commission will ultimately step up forcefully enough to shove itself into relevance, remains very much to be seen. Still the gradual unfolding of the commission”s nascent determination to be make a genuine difference, which means first getting to the bottom of this mess, is a drama fraught with intriguing characters, and very much worth watching. And, it may possibly, in the end, be a drama of consequence.

Or not.


Whatever the case, we’ll be following it. And we’ll bring to you what we see.


On Monday, May 14, 2012, the members of the Los Angeles County Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence heard testimony for the third month in a row, but this time some of what they heard appeared to genuinely startle the commission members in attendance.

The jails commission, if you’ll remember, is the seven-member body that was appointed by the LA County supervisors last fall to investigate the problems in the County’s violence-plagued jail system, and then to make recommendations about how to fix the mess.

In this particular commission meeting, three former Sheriff’s Department supervisors, plus two former inmates, painted a picture for the commissioners of a climate of dysfunction and violence at Men’s Central Jail involving groups of out-of-control deputies whose names turned up on force reports over and over.

Yet what truly got the commissioners’ attention was not so much the stories of abuse, which they’d heard about in testimony at earlier meetings, but what they were told regarding how Sheriff Baca repeatedly dodged and ignored warnings about deputy cliques and dangerous levels of violence at Men’s Central Jail, and how Baca’s second in command, Paul Tanaka, actively subverted any attempt to rein in the deputies who were perpetrating the violence.

The full commission has been meeting monthly since the first of the year. In the beginning, the meetings were mostly procedural in nature. A method of working and a timeline was agreed upon. An executive director, Miriam Krinsky, and General Counsel, Richard Drooyan, were hired and approved, and so on.

It is only in the last three months—March, April and now May—that the commissioners have heard testimony from a little more than a dozen of the approximately 60 witnesses that Richard Drooyan, the Commission’s general counsel, and his five teams of pro bono lawyer/investigators have been interviewing and vetting on an ongoing basis.

In the March witness meeting, the commissioners heard reports from Michael Gennaco, the head of the Office of Independent Review, and Merrick Bobb, the Special Counsel who has for years monitored the Sheriff’s Department for the Board of Supervisors.

Both men gave the commission a sort of overview of the jails’ functioning and some of its problems. However, Bobb, in particular, expressed his frustration at the fact that, after years of reports and recommendations, the real problems at the jails had changed very little.

This served to suddenly bring the commissioners face to face with the fact that their efforts too could easily come to nothing. After all, they had zero legal power to enforce anything.

The seven commission members, all heavy hitters in their fields, were not at all cheered by the fact that they could end up becoming so much window dressing, and appeared determined to do something to change all that.

In April, the commission heard from civilians who had witnessed abuse—or the aftermath of abuse— in the jails. This included two ACLU monitors, the ACLU’s national jail and prison expert, and three veteran jail chaplains, all of whom told of multiple incidents of abuse that they’d either personally witnessed or had seen the direct aftermath of. The stories were intense enough that the two ACLU monitors and one of the chaplains choked up while relating them.

In particular the commissioners appeared glued to the testimony of Deacon Paulino Juarez-Ramirez, a soft-spoken, diminutive man whose sense of terror and shock at the three horrific incidents of abuse he’d seen, one of them inside a jail chapel, visibly washed over him as he spoke.

Which brings us to last Monday’s meeting:

On Monday, although two former inmates spoke during the day in chilling and convincing detail of the abuse they’d allegedly experienced and observed, it was the three former LASD jail supervisors that most held the commissioners’ collective attention.

Yet, out of the three months of meetings, the witness whose testimony had the commissioners the most riveted of all was retired LASD Commander Robert Olmsted. But we’ll get to Olmsted later in this 3-part series.

First we have the sergeant.


The opening witness at last Monday’s meeting was retired LASD Sergeant Daniel Pollaro.

Pollaro is a compact man of medium height whose appearance and contained demeanor suggests a career in accounting, more than law enforcement. Although he’d agreed to give testimony before the commission, he looked jittery, and as if he’d prefer to be nearly anywhere else instead.

Pollaro worked in the jails from 2000 to 2007, in CJ from 2002 on. In response to Richard Drooyan’s questioning, he talked about how when he was first assigned to Men’s Central Jail, he found a work environment in which certain deputies, not their superior officers, ran much of the show.

Pollaro told how the cadres of rule-ignoring deputies would switch around work assignments at will to make sure that only certain people worked on the second and third floors of the jail—AKA the 2000 and 3000 floors that gave rise to the now-infamous deputy cliques, the 2000 Boys and the 3000 Boys. Similarly, when the deputies or their friends were assigned elsewhere in the jail than on their floor of choice, they simply declined to take those postings and rewrote the “in-service reports” to reassign themselves to the postings they preferred, pressuring deputies whom they thought that they could manipulate, to take the assignments they disliked—all with seemingly no consequence.

(In-service reports are the posted list of assignments designating, on any given day, who is working where and at what time, to make sure that all the posts in all the jail modules are adequately covered.)

“When I would get on the floor in the morning,” Pollaro said, “I would check the in-service report, but then I’d see that people who had been assigned to work on other floors, had just changed the report and were now back on my floor. Two or three times a week, I had that problem.”

The same thing was true, said Pollaro, when a deputy whom the 3rd or 2nd floor cliques didn’t like was assigned to what they considered their territory. The deputy cliques seemed to think they had the right, and evidently the power, to approve whomever was assigned to their floor.

Pollaro repeatedly countermanded the ad-hoc assignments, “but it was always a struggle,” he said. When he spoke to other sergeants, he found they were experiencing the same issues with deputies, which they battled with greater and lesser degrees of success.

Despite the efforts of Pollaro and others, the acts of insubordination increased over time. When rebuked, some deputies went so far as to say that they didn’t have to listen to supervisors. Instead, they openly gave their allegiance to what they referred to as the floor’s OGs—gang parlance for Original Gangsters. In the case of the jails, the term referred to veteran deputies who’d been at CJ for four years or more. “These guys had all the answers in the eyes of the younger deputies,” Pollaro said. And their influence was not always a positive one.

Another symptom of the rule-ignoring phenomenon was chronic deputy tardiness, again only among certain deputies. Yet it was a kind of lapse that ordinarily in the sections of a policing agency that involves shifts, is rarely if ever tolerated. Certain deputies would drift in late, and then leave their shifts as much as an hour early, meaning that some posts on the jail floor were inadequately covered, or not covered at all during those times.

(To give you an idea of how unusual this is, I spoke to two other sources on the matter, one from the LASD, and one from the LAPD. They both said in essence the same thing. This was highly unusual and inappropriate behavior. The LAPD source who is very knowledgeable about department policy, said he was stunned at the notion that this had become a pattern. “That’s outrageous,” he said. “It’s 100% unusual. If you did that more than two times, you’d be written up or worse.”)

The we-get-it-and-you-don’t-so-we can-do-what-we-want-when-we-want group attitude that produced the tardiness in some deputies, also got acted out by other deputies in ways that had far graver consequences than being late for a shift:

During this same period, Pollaro noticed that the incidents of “significant force”—-the term meaning that an injury was involved, an inmate’s bone had been broken, or sutures were required—were high and getting higher. Some of it he said he chalked up as an artifact of jail overcrowding, and the fact that the prison gangs had been reaching down from the state institutions to cause trouble. But a great deal of the force he was seeing , he told the commissioners cautiously, “was the problem of deputies doing their own thing. You had deputies who were going to run the floor as they wanted it. That means somebody might have done something a little bit outa line, they’d ‘tune them up.’”

And what did “tune them up” mean? the commissioners wanted to know.

“Used some type of force because they didn’t like the way it was going.” In other words, a “tune-up” didn’t designate force used to control an inmate, but as a punitive measure. A message.

When asked to illustrate, Pollaro told of incident in which three deputies walked an inmate from the 4000 floor into the discipline module—the “hole” at 2500—on the 2000 floor. Once the group got the inmate in the module, “one of the deputies told the other two deputies that they could leave, that he could handle it from there.” The other two complied and left. “The deputy then took inmate down the row, then he tuned ‘im up,” said Pollaro. “After that, he put him in the cell and then left without notifying anyone.” Pollaro learned about the incident the next day when a new shift came in and discovered the bloody and injured inmate, untreated in his cell.

“He was beaten up?” asked Richard Drooyan.


(Although Pollaro didn’t specify, another LASD source said the inmate would have been handcuffed when he was walked down to the disciplinary unit, thus handcuffed when he was allegedly beaten.)

The matter was referred to Internal Affairs, and Pollaro said he believed the deputy was relieved of duty for some days. He wasn’t sure for how long.

(Editor’s Note: This after the deputy reportedly beat up an inmate who was under control when the other deputies left, failed to call a supervisor, failed to report the inmate’s injuries, or that force had been used, as protocol demands, but instead simply left the bloody inmate in a cell for others to find.)

To combat the rising force incidents, Pollaro, other sergeants, and their lieutenant at the time, Lt. Gonzales, regularly reviewed use of force policies at meetings.

Richard Drooyan asked if the policy reviews had an effect.

“Not really,” he said, his voice weary. “These deputies were their own little group that was going to do what they were going to do, without any discipline…or instruction.”

(NOTE: This WitnessLA article refers to some of the high profile incidents in which deputies failed to adequately supervise and inmate injuries and several deaths occurred during the period Pollaro is describing.)

Pollaro told how two different captains, one after the other,—Captain Ray Leyva and Captain John Clark—tried additional strategies to deal with the problems, but that they continued to grow. He described how, in February of 2006, Captain Clark finally decided to put in place a system of job rotation that would keep deputies from guarding too long on a single floor, but rather would rotate people between modules. (WitnessLA reported on this previously.)

Clark sent out a memo to all personnel at Men’s Central Jail about the job rotation strategy, that he explained would “assure all personnel are trained and prepared to address situations you face in all areas of the jail.”

(You can find the memo here. <— Click to enlarge.)

Cliqued-up deputies were predictably unhappy about the rotation mandate as it meant some of them would soon rotated away from their 2000 or 3000 floors. “They didn’t want any part of it,” Pollaro said. In response, the groups began an email campaign urging all CJ deputies to send complaints about the Clark policy to then Assistant Sheriff Paul Tanaka.

First an anonymous email went out to all deputies from an unnamed source, presumably from one of the deputy OGs.

It began as follows:

“We are different than other units and we know it. We have a responsibility to those who have come before us and to those who will follow. We are CJ deputies…..”

Attached to the email, was a prewritten letter to Paul Tanaka that the deputies were told to copy and send.

The suggested letter to Paul Tanaka began:

“You told us at a briefing that if there were any problems involving the leadership of Men’s Central Jail to contact you.

Sir we have a problem at Men’s Central Jail…..”

The commissioners were provided with a copy of the email and the boilerplate letter. WitnessLA has also acquired the two documents, which you will find below. (Be sure to click to enlarge.)


The interesting part of this sequence of events is not so much that the deputies were unhappy, but the fact that these deputies felt the solution to their problem was to leap frog over Captain Clark, and over his boss the commander, and over his boss, the chief overseeing all of custody—-to the Assistant Sheriff, Paul Tanaka. Moreover, they felt they had reason to believe there was a good possibility that Tanaka might intervene in their behalf and countermand his captain.

They turned out to be right. Nearly immediately, Tanaka scheduled a meeting with all CJ’s deputies, a meeting to which none of the supervisors were allowed entrance.

We were all excluded,” said Pollaro.

At this juncture, Judge Robert Bonner broke in, all this leap-frogging of rank having snagged his attention.

(A short side note on Commissioner Robert Bonner. In addition to being a former U.S. District Court Judge, he was also the former head of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the former head of the DEA, for god’s sake, and more after that. In the first meeting or two, Bonner came off—at least to some of us commission watchers—as the commission member most likely to be the roadblock to any deep reform. But two months ago, right in the middle of Merrick Bobb’s testimony he suddenly seemed to snap fully awake and come to inhabit a far broader and more hawk-eyed perspective, and he has never again retreated. Now, along with Alex Busansky, he is the most interesting of the commissioners to watch, and assuredly one of the smartest.)

Bonner asked the sergeant if Captain Clark was notified in any way that the Assistant Sheriff was going to meet with all of the deputies within his command.

Pollaro paused. “He was not. I know he was not.”

However, within a few days after the deputy meeting, Tanaka did schedule a separate meeting with all the CJ supervisors and Captain Clark, said Pollaro.

According to Pollaro, the meeting was a one-way lecture by Tanaka to the supervisors, telling them all they were doing wrong.

“Mr. Tanaka said we had to treat these deputies in a different way and coddle them.

After the “coddle the deputies” lecture had gone on for a while, Pollaro raised his hand, and stood. “At the sheriffs department,” he said, “we’ve always had a tradition. You work hard, you follow the rules, you take all the opportunities that are afforded to you…..”

Tanaka interrupted. “He said, ‘You know what? You sound just like my father.’”

Pollaro tried to lighten the tone. “Well you must have listened to him, cause look where you are now.”

At that, Tanaka told him to sit down.

“People like you are a dinosaur. You’re a dying breed.” Tanaka reportedly told Pollaro.

With Captain Clark he was even harsher, said Pollaro. “He was told to be quiet, and that if he wanted to talk to him he’d say so.”

Pollaro said he was stunned by the almost sneering dismissal of everything the jail supervisors had to say.

“After the meeting I felt like I might as well take my stripes off,“ Pollaro said, his expression grim.

When Pollaro finished talking, several commissioners seemed more eager than usual to question him.

Judge Bonner wanted to know what Tanaka’s actions “…say about the chain of command at the LA County sheriffs department. “

Pollaro was, by this time, getting worked up. “For the deputy to be able to reach up to the assistant sheriff, without going through a sergeant, a lieutenant, a captain, a commander, a chief…….It’s unheard of. Unheard of.”

Judge Dickran Tevrizian spoke next. In past meetings, Tevrizian, another former U.S. District Court Judge who was also the first Armenian appointed to the federal bench in U.S. history, has often seemed more protective of the department than the others, and his queries to the witnesses frequently veered toward the rhetorical. However, Pollaro’s testimony appeared to shake something loose in Tevrizian—especially the chain-of-command issue.

“I understand that the sheriff’s department is a paramilitary organization,” he began. “There’s a structure in place. When Assistant Chief Tanaka met with the deputies…was it very difficult for you as a sergeant to get any respect from these deputies that you sought to supervise? “


“Do you think the breakdown in the command chain of command contributed to the problems that we’re here today looking at in terms of the issues that have come out of the Men’s Central Jail?”

“Very much so.”

“Tell me,” said Tevrizian.

And so Pollaro filled him in. “Well, when you’re not worried about repercussions for your behavior because you have the ear of the Assistant Sheriff, why would you change?” If you’re told what you’re doing is right, and what I tell you, you’re not going to listen to, you’re not going to have a good outcome. You’re going to have the outcome of these guys acting the way they wanted to act.

“And that’s the way it was. When I walked out of that meeting, I felt like my career was done. I had no more supervisory power.”

Tavrezian took this in gravely. Then he had one more question.

“The sheriff…..How many times did you actually see him at Men’s Central Jail in the time that you were there?”

Pollaro paused to give the question full consideration. Even he seemed surprised by the answer.

“I don’t think I ever saw him.”


EDITOR’S NOTE: To access the audio for this meeting so that you may listen to the whole thing yourself, (it’s long but fascinating) go here.


  • Boy am I embarrassed to be a sergeant. Not because of what Sgt Pollaro had to deal with but because he took no action. In my twenty five years of service, there was no such thing as a deputy saying no to a Sergeant. If he did he got relieved of duty. For him to admit that he was bullied by deputies is so embarrassing to me. My god don’t take the stripes. Ms. Fremon you are correct he never worked a lot in the field, he worked mostly inside the station jobs as a deputy.

    If Gonzales says the same thing I will puke. He yelled at everyone, the most politically incorrect LT. I ever met.

  • If these two supervisors are all you have to testify against the department, you are in bad shape. He was shaking on the stand not because he is afraid of his testimony but because he is afraid that he has to acknowledge he should have never been a supervisor. If someone gets to cross examine him he will fall apart. Wow I was expecting some real fireworks about real corruption what a disappointment. Again it all goes to our hiring situation. Some people were born to lead and some to follow, everyone should know this. Please don’t tell me the deputies were not punished because of tanaka because that’s bull. Take blame when you fail pollaro

  • Yes, Polaro must take responsibility for his actions but retaliation is very real. Four witnesses came forward and testified on behalf of Pat Gomez. All four were retaliated against and two with careers ruined. Regardless of the decision one makes there will be consequences! Look what happened to Clark, Leyva and others. Did Polaro testify voluntarily or forced? I don’t know. If Polaro came forward of his own free will then at least he is trying to make amends. What an f-ing mess! Thanks Lee for all you never did and ruining a great department! You jerk!

  • In defense of Pollaro and Gonzalez, Tanaka made it VERY clear to everyone that he would roll-up anyone who created a “morale” problem. Tanaka was hell bent on kissing the ass of every deputy with MCJ and elsewhere at the expense of all discipline. Good grief, he chopped of the legs of Captain Clark, Lieutenant Bald and many others just to make his point. He met with the MCJ deputies and told them if they had “any more problems with supervision,” to email him directly. Now what kind of bullshit is that? Then, Tanaka places his “hand selected” sergeants and lieutenants throughout LASD and these (most of them) pukes “reported” to “Paul” directly on a monthly basis or so, anyone who the deputies feel may be “mean” or “causing a morale” problem were burned. How many good people have been rolled-up behind this tyrant Tanaka?

    So Sarge, I can understand your misbelief on one hand, but for those folks who had to work under that type of hostile environment it was a day-by-day survival. Hell, Cavanaugh, Burns and all the commanders were essentially neutered. Cavanaugh himself admitted he couldn’t make any decisions unless his then peer, Tanaka, said it was Okay. Tanaka created all of this mess and Baca turned his head and allowed it to happen. So don’t be so quick to judge. I would not have put up with it, but there would have been a price to pay. The bigger question is, WHEN is Tanaka going to be called on all of the mismanagement, to include the hiring of unqualified applicants, the corruption and the dysfunction of our beloved LASD? How many more article will the Times write essentially telling Baca to step-down? All on Tanaka’s back. Too Tall Paul must be real proud of that ink he has, what it really represents and what he alone has done to all but ruin a great organization.

  • I agree when I first started the job, Pitchess was the Sheriff then Block. In those days if I tried to go to a Lt. over a Sergeant, my head would have been handed to me on a plate. The only time I was allowed to skip a rank is if the complaint was against the Sgt. The first thing the Lt. would say is “Did you run this by the Sgt.?” Once Baca became Chief of Region II that began to change, and he started to listen to people like then Lt. Tanaka, who was assigned to Lennox Station. “Sheriffs Sgt.” must have had a good Lt. and Captain who had the Chiefs backing. He was very lucky. As a former Lt. I can tell you that Tanaka has a long reach when trying to get your attention or to fall into his way of thinking. Sgt.Pollaro was caught between a rock and a hard place. He had to supervise deputies who “could” totally ignor him and do what they wanted and still try and supervise. He backed Capt. Clark and see what happened to Captain Clark.

  • Never worked CJ during this time, but Sgt. Pollaro sounds weak. What was he doing when he wasn’t accidentaly shooting his locker?

  • After reading “Sheriff sergeant’s” comments I’ve concluded his comments are so short-sighted and ignorant it’s as if he read the first line and confabulated the rest. One can only surmise he’s a one of the HQ sycophants who snuggle up to Tanaka’s and Baca’s backside. His analysis would be hysterically funny were it not for the lack of basis and the absolute seriousness of the issue. I retired from LASD as a Sergeant and was always proud of my service. After reviewing this folderol, I’m cautious to let strangers know of my previous affiliation.

  • The fate of Tanaka is already sealed and he knows it. If he does not get indicted prior to 2014 a new sheriff will come to town and fire him as he so richly deserves.

    For all those still riding the PT cruiser, please don’t embarrass yourself or the department any more. Leave quietly out the back door.

  • With the information that has come out over the past few months,   why has Baca left  Paul in place as undersheriff? The commission’s final report like ones before it, will call for Baca to make some bold moves to regain control of this department. Most of us know that he’s not strong enough to do so. Sheriff sergeant is right in his statement some are born to lead and some to follow. Unfortunately, we  do not have a leader in the sheriff. Until this changes, we will continue to hire and promote the same type of people that have caused this once proud department so much grief. 

  • This is all nonsense. The department needs to fire all of the 3000 and 2000 floor deputies involved in these ridiculous groups. Not because they may have engaged in criminal behavior but how about moral turpitude? Doesn’t that still exist int the MPP? You may not have participated but you stood by and let it happen. Weak supervision…let a deputy tell you who will work what floor…quit it.

  • Also, screw these little cockroach MCJ deputies who have never set foot in a patrol RD. They think THEY have a tough job..ok tough guys.

  • Let me get this straight. A sergeant can’t supervise a deputy in the jails, and some how tanaka gets the blame. COM ON MAN. you guys are kidding me. If a Sergeant doesn’t supervise it’s for one of two reasons. First he wants to be a deputy 5, and second he is intimidated by some tattooed up thugs. Get a grip don’t take the test if you can’t handle it….

  • picture if you will; I get your point but I just can’t understand why two ranks above him did not crush tanaka if he was the problem. Cavanaugh saying he could not control his subordinate, is just like pollaro not handling deputies. I just don’t get it. Earn your promotion

  • Talk about ironic.

    It seems there’s some on this blog that feel Pollaro is/was a weak supervisor for allowing those below him in rank to run the show. I couldn’t agree more.

    Now, apply that logic to Baca/Tanaka.

    Nuff said.

  • As far as post #8….are you high?
    The only way Baca will be removed from office is IF he is in jail.
    IF he runs for re-election he will win by a landslide.
    Bet the farm on it.

  • @Sheriff’s Sergeant, Sarge, trust me when I tell you this. When a punk probationer lieutenant is getting his/her ass “tuned up” by his/her captain for his/her piss poor leadership, piss poor management skills and piss poor attitude leans forward and states, “I don’t report to you, I report directly to the Assistant Sheriff,” I think that speaks volumes of the tone Tanaka has set. When Tanaka places his “hand selected” people into various assignments, he meets with all of them behind closed doors beforehand. “If anyone gives you any problems, tell them you report directly to me.”

    You have to understand the inept, insecure, incompetent, megalomania, tyrant, gang mentality of Tanaka. It goes back to the days when he “earned his ink.” Instead of earning respect, he prefers to demand it by fear and intimidation. Chiefs despise Tanaka and all that he stands for. But who has protected him throughout his career? Baca. I can hardly bring myself to call him Sheriff anymore. Too Tall Paul must really have the goods on Leroy.

    I’m a cup of coffee away from retirement and I have faith that something is brewing and both Tanaka and Baca will soon have a date with destiny.

    For what it is worth, you can access the audio of all this testimony on the Commission’s web site. It is a long play, but the lieutenant and Olmsted’s testimony are quite shocking. People are speaking out. A great conduit is to email the editor of this blog directly. She and her staff will report meaningful and verifiable stories of corruption.


  • Everyone who is saying these supervisors were weak or unworthy of their positions is missing the point that under the current top leadership, it is possible for a deputy to reach around the chain of command to get what they want. The written correspondence to Tanaka was light on specifics of the harm being caused by the CJ leadership’s proposed changes and heavy on suggestion that to go forward with them might result in an exodus of staff from the department. On that basis, Tanaka took steps that validated such informal communications as an acceptable way of conducting the department’s business. It is not a flaw on the supervisors who must deal with informal networks running parallel to the official chain of command, to feel disempowered.

    The flaw is in Tanaka for inserting himself into a situation he was unfamiliar with and directing actions that prevented the department from addressing problems at the CJ. In trying to be a deputy advocate, he hurt the people of Los Angeles County by not letting those in position to best understand what might be wrong in the CJ to make changes to improve the facility.

    I have a question for you.
    IF, and it’s a big IF…what Pollaro testified to is true regarding the meeting with the supervisors at CJ, what is it SPECIFICALLY that Pollaro (or Clark for that matter) should have done after this exchange with Tanaka?

    Tanaka interrupted. “He said, ‘You know what? You sound just like my father.’”

    Pollaro tried to lighten the tone. “Well you must have listened to him, cause look where you are now.”

    At that, Tanaka told him to sit down.

    “People like you are a dinosaur. You’re a dying breed.” Tanaka reportedly told Pollaro.

    With Captain Clark he was even harsher, said Pollaro. “He was told to be quiet, and that if he wanted to talk to him he’d say so.”

    What should they have done?

  • Answering the question, I hope you don’t have too big an emotional attachment to that farm your betting. Funny thing, the exact same words were said back in 1998 about Block losing an election.

    Let’s just say the public’s opinion on Baca has been drastically altered over the course of the last two years, and not to his benefit. How you equate that to a landslide victory indicates you are the one smoking some strong stuff.

  • The article was riveting; and then I read Sheriff sergeants’ postings. Wow. What doesn’t he/she understand about the chain of command concept; establishing the line of authority and responsibility in giving and receiving orders in a paramilitary organization? Tanaka’s contempt for and destruction of this concept simply emasculated supervisors, at all ranks; for once the little guy stepped on their necks, no subordinate would snap to for any of them. After several years indoctrinated in this form of organizational anarchy, Tanaka-associated deputies ceased to follow orders (“I don’t work for you – I work for Paul Tanaka”). Further devastation was inflicted on the organization via Tanaka’s insider promotional process. Want to demoralize thousands of hard-working deputies hoping to secure a coveted position or gain promotion? Look to Paul – just look at where Paul’s methods have taken a once proud law enforcement organization. And Leroy isn’t aware of what’s going on, while the Board of Supervisors are mute? It is truly disgusting.

  • SheriffSergeantSays: You are wrong, Sgt. Pollaro worked the field for many years as a detective, while he may have been working out of a station, he worked Detective Division. He is a responsible and ethical individual who always played by the rules and expected others to do the same. He found himself in a nightmare. Intimidated, I’m sure he was to a certain extent. Don’t think he diden’t think about slashed tires, sugar in the gas tank, threatening phone calls or even worse. We all know those things have happened and can happen. It is easy to supervise from an armchair when you were not there, and have to deal with THUGS every day.

  • #14 you’re an idiot. You’re right this is probably a racial issue but you’ll find most of the 2000 and 3000 Floor retards are Hispanic. A vast majority of personnel who were either arrested or fired for bringing narcotics into the jails….Hispanic. The reality of this is you can take the turd out of the neighborhood but the turd is still a punk.

  • Is there any written proof that all the concerns were documented, sent out, and a written reply? I have not seen this anywhere. Maybe these supervisors who retired should be charged with Fraud for promoting and being do nothings! Now they retire and have a conscious?

    Thanks for the history lesson.

    “Funny thing, the exact same words were said back in 1998 about Block losing an election”

    LMAO. I stand corrected. You’re right. Should Baca be deceased at the time of the election like Block was, I’m quite sure Baca will lose too. Maybe he won’t even get 40% of the vote like Block did.

    For the record, when’s the last time a LIVING incumbent Sheriff was defeated in the General Election?

    Jesus. Talk about having an emotional attachment to things.

  • #25: So, your brilliant, idiotic, racist observation is what, that all Hispanic deputies are responsible for the violation of ethics, policies and that they are turds and punks according to you. What a fine example of a deputy sheriff you are. I hope that you never had to rely on a Hispanic deputy to watch your back on patrol, or, are you one of those “custody” deputies who never wanted to go out to patrol because they knew they would not make it?

  • I don’t know how those spineless supervisors who didn’t stand up to Tanaka can look at themselves in the mirror. Who cares if he would have ruined their career? I would have told him to shut up and sit down. Nobody talks to me like that. If he wanted to take it outside I would have been willing. I’m a tough guy. It’s not like it’s going to impact the family I don’t have if he ruins my career. Besides, what could he really do? Give me a little freeway therapy to Pitchess or something? I don’t have to worry about the kids I don’t have being uprooted out of school and moving. I’ve got nothing to worry about by showing the Assistant Sheriff who’s the fucking boss.
    I’m a tough guy!!!!!!!!!!! Especially on a blog.

  • I read the memo, and exactly the opposit is happening. Force has gone up due to rotations. Now we have un trained deputies working modules they should not be. It takes a while to work a module like high power. You have to be on your toes and watching all the time. You cultivate snitches and know the players when your there. New guy comes along and bang you got inmates fighting inmates and force is up

  • #28- Actually, it’s an observation based on facts. Sorry if that disturbs you. I responded to a comment about this being a “white” issue. Turds and punks come in all colors bud and in this case they happen to be primarily Hispanic. I don’t have a problem with anyone watching my back so long as they are not clicked up in a sub culture who identify more with common street gangs than deputies. I also don’t feel the need to justify my career to you since your primary response to factual evidence is an overdose of emotions.

  • First, I’m not sure and it’s a small detail but Sheriff Aguirre was voted out of office. Something about the guy only having one good eye LOL
    Second, good briefing discussion; what would you do if the A/S ordered you to commit a crime? I know of a man who refused and nearly lost his job!

  • You’reHiredsays: From your emotional response to my statement and the comment about justification of career, you answered my comment, your one of those “career” custody deputies who never went to patrol and raked in all that overtime for years.

  • I’m at the Top o the Mountain walking down. When I retire in a few, I expect total anarchy on this Department. Thanks Mr. Tee. You are responsable for alot of this mess.

  • Re #30. You are misinformed. Force has not gone up. It is still going down. I will say there are situations where force would be justified, but the deputies are using other means to reslove the situation. It’s not because of the super supervisors at MCJ. It’s because of the effort by the deputies to use other tatctics beyond force. they are trying and doing very well. They are also being more agreeable to the rotations. This can also help when they go to patrol and have to work with deputies who came from all of the other facilities. Force is down at MCJ, even despite the alarming trand of calling incidents force when they really aren’t. you sound like you know alot, but it’s obvious you don’t know it all. Respectfully submitted.

  • #33- is that your only argument? Saying I’ve never been to patrol? Wow, you really took a stand and defended your position there. What is your position in the argument anyway? Do you have a relevant thought to share or do you make a habit of assuming to be more well versed on a subject than anyone else here? Even though the evidence you presented us clearly points to a lack of any real argument and inability to effectively communicate outside of your irrational emotional nonsense.

    With that I ask you to remove yourself from this forum as the grown ups are discussing things.

  • I suspect sometime in the near future, the FBI will be handing out “invitations” to Federal Grand Jury proceedings. Shortly afterwards, the “I don’t report to you, I report directly to Mr. Tanaka,” crowd will be getting that “tap” on the shoulder from dudes wearing sunglasses, wig tips, white shirts with skinny ties and dark suits (sun glasses optional) and a Federal booking number. It will be interesting to see what all the tough guys from MCJ will have to say then. You know who I’m talking about, the little boys who “earned” their ink on 2000-3000 floors, worked the gray zone, blew off their supervisors, maybe “juiced it up” a little to full in those baggy shirts. I suspect they will attempt to call Mr. T, but will most likely receive a busy signal.

    And that will be just the beginning.

  • #36: Now, your patronizing, your grown up with all the name calling you started. Enough said already, apparently I really stung you, sorry for that but the truth hurts sometimes.

  • #32
    Well there you go. lol. Baca doesn’t have to die to get beat in an election, he just has to lose an eye. Losing your ears apparently won’t cost him the election, cause he’s obviously been deaf as a mofo for 13 years as to what’s going on in “his” dept.

  • 37 , one can only hope that day is coming soon. It’s sad that the Feds might be the ones to clean house.

  • “You’re Hired” – Do you really think it’s all Hispanics causing the problems. It’s been said before, but maybe you didn’t notice. We had a 99% white department at one time under Sherman Block.

    That didn’t work out well. Blacks and hispanics couldn’t get hired or promoted. If they did get hired they were stuck in Youth Athletic League and other community relations positions. There were no executives of color or women executives.
    Women couldn’t get hired or promoted. They were thought of as too weak to work patrol.

    They were put in desk jobs and told they would get killed working a patrol assignment. Women were refused promotions. A federal judge had to take over the promotional process because Block and his handpicked white department wouldn’t give women promotions. You talk about needing to be in the car to get a coveted position these days. Try getting to a coveted position under Block if you weren’t male and white. It didn’t matter whose car you were in, or what campaign you contributed to, you were going no where fast.

    And guess what, even with all these handpicked white guys running the department, corruption was far more rampant than today. The biggest arrest of department personnel in the history of the department took place during the arco narco corruption operations. Deputies were stealing, calling in false calls to stations and shooting pregnant women. The use of force was out of control. People were getting beat on a daily basis.

    There was far more jail and patrol force then. Booking front at IRC was called beating front back then. No reports were even filled out for use of force. They merely made a note in a book that a prisoner was put in a cell. Look into the history of department a little before making comments about the current corruption and favoritism. It pales to what went on during the Block era.

  • #38- One last thought so you can better yourself. Contractions, they are wonderful when used properly. For instance…you are would be you’re…see what I did there with the apostrophe? Yeah..good for you!

  • Right. The facility is the problem. You could put problem employees in a new facility and they would cease to be a problem. Got it.

  • In fact, if you put all the violent predators in a new facility I’ll bet they become monks.

  • Answering The Question has it all figured out. A little more history may serve to inform your point of view. During the 1998 race, Block was trailing Baca in the polls WHILE HE WAS ALIVE! He got a sympathy bump when he kicked the can, which means he did better dead than alive.

    History is sometimes made by one-eyed sheriffs, dead sheriffs, and an entire new chapter being written by Sheriff Moonbeam and his evil U/S.

    We will learn soon enough, but we can only hope voters are not blind, deaf, and dumb. Your insistence that Baca is indefeatable suggests you work a tad to closely with the dynamic duo.

    I guess you completely ignored my first post on this thread.

    Answering The Question Says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 7:37 pm
    Talk about ironic.

    It seems there’s some on this blog that feel Pollaro is/was a weak supervisor for allowing those below him in rank to run the show. I couldn’t agree more.

    Now, apply that logic to Baca/Tanaka.

    Nuff said.

    I’m no Baca cheerleader pal. Quite the opposite. I just don’t let emotions dictate my political predictions. I hope you’re right re: 2014. I’m afraid you’re wrong. And I would bet the farm on it. Joe Average in LA County isn’t paying any attention to this bullshit, that’s why it’s been allowed to happen.
    Because me and you have a high interest in the matter, that doesn’t mean Joe Average does. Sorry. That’s the way I see it.
    Gotta call it that way.
    Sorry if you don’t like it.

  • s far as your statement:
    “Your insistence that Baca is indefeatable suggests you work a tad to closely with the dynamic duo.”

    Jesus Christ. Now you sound like those on the other side who defend the indefensible by dismissing all of those who’s comments are not flattering toward Baca or Tanaka as “lazy turds” or “disgruntled”.

    Go right ahead and employ the tactics of those who you criticize. I’ve never met Lee Baca or Paul Tanaka.

    You’re obviously so emotionally involved you can’t think straight, and it’s causing you to criticize those who don’t agree with you 100% of the time on 100% of the subjects.

    Whatever. Just get ready for a huge disapointment in 2014.
    Like I said, I hope I’m wrong. Afraid not.

  • LATBG: Gotta agree with “Answering The Question” regarding reelection. The average citizen has no knowledge regarding the current LASD bad publicity. Just ask. The Baca regime has hunkered down. By keeping a low profile and not responding means less media attention to fan the flames as they hope the storm passes. This is a brilliant strategy that will keep the masses ignorant. Unless there are indictments or the media kicks it up a notch, Baca gets reelected. However, I hope I’m wrong.

    You are right and you are wrong.
    Here’s where you are right. Baca WAS leading in the POLLS prior to the 1998 election, but because it was within the margin of error it was considered “too close to call”.

    Here’s where you are wrong.
    “He got a sympathy bump when he kicked the can, which means he did better dead than alive”.

    Block got 38.7% of the vote. He didn’t do better dead than alive when it was “too close to call”.

    So maybe Baca would have beaten Block. Maybe Baca was more politically powerful in 1998 than I give him credit for.
    One thing is for sure and for certain. He’s a political powerhouse now.
    Why you think the BOS doesn’t take a more active hand in this mess?
    Any challenger in 2014 will have a monumental task in front of them.
    If I had a farm, I’d bet it on Baca IF he runs for reelection.


  • Look at all the stories that have been run in the times and on this blog over the past few months. Most of these stories  probably would have gotten most people removed from their jobs in private industry. However, we our the County  with our  elected sheriff and civil service protection for the rest of  us.  While Pollaro,  Gonzales, and Olmsted were testifying about problems in the department,where was Leroy? He was getting ready to attend a fundraiser that evening for City Attorney  Carmen Trutanich in Burbank. Baca has no concern for the problems that are going on in our department.  As far as a 2014 campaign for Leroy, word is that he does not plan to run. Look at all the ammo an opponent has against him. We can start will the $ 1,000,000  jury awarded to   Pat Gomez for retaliation  when Pat ran against him.  Al Gonzales stated  90 %to 95% of us  do our jobs well and I agree . Too bad the 5 % to 10% that need to be discharged from the department  are not only  the inappropriate deputies,  but  members in our leadership as well. 

  • “Question.” What are the 2000 and 3000 Boys that left and have gone to patrol now doing? “Answer.” Making up schedules, start times and riding with whom they wish to ride with is just another facet of bad leadership that does to little to curtail CJ cliques hooking up themselves.

    Patrol deals with it every day, if you aren’t from the CJ clique circle then expect very little advancement in patrol spots or going to specialized units. Special treatment isn’t just limited to custody these days.

  • As has previously been suggested, listen to the audio of the L.A. County Commission Hearings and perhaps some of you will amend your criticism of Pollaro and Gonzales’ supervision. I worked on the department for 35 years and while I saw a lot, I never saw or even heard of such insubordination by deputies, those 5 or 10 percent have behaved like gangsters.

  • EDITOR’S NOTE: I recommend listening to the podcast too. That way you can really judge for yourself.

    To make finding the audio easier, I just now inserted a link at the bottom of the post.

  • Anyone above the rank of Sergeant who says they are unaware of the “car”, or what happens to those who don’t fall in line or what happens to those who cross Tanaka is either blind or lying.
    Tanaka assembled an Army to take control of the Department. The Army exists and is functioning well even under current conditions.
    You can be a great supervisor, but if you cross Tanaka, you will be transferred. Your career will be over, and if that doesn’t work you will encounter unpleasantness at work.
    Let me say I am not disgruntled. I speak my mind in support of my people and only want to do a good job. Since this is my standard I am left alone. My work is not based on politics, but work.
    What started as good intentions to change the way the department worked, turned into something that grew to fast and accepted to many people it shouldn’t, most importantly those in the car chose to alienate those who weren’t. In doing so they ignored a very intelligent group of cops.
    What happened at CJ was wrong.
    Some very limited potential individuals are in places they shouldn’t be, but on the same note some awesome people are in places they need to be.
    Tanakas people have always said you need to do whats right, now is the time he and his crowd do what they say is their mantra, and remove themselves.
    The crooks should go to jail, the limited people should retire and know they are two or three ranks above their potential.
    The army should assimilate into the department so we can heal.
    And the Sheriff should accept this is something he allowed to be created and either retire or resign.
    To all of those on the fourth floor who are cheering on the anti Tanaka mantra, I ask where was your leadership when the army assembled? Why did you do nothing? Now you want to lead? Maybe you should retire as well, since you haven’t led in years.

  • 53. You wrote that Baca will not run again. Let’s pray that’s true! However, please note that in the race with Block, Baca had a nervous breakdown, and was flown to Hawaii. Baca had to be “tuned up.” This was reported in the Times but not the reason why. The word is now that Baca and Tanaka are near nutting up. Don’t know about Tanaka but with Baca don’t be surprised that emotionally Baca has lost it! With this type of unbalance who knows what can happen. It can’t be good!

  • Just listened to the podcast. I have never heard of a weaker sergeant than Pollaro.

    Commission – What did you do when deputies were consistently late? I joked with them and encouraged them to be on time.
    Commission – What did you do about deputies changing the inservice? I told them it was against policy. I told them only a sergeant is allowed to do that.
    Commission – What did you do when deputies disobeyed you and worked back to back doubles. I explained to them that they can’t do that because of the policy.

    How about ordering the deputy to immediately cease his behavior. How about warning the deputy not to violate policy, then writing paper and then pulling him off of the floor and relieving him of duty if the violation persists. How about writing some improvement needed or competent evaluations. Pollaro never gave one eval below a very good. This joke of a sergeant couldn’t lead a person out of a burning building.

  • Yes, 211D I remember hearing a similar story about Leroy. People on the 4th floor say both Leroy and Paul are looking pretty sick right now. He will be 72 years old in 2014 and with the testimony that is coming out, it’s quite clear that the lack of leadership has caused a vast majority of our problems. Former Seargent Fitzpatrick was just sentenced to more then 9 years for sexual assault, and the County paid a settlement to the victim for $ 245,000. Part of that lawsuit stated the department was”deliberately indifferent” to past complaints of misconduct by Mr. Fitzpatrick. I wonder sadly, how many other misconduct stories and financial settlements will come out over the next few years?

  • Stay with that 60. Don’t stray from that. Don’t even begin to address the topic at hand. Try not to let the conversation drift back to the subject of how supervisors at CJ were in a no win situation because they couldn’t discipline deputies or they would cause a “morale” problem.
    Stay with your talking points and attack the credibility of Pollaro.
    Great job.

  • I also listed to the podcast, Can’t believe that a supervisor would allow changes on a in service and not take approiate action to make sure it didn’t happen again. During my career, mostly in patrol, but ended as a IRC I never heard of Deps. changing the in service to suit their own wishes…You worked where you were assigned.

    I might add I did work with Captain Clark when he was a new Lt. and found him to be a excellent watch commander..

    It really saddens me to see what has happened to the dept I proudly served for so many years.

    I agree it sounds like Sgt Pollaro was a weak Supervisor.

  •  People can have their opinion on  the strength of  Mr. Pollaro.  Listen to the audio and the support the mcj command staff  and supervisors got from Tanaka when they tried to discipline rogue deputies. These  guys followed the chain of command to stop the problems and we’re shut down. Look at those of  that have evidence to support the  allegations of  corruption in the department now and are afraid to come out with it.  For those former and current members  who are talking to the commission,   thank you!  Maybe you’ll inspire others to turn over the information they talk about on this site, and  talk to the commission.  Why protect the 10% of  waste in this department. It time for the 90% to take back this department and restore its image.  I know we have retaliation in this department. However, there is power in numbers.

  • Answering the question, you underestimate the shift in public opinion that occurred on Block’s watch. It had nothing to do with what Baca did during the campaign (which was next to nothing) and everything to do with public sentiment souring on Block’s administration.

    Don’t confuse in house mindset with the voters at large, two different animals.

  • #64 – The latest independent Merick Bobb report disputes your allegation of command interference at CJ –
    It states “Bobb also raises the specter that a team of commanders Baca installed to reform the jails and report directly to Baca might not actually be reporting directly to him because of loyalty to Baca’s second in command, Paul Tanaka. The report, however, raises that issue only to discredit it, and say the task force has performed well.
    The report also describes a captain who had been “trying to sound an alarm,” an apparent allusion to former Men’s Central Jail Capt. John Clark, who was blocked by Tanaka in his attempt several years ago to regularly move deputies around the jail. That is a solution some have said would have prevented deputy cliques.
    Clark however has said under oath that the change was not meant to address deputy cliques or groups, which he did not believe existed. Bobb goes on to say that he has been monitoring investigations of uses of force in the jail from February, and has been pleased with “the trend spotting for patterns and individuals.’”

    This is nothing but Pollaro and other weak supervisors. Show one example of him trying to discipline with someone. Produce one less than very good or outstanding evaluation on a CJ deputy. If they are so far out of control why are all the supervisors giving them glowing evaluations. Pollaro retired 5 years ago after being assigned to CJ for 7 years. Why do you think he was at CJ for 7 years? He couldn’t get anywhere else.

    The Department can be blamed for dumping weak sisters like Pollaro in the jails and leaving them there so that competent supervision can be sent to the field. CJ needs good supervisors, not cast offs who admit to trying to joke with deputies to get them to comply with department policies.

  • Say what? I think if you check a little further, you’ll find you are confusing some things that the LA Times wrote, with what Merrick Bobb wrote, and its leading you down a faulty path. The Bobb report, which you can access, at the link below, will tell you what Bobb actually said on the matters you reference. See, for example, pages 8-11.

    You are correct about the fact that Merrick Bobb did say he was pleased with recent progress in CJ. And he has good things to say about the Commander Management Task Force and the job it is doing. However, the CMTF was not put into place by Sheriff Baca until mid-October of last year, meaning I don’t believe it has direct bearing on the 2003-2006 events described in the commission hearing.

  • Very true Celeste! I know Bobb and he’s nice man but not adept into the true cultural values of our LASD. Celeste is right and 66 go to the site once more and put your emotions down just long enough to look at it through another lens. As long as Bobb is on the payroll one must look at this so-called independent report with a suspicious eye.

  • Celeste – This quote has a direct bearing on 2003 to 2006:

    “The report also describes a captain who had been “trying to sound an alarm,” an apparent allusion to former Men’s Central Jail Capt. John Clark, who was blocked by Tanaka in his attempt several years ago to regularly move deputies around the jail. That is a solution some have said would have prevented deputy cliques. Clark however has said under oath that the change was not meant to address deputy cliques or groups, which he did not believe existed.”

    That Captain and his other weak supervisors testified under oath they did not even believe cliques existed. That is what caused the problems to develop. Now the department removed many of the weak sister supervisors and installed a task force of aggressive supervision. They also promoted people from units like SEB and sent them to CJ.

    The problem is now solved. Force has been tremendously reduced. I want to be there when the first 2000 boy, or whoever, tries tell a sergeant from SEB that he comes in late whenever he wants, and works where he wants. I can assure you the supervisor will not use the Pollaro technique of joking with him to try to get him to follow department policy. I can also assure you that deputies who try to show up late and leave early won’t get outstanding performance evaluations like they did during the Clark/Pollaro era.

  • #69 – I am glad to hear that the better supervision is taking place at CJ but I can assure you, just because someone came from SEB does not automatically mean they have integrity. You would like to think so, but sadly…no, not all of them.

  • Oh, dear, I see I wasn’t very clear in my response last night.

    Here’s the deal: If you read Bobb’s report you’ll find that, in the most gentlemanly of ways, Bobb was very critical of what has been going on in the jails, and where the responsibility lies. At the same time, he calls on the sheriff’s better angels to do what needs to be done to create a culture of accountability, and continue progress that’s been made since the scandal broke open, the feds began investigating etc.

    Yet he was quite direct with statements like this one:

    “Two things seem clear: the Sheriff was not well served by major executives and
    managers who both actively and passively permitted the jails to operate at variance with the Sheriff’s core values, seemingly believing that the abusive culture there was intractable, at best, or not really a problem, at worst. Senior executives did not keep Sheriff Baca well-informed or else sheltered him from persons in his management seeking to alert him to the serious problems in the jails.

    “The Sheriff has taken some steps to chastise some of the individuals who let him down. There are signs that there has been a change of attitude on the part of some, which is welcome and bodes well for the Department. Nonetheless, it will take a sustained period of genuine progress to convince knowledgeable observers that those same major executives who presided over the apparent collapse of accountability in the jails are capable of presiding over jail reform.”

    Bobb was even more direct about such issues in his testimony before the jails commission on March 2. Bobb’s testimony is in the last half of the meeting and it makes for very interesting listening, particularly toward the last third or so of his testimony.

    Say What?, the ‘graphs you keep quoting, are not from Bobb at all, but from the LA Times story on Bobb’s report. The ‘graphs are as follows :

    The report also describes a captain who had been “trying to sound an alarm,” an apparent allusion to former Men’s Central Jail Capt. John Clark, who was blocked by Tanaka in his attempt several years ago to regularly move deputies around the jail. That is a solution some have said would have prevented deputy cliques.

    Clark, however, has said under oath that the change was not meant to address deputy cliques or groups, which he didn’t believe existed. Tanaka has said that he opposed the change because it would have disrupted hundreds of deputies for the sake of a few problematic ones, a move that would have faced serious opposition from the deputies’ union.

    Again, this is NOWHERE in Bobb’s report. The whole thing about Clark not instituting rotation to disrupt deputy cliques and not believing in their existence, is a statement by the LA Times reporter.

    Furthermore, that statement is directly contradicted by testimony at the jails commission from two of the former supervisors, and by two more of our sources who were working in the jails at the time that Captain Clark attempted to institute rotation.

    It would be nice if the Times would provide the source material or deposition in which they claim that Clark has denied the existence of deputy gangs “under oath,” since that statement is completely at odds with contemporaneous witness reports about Clark.

    In any case, please don’t confuse what the Times has written with the Bobb report. What Bobb actually wrote about Clark and the rotation (without naming him) is this on p. 10 of his report. It is as follows:

    “…Perhaps believing that jail culture is intractable, senior executives at the LASD
    have, in the view of some observers, squelched efforts to instill accountability and assertively acted against a captain who had been trying to sound an alarm and a commander who states he tried on several occasions to inform the Sheriff and his top executives about excessive force and deputy gangs in the jail. It is good to report that the captain is back in a prestigious and important command.

    “Stagnant assignments within the jail create opportunities for cliques to form and subcultures to develop. Over the years, we have suggested various ways to expose deputies working in the jail to different environments and assignments. Accordingly, it is good to report that there has been some improvement in the rotation of deputies within MCJ, where deputies have been rotating to different floors since January 2011…”

    In addition, when talking to the commission, Bobb noted that his recommendations that there be the kind of rotation similar to that which Clark tried to institute has been on his list of recommendations for a very, very long time.

    So there you have it.

    I hope that clears things up a bit.

    Happy Sunday.

  • Celeste – There is no way for me to know if the Times is correct or you are correct. I have heard the reason deputies complained about the rotation was because Clark never said it was due to deputy cliques. He said it was for training purposes. This upset the deputies and caused them to complain because they did not see any training value in the rotation. This kind of supports the Times story that Clark said the rotation had nothing to do with corruption or cliques. He should have said given the true reason for the rotation. I can see why higher ups objected to a rotation to improve training. It didn’t make sense. I go back to weak supervision from the Captain down. Tell the deputies what you really believe and do it in writing. No one all the way up to the Sheriff will stop a rotation when it is intended to stop corruption.
    #70 – I didn’t mean to imply that SEB or any other unit was blemish free. I meant that no SEB supervisor will tolerate for one minute a deputy telling him or her what policy they plan to follow. This is true of most supervisors on the department. Pollaro came across as a complete joke in his testimony.

    And as I said before, every supervisor that wrote an outstanding performance evaluation to a 2000/3000 boy should be rolled up. They have no business being a supervisor and they were responsible for the CJ problems. Although there are some exceptions, you generally can’t blame the kids without blaming the parents.

  • SW, Clark did say in the memo to CJ personnel (see above) that the rotation was to give deputies a wider experience rather than having them work simply in one location in CJ, and others have said that this is part of the rationale as well. In truth, from what I’ve gathered, the rotation was for a multiplicity of reasons—not just because of the cliques. I don’t get the impression that Clark was in any way being punitive, but was trying to disrupt what had become an unhealthy situation, and turn it into a healthy one for the deputies and therefor for custody and for the department. He was far from the first supervisor to suggest assignment rotation.

    In any case, I’ve not spoken directly to Clark, so I’m relying on the perceptions and experience of those who have.

    Both the Times and WLA are doing all we can to report honestly, but we are clearly coming to different conclusions on this particular point. Likely it will sort itself out in the future.

    As for, “….you generally can’t blame the kids without blaming the parents.” Yep. Indeed.

    Okay, I’m going to do my best to stay out of the comments section now, and get out into the sunshine. But I appreciate the discussion.

  • Celelste response: Here’s the deal: If you read Bobb’s report you’ll find that, in the most gentlemanly of ways, Bobb was very critical of what has been going on in the jails, and where the responsibility lies. At the same time, he calls on the sheriff’s (better angels) to do what needs to be done to create a culture of accountability, and continue progress that’s been made since the scandal broke open, the feds began investigating etc.

    I agree Celeste. Now, since we have a GREAT Undersheriff who can now steer the ship more effectively, we will be better off. As the “Sheriff’s Better Angel”, we know he will do the right thing. Remember, this man is human and is trying to what’s right. He’s only been Undersheriff for less than a year and has helped make great changes. Support the Sheriff and his better Angel (Paul Tanaka) and great things will happen. I know SOME of you will disagree, but it’s the truth, and the truth will prevail.

  • I sure hope he’s being facetious, but there is a strange similarity with the comments from Say What, in that they claim the correct steps are being taken right now and problems are being fixed. In short, NOT!

    I will support the DEPARTMENT as the 162 year institution that it is. I have no allegiance to corrupt, morally bankrupt executives (Baca and Tanaka) and anyone who tries to carry out their corrupt activities.

    Good over Evil, if Tanaka were truly trying to do what’s right, then he should not break the law in trying to do it, nor encourage his subordinates to “work the grey” or push the legal envelope.

    If Tall Paul had an ounce of decency, he would retire and walk away quietly. Those of us who chose to be honest and ethical in all we do will repair this department and restore its reputation.

    Both Baca and Tanaka suffer from a similar problem: an oversized ego only matched by their insecurity.

    2014 will see the end to this nightmare. Good Over Evil, what’s the number on your cigar challenge coin?

  • #76 LATBG- 2014 will see the end to this nightmare. Good Over Evil, what’s the number on your cigar challenge coin?

    No Coin, No Tattoo, No Campaign contribution. Just hardwork and team playing, that’s it. We’re sorry you feel that way. And you’re right, 2014 will tell the story, as will the Federal Investigation.

    #75 211D- NO. Just telling it like it is.

    Here’s a repeat, JIC:

    I agree Celeste. Now, since we have a GREAT Undersheriff who can now steer the ship more effectively, we will be better off. As the “Sheriff’s Better Angel”, we know he will do the right thing. Remember, this man is human and is trying to what’s right. He’s only been Undersheriff for less than a year and has helped make great changes. Support the Sheriff and his better Angel (Paul Tanaka) and great things will happen. I know SOME of you will disagree, but it’s the truth, and the truth will prevail.

  • goe: I too am sorry that you have taken this path onto “deliberate indifference.” As Celeste does not publish who you are I will prove that I know. You are also A-L that posts on other sites. Team playing and hard work is not your rep. In fact quite the opposite. However, let’s say, for argument sake, that Tanaka is not to be fully blamed, as you assert. Then how much of this inept management and corruption falls onto Waldie and Stonich? On your other posts you have admitted the place is a mess (my words.) I don’t have weekends off. like yourself, got to go now!

  • To all of the military troops and veterans, THANK YOU for serving our country and allowing me and my loved ones (past and present) to enjoy the freedom we do. The debt we owe you can never be repaid.
    YOU are the warriors that shed your blood in order to keep the enemy from our doorstep.
    I am grateful and indebted to you.

  • Answer the Question, well said!

    Good over Evil, please provide facts to support your wild statements. At least 95% of the department disagrees with you, so state your case!

  • We’re drifting into sideshow issues again. The MCJ debacle is being addressed because the Times and Witness LA exposed the Sheriff to the glaring light of public scrutiny. And it was an easy fix – just do your job as a supervisor and LEAD.
    This doesn’t address the underlying rot in the Department. What’s the result of the Aero Bureau audit? Where has the 6 million dollars set aside for facilities for the new County Services and Parks Bureau gone? Why are Parks Deputies still dressing out of their cars and using a porta potty after 2 years when new facilities were supposed to be built? Why do the Tanaka doner lists so closely match the promotion/coveted position lists? Why did the Sheriff need to visit Pakistan, China, Qatar, and half of the rest of the planet? Isn’t that a little bit out of his RD?
    The troops are misbehaving, because that’s what they see their leaders do.

  • Thats the name I was looking for Mr. Waldie. He protected tanaka, and the Sheriff knew nothing. I agree with 10-6, but dont get to caught up in it. Tanaka did his in the car slam supervisor a lot but sinse no one checked him he continued. Everyone that straight took him on won. I know a few that had there ducks in a row that never bowed to the emperor.

  • Pollaro & Gonzalez were not proactive at all, they allowed all of that crap to happen. Pallaro was the day shift sgt for 2000 floor and gonzo was dayshift wc. Sgt would hang out every morning joking with gonzo checking out all the deps, who were signing in with the watch dep, joking making stupid comments to everyone. Pallaro would disapear to his office shortly there after and not be seen until 1330 hrs as he was walking to his car. WC Gonzo was the same, both of the were line supervisors at ground zero. Shame on both of them.

  • amazed at Tanaca plants in responses
    And support of his nefarious actions. Particularly sheriff sgt. Who doesn’ understand chain of command. also no minority brass before Baca? some of the best brass I worked for under Biscailuz
    And Pitchess were minority. However they were select
    Because of ability not race or who they knew. Our current hiring standards are atrocious.

  • Seriously. The “3000boys” tattoo was an ink pen for a Halloween party. U r an idiot for siding with these savages. Lets go ahead and release them and see what happens to the communities. The ACLU should drive through 2101 or 2805 rds at night and then say something. Go represent these turds then.

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