LASD

Case Going to Trial of LA Sheriff’s Investigator Claiming Retaliation for Refusing to Falsify Job Apps & to Raise Big $$ for Tanaka


NO SETTLEMENT, GOING TO COURT

In early 2015, former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy Ban Nguyen filed a civil lawsuit alleging that he was retaliated against when he refused to falsify paperwork for certain unsuitable job candidates favored by department higher ups, particularly those candidates supported by former undersheriff Paul Tanaka.

The retaliation got worse, Nguyen alleges in his lawsuit, when he was asked to raise money for Tanaka’s campaign to become sheriff, and he refused, explaining that he didn’t favor Mr. Tanaka for that post.

(If you remember, Tanaka was in the running from mid-2013 through November 2014 for the job that Sheriff Jim McDonnell holds today.)

After being what he describes as forced into retirement, Nguyen is suing the former undersheriff, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for alleged violations of his civil rights along with violations of the state labor code and more. Nguyen also names in his lawsuit two LASD captains, and two department sergeants. (Kevin Hebert and Judy Gerhardt, are the captains named, although both have since been promoted to commander.)

According to court documents filed late last week, the defendants attempted with reams of paperwork to get a summary judgement without going to trial. But it appears that the case is going to trial anyway.**

“For Ban it isn’t about the money,” sources close to the case told us. At this point, say the sources, Nguyen wants to “expose the corruption” he alleges, in open court.

Indeed, given some of the witness already deposed, the trial, which is expected to begin in mid October, will be well worth watching.


PRESSURE, POOR POLYGRAPHS, AND PAINTING THE PAPERWORK WHITE

Ban Nguyen, 51, has an interesting background. He was born in what was then Saigon, and emigrated with his family to the United States in 1974, when he was approximately nine-years-old, and the writing was on the wall about where the war in Vietnam was headed. (Saigon fell—or was liberated, depending upon your political perspective—on April 30, 1975.) In 1985, eleven years after his arrival, Nguyen became a U.S. citizen.

Nguyen joined the LA County Sheriff’s department in 1996, when he was in his early 30s. For the first ten years of his career as a deputy, according to court documents, things went well. Nguyen, who has a BS in Biology and and MA in Public Administration, did not try to promote past the rank of deputy. He comes from a high achieving family and reportedly had—and still has—other business interests of his own, and thus additional sources of income. As a consequence, he had no real desire to advance up the promotion ladder. He simply liked the work of being an LASD deputy.

After working in various other parts of the department, Nguyen was transferred in 2008 to the personnel division’s “Pre-Employment Unit,” where for four years he recruited deputy candidates and oversaw and reviewed parts of their application process, a job he liked and at which he seemed to excel.

In 2012, however, according to Nguyen’s court filings, he was transferred to personnel’s “Administrative/Reserve” team, where a healthy portion of his duty was to handle the job applications of “sensitive” deputy or reserve candidates, meaning those who, for one reason or another, were important to someone or other on the LASD’s command staff, most often, allegedly, the then-undersheriff, Paul Tanaka.

Applicants for deputy sheriff training (DST)—as opposed to applicants for “non-sworn” positions—are required to complete an 11-page application that includes questions on work history, education, family, references, along with questions designed to reveal any potential problem areas such as drug use, arrests and the like. After that, an investigator checks out references and does other probing. The candidate must also make it past such hurdles as a psych evaluation, and a polygraph test.

Once he began working on personnel’s Administration/Reserve team, according to Nguyen, he became aware that there was a practice of not only giving the “sensitive” candidates a leg up, but also the team was expected to whitewash the applications of favored candidates when necessary.

For instance, in one alleged situation, a candidate whose father was a friend of the former undersheriff failed the required polygraph test six separate times, specifically around questions relating to drug use and some other problematic issues. When Nguyen declined to recommend that the candidate be accepted for deputy training anyway, the applicant’s case was allegedly yanked from Nguyen and given to another, presumably more agreeable investigator, at which time the polygraph-challenged candidate magically passed the poly the seventh time around.

In other cases, according to court filings, Nguyen and colleagues were given a negative background report on a pet candidate, and told to rewrite the report, in effect ‘sanitizing” it, until it was shiny and clean enough to get the applicant through the gate.

Sometimes the alleged sanitization involved finding a more compliant psychologist to redo the psych evaluation, if “there were negative psychological or psychiatric issues” that had previously prevented the candidate from passing. Or, as with the earlier alleged example, Nguyen and his colleagues would be ordered to redo polygraphs, modifying or leaving out questions that produced problems.

When Nguyen refused to whitewash an application, reportedly stating to his immediate boss, Sergeant Ismael Chavez, that the practice of shoehorning “unqualified” candidates onto the force was both wrong and a potentially dangerous strategy, Chavez allegedly “berated and screamed” at him, according to court documents.

Nguyen states that he went over Chavez’s head to request to the appropriate lieutenant that the matter be investigated, but the lieutenant allegedly declined to look into the matter.


PERSONNEL AND POLITICS

The 2012 job transfer also coincided, according to Nguyen, with the discovery by the captain of personnel division at the time, Kevin Hebert, now a department commander, that Nguyen had experience and expertise with political fundraising. For instance, in 2010, he had reportedly been helpful in helping Sandra Hutchens get elected to the position of Orange County Sheriff-Coroner. (Hutchens, who was originally with the LA Sheriff’s Department, before moving to Orange County, served first as the interim sheriff after former sheriff Mike Corona resigned in the face of federal indictments.)

One day at work in mid-November 2012, according to Nguyen, his boss, Sgt. Chavez took him to see then-captain Hebert, who Chavez said wanted to talk to Nguyen. Hebert then allegedly asked Nguyen what his experience was with raising money, and how one went about raising big bucks for a political campaign, or words to that effect. Nguyen states that he told of his involvement in previous political campaigns, and explained, in general, how one goes about raising $100,000 in political funds.

A few days later, according to Nguyen, he was again brought to meet with Hebert during the work day, at which time Hebert asked if he’d like to raise money for Paul Tanaka, who was planning to run for sheriff. Would he be on the team? Hebert allegedly asked.

Nguyen says he declined multiple requests.

(For the record, Hebert has stated in a deposition that he never met with Nguyen, much less pressured him to become involved in Tanaka’s campaign.)

Near the end of 2013, according to the lawsuit, Nguyen told then Sheriff Lee Baca about the demand to “lie about or conceal damaging background information concerning Tanaka connected applicants,” and the retaliation that occurred when he would’t comply, or support Tanaka’s political campaign. Rather than helping matters, Nguyen alleges that, after he went to Baca the retaliation—which had begun after his various failures to cooperate with what he believed was wrongdoing—got worse. Hebert was no longer captain of personnel, but his successor, then-captiain Judy Gerhardt, allegedly told Nguyen “he was not allowed to go beyond the chain of command again with his complaint.”

Interestingly, when Nguyen went to meet with then Sheriff Baca, which he did more than once, a retired LASD commander who had been Nguyen’s mentor in earlier years, came with him to help bolster his case. The retired commander was Robert Lindsey, a man with his own personal story about refusing what he believed were illegal (or at the very least corrupt) orders coming from Paul Tanaka.

According to the signed declaration Lindsey made for this case, when Lindsey was still with the department, Chief Tanaka told him to make it possible for certain chosen favorites to advance up the ranks by giving these favored few the answers to the lieutenants’ exam. Additionally, according to Lindsey, Tanaka asked him to give certain applicants-for-promotion credit for non-right test answers that Tanaka allegedly claimed were “close enough.” Lindsey alleges that when he declined to facilitate Tanaka’s orders to…well….cheat, Tanaka told him that he would “live to regret it,” and that his career was over, and then allegedly triggered an internal affairs investigation against Lindsey.

(Lindsey also alleges that, years later, Tanaka took out his still existing fury on Lindsey’s LASD deputy son by ginning up a criminal case against Robert Lindsey Jr. But that’s another upcoming civil lawsuit for another day.)

Nguyen describes an increasingly hostile work environment, then a transfer to an “entry level position” in what was known as the Civilian Investigative Unit. When he tried to transfer to what he believed was a more appropriate job, he was moved to a desk job under then-Captain Gerhardt, which he alleges involved “no real duties.” At the same time, he was told that an anonymous complaint had been filed against him, and that he was being “investigated,” although according to Nguyen he was never told anything about the investigation, or whether it was criminal or administrative in nature.

Nguyen states that, around this point, his health and state of mind began to suffer.

In September 2014, he was put on sick leave. In November 2015, Nguyen retired. In between he filed his lawsuit, now slated to go to court in October.


THE UNDERLYING ISSUES

In court, the defendants will of course tell a very different story—or more accurately multiple different stories—than that which plaintiff Nguyen and his attorney, Richard A. Love, have told through court documents.

Yet, whichever side ultimately prevails in this lawsuit, many of the issues underlying Nguyen’s civil complaint call out loudly for better examination.

For years there have been credible reports of certain people in the LASD’s personnel division being asked to shave the dice, so to speak, for either unsuitable job applicants, or candidates for promotion who didn’t manage to make the grade on their own.

Perhaps this lawsuit will trigger a long overdue closer look at those stories of corruption.


**NOTE: We originally wrote that there was talk of a settlement of the case, which Ban Nguyen declined. Whether true or not, the most recent court documents pertain to a “Summary Judgement,” which is basically a kind of appeal from the defendants to dismiss the case.

55 Comments

  • Interesting that LASD wanted to settle the Nguyen case.
    Now there will be two court cases to watch next month. ALADS vs Macias et al will be the other case. The lack of transparency always leads to exposure. It will be interesting to see how ALADS explains to membership, the cost to get a “Pound of Flesh” from Deputy Armando Macias. Membership should be informed.

  • The fact that Nguyen was never told about his investigation (civil or criminal) is out of ICIB/IAB Playbook Chapter 1. Many are rooting for Nguyen as Karma pays a timely visit.

  • It takes a lot of courage to do what Nguyen is doing. The LASD will certainly see more and more civil litigation unless and until it changes its ways. I know there’s not a lot of union support here, but if any PPOA members have had a similar issue or have had discriminatory or retaliatory actions against them, please contact us so we can evaluate your case and possibly support your litigation.

  • I don’t even know where to start with some of the nonsense that has gone on at Personnel. It has gone on for years. The Department should take a look at every Deputy Sheriff that has been hired on in the past five years. If that Deputy has any ties to a Department member, flag that Deputy and have an independent investigator from outside the Department look over their background. Many if not most will do just fine, but I know for sure, there are some that won’t do so well. It actually might be easier if they just start with those that have been given coveted jobs, right after they graduated.

  • Funny how the same names continue to rise to the surface every time something shady goes on yet, they continue to promote. So when they decide the heat is to hot, they leave with a fat pension. Sheriff, you have not impressed your subordinates with your promotional selections. You are loosing the respect of the troops who were sold a false bill of goods that you would make changes. The only change is the name on the office, same clowns are running the circus. Who is providing you promotional prospects? The negative baggage they carry is ridiculous. Come on man, get your shit together.

  • This will be a trial worth watching as a search light is going to be shined into the crevices of Personnel and it appears to be loaded with cockroaches. All of this reminds me of Kristy Guyovich, then a lieutenant at Personnel and now a commander, where she single handily rolled up experienced and tenured supervisors from Backgrounds at the direction of one, Paul Tanaka. And their crimes? Refusing to sanitize unqualified DST applicants. Her reward? Promotion to captain and now commander.

    Fast forward to present time and two captains of Personnel, both working for then, one Paul Tanaka, reportedly doing the same dirty deeds as reported in this article, all out in the open, under everyone’s nose. Their reward? Both promoted to commander by none other than Jim “Fresh Eyes” McDonnell. And I must say, this aspect of the story is absolutely disgusting. So are we to believe that Fresh Eyes and his scandalous EPC staff and his sharp as a beachball XO Tyler had absolutely NO IDEA of thsee allegations and pending trial? Are the people around him, closest to him that incompetent that they do not brief the Sheriff of this ticking time bomb? And with this thunderstorm looming on the horizon, McDonnell decides the best and most qualified candidates to be promoted to Commander are Hebert and Gerhardt? Truly, this is beyond disgusting, this is simply vile in every sense of the word. Sheriff McDonnell is either absolutely clueless, doesn’t give a shit, incompetent, or all three wrapped in one tortilla. He has done NOTHING to reform LASD. He lied to the media and he lied to the electorate of Los Angeles County. Worse than that, he lied to the men and women of LASD. There is no reform and there will be no reform as he retained and promotes Tanaka’s henchmen. I hope the media exposes Sheriff Jim McBaca for the failed leader and failed reformer he claims to be. It’s all politics with him, just like it was with his mentor, Leroy Baca. I so hope the media exposes this story and all those involved.

  • 6: It’s a real incompetent by the name of Love. Ban is going to have a very hard time. But, I hope he wins in spite of his attorney.

    Ban: If you win you better be careful!

  • Good strategy. Your name is worth more than money. Put it all out there for everyone to see. Tanaka disgraced himself and our department. Get the rest of them out of there. Including the current ALADS board. Have a good night.

  • I agree with Mr. Moriguchi, it takes a lot of courage, and willingness to lose everything to stand up against wrong. This new Sheriff is either clueless, outright incompetent, or worse, a liar as well. The Sheriff department is being run by the same spineless, self-serving executives, who ran this department under the Tanaka Regime. Now they are bowing to the new sheriff, by burning low ranking deputies left and right in hopes of getting the next rank and more pay. The Sheriff promised to bring change to the department, and he has delivered a new uniform. The Sheriff has order his lackeys to burn deputies left and write, and they are delivering, I now miss Sheriff Baca. The promotional process is still rigged and they promote who they want, and find excuses to not promote those, they don’t want. There will be more civil cases against the Sheriff in the new future for violations of POBRA.
    Can anyone tell this Sheriff he has no respect from the line deputies, performing the work the sheriff is charged in accomplishing? Heck, not even the nurses in the jails like him, go figure.

  • If retired Deputy Nguyen has the names of those whose backgrounds were massaged, the trial should be straight forward. Databases such as DMV, credit history and criminal history don’t lie. In addition to that you put a current employee on the stand who worked as a polygraph examiner during that time frame, they’ll be compelled to tell the truth (right) as the penalty for lying is termination.

    As far as N.Tyler is concerned, he didn’t have the courage to stand up to Tanaka prior to retirement and in fact has told people in super school there was no ear for his voice back then. Why he’s back and employed is a riddle for the ages. Some say he was ignored, others say he was a paper tiger. Nonetheless, he’s back and I’d suspect nobody under his rank appreciates it. We need leaders. “Followers” and “Yes men” stand trial and get convicted for being just that.

  • How weak are our leaders that they have to “beat” their subordinates into submission as opposed to convincing them. How things have changed. There was a time when there were some good, tenured, been there done that Cops who had rank, and would go to bat for you (20 plus years ago), or explain and convince you that the order you were given was correct. Now it’s all CYA ridiculous policies made to make it easier to burn you. No wonder why so many are lateraling.

  • #6… Read the whole article.
    #11… Rumor has it that he’s an accomplished records keeper if you know what I mean. I don’t know him, but it sounds like some people really wanted this settled out of court. Especially J.G

  • Contrary to popular belief, Santa has not been in hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy at the North Pole. That is a rumor started by certain executives of the LASD to discredit his efforts to bring to the LASD Nation information on what is REALLY going on behind closed doors. In reality, Santa’s helpers did a sweep of the FBI Data Network shortly after former Sheriff Lee Baca’s last appearance before Judge Anderson in Federal Court. At that time they discovered the following conversation recorded in a suite at the Ritz-Carlton, Marina Del Rey which had taken place that two days after Baca’s appearance. The room in which this conversation took place was evidently previously wired for sound during an FBI undercover sting and the microphones were still active and, as a result, were captured by the FBI’s Data Network.

    Due to the nature of one segment of this conversation, Santa’s legal team has had to determine if it is permissible to reprint that specific portion of the conversation without first notifying the proper authorities. As Santa did not want to publish a redacted conversation, he has been forced to delay posting the conversation on Witness LA. The legal team has finally established that Santa is under no legal constraints to redact any portion of the conversation. We are therefore sharing the full and complete text of this transcript:

    Former Undersheriff Waldie: Fuck! Check out this view!

    Former Undersheriff Stonich: Nothing but the best – Club Level Suite! Lee’s Legal Defense Fund is footing the bill.

    Waldie: Then let’s check out the room service. I’ll bet they have a steak that will melt in your mouth.

    Stonich: We have the room for the weekend. I plan on playing a round of golf somewhere and putting it on the tab.

    Waldie: On the tab? Great idea! I think I’ll get a “massage”!

    laughter

    Stonich: Damn, you can still get it up? I can’t.

    Waldie: These girls have tricks you NEVER thought of.

    Stonich: Maybe I’ll get one too!

    laughter

    Waldie: So, is this going to be like the letter writing campaign we did for Lee? Make up some bullshit for the judge?

    Stonich: Something like that. The letters didn’t influence him much. I thought Arnold Schwarzenegger would seal the deal.

    Waldie: Yeah, I guess the Judge didn’t like the Terminator.

    Stonich: Well anyway, Lee’s defense team wants us to work with Lee and come up with some compelling “truths” about his “recent mental impairment”.

    Waldie: “Recent mental impairment?”(laughing) Look “Mental Impairment” up in the dictionary and there’s Lee’s picture next to it!

    laughter

    Stonch: We somehow need to make him look sane and then he becomes “impaired” around the time that he thought up this game of keep-away with the Feds.

    Waldie: Thank God I was gone for THAT caper!

    Stonich: That’s one of the problems.

    Waldie: What?

    Stonich: All of his hair-brained ideas before that one makes THAT decision just SOP.

    Waldie: Amen to that!

    Stonich: Unfortunately, his defense is going to be that he was mentally just fine, that his mental impairment started around time that Tanaka came to him with this cell phone thing.

    Waldie: Good luck with that!

    Stonich: They are going to say he made an irrational decision to play peek-a-boo with the Feds over the phone being smuggled in to CJ at that time.

    Waldie: Uh, yeah!

    Stonich: And “under normal circumstances, Sheriff Baca would not have made such a STUPID FUCKING DECISION” – my words, not his attorney’s.

    Waldie: No fucking way. Under Lee’s “normal circumstances” there is no telling what the fuck he would have done over the cell phone. Hell, he might have thought it was a good idea to give a cell phone to EVERY fucking inmate!

    Stonich: Larry….

    Waldie: I can hear him now: “Our prisoners have families who need to hear from them. These families need to become their support team while they are undergoing the difficult times of being incarcerated. This will be their first step in rehabilitation – building a family-support network while in our custody. They will be able to contact them 24/7, free of charge! Stonich! Call the Times! Let’s have a news conference!!” Yeah, film at 11.

    Stonich: Larry, you’re not helping matters. We need to help Lee by coming up with scenarios where his attorneys can demonstrate that he was mentally stable while we worked with him and then he started to “slip” around the time that this whole thing started.

    Waldie: And I guess they want us to show Lee can walk on water too?

    Stonich: Damn it Larry! They want us to talk about all the good things he was doing in the community and for the department during the time we worked with him – which was essentially his entire career as Sheriff before Tanaka took the reins.

    Waldie: Bill, “they want US to TALK about it”? You don’t mean that they want us to..to….te….test….testify in court. Do you?

    Stonich: Well, I was not there as long as you were, so I suggested you could handle testifying for both of us. I’ll help you of course – give you what I saw as background and stuff.

    Waldie: But you were the one who was his rah-rah guy. “Whatever the Sheriff wants.” I was just….

    Stonich: You’ll be fine…..

    Waldie: Have you followed the trials? This fucking Judge Anderson is a HANGING judge! You want MY neck in the noose and not YOURS! You better get yourself another boy!

    Stonich: That’s not what Lee’s team wants to hear! They want us to come up with….

    Waldie: Look, you know and I know Lee was always nuts. Remember? We talked about him being nuts back when we realized we weren’t going to get promoted by Block so we backed Lee for Sheriff in the very beginning. We were going to ride Lee to the top and all that stuff. You said…

    Stonich: Things back then were ….

    Waldie: You said he was nuts but “controllable.” “Larry, WE’LL be the ones who run the Department. Lee will just be a figurehead” Remember THAT?

    Stonich: Yeah, but….

    Waldie: And then as soon as he got in office you changed your tune and started with this “Yes, sir, boss. Whatever you want boss.” “Want a float in the Rose Parade Boss? GREAT IDEA! I’ll get right to it boss?” You were even the bag man for him by putting the arm on the execs.

    Stonich: Well, we needed to….

    Waldie: And like all of his other “Grand Schemes”, it was a fucking embarrassment. Imagine the Rose Parade Committee asking us NOT to come back. Christ! And THAT was only the beginning!

    Stonich: Well, Lee wanted to bring attention to…

    Waldie: Himself! And now YOU want ME to be the one to testify that he was “mentally just fine”?

    Stonich: You are not making this any easier. Maybe it would help if we got Lee down here, he’s got a suite down the hall and is waiting for our call. We need to talk about this as a team. Just like we used to do.

    Waldie: Fine. While you do that I’ve got a call to make in the other room. I’ve got some steam to blow off.

    Stonich: Lee? Bill. Come on down. Ah……………Larry needs a little gentle nudging but things are going well. Bring your “persuasion shoes”.

    long pause the the sound of knocking at the door

    Stonich: Looking good Boss! You look so much better than on TV these days.

    Former Sheriff Baca: Why, thank you my man! They want me to play the part of the walking dead when the cameras are around. I practice daily in the mirror looking like I just lost my first pet – a wonderful hamster named Eli. Eli got eaten by the neighbor’s cat. Really sad – I found the cat in the cage one day when I came home from school eating Eli. Sad I still get tears in my eyes when I think about it. I was thinking at one point that we might allow the prisoners to have hamsters as pets. It would make their incarceration so much….

    Stonich: Uh, yeah. That would have been a great idea. I…uh…understand how thinking about Eli being eaten by a cat makes you…uh…have that blank stare on your face.

    Baca: Think it really works? Great! I call it my “100-mile stare.” I can turn my head and my eyes don’t fix on an object, they just move with my head. Try it. It’s hard to do, your eyes keep wanting to sick on an object. Takes a lot of practice. Do you have a mirror, I’ll show you.

    Stonich: Uh, there’s one in the other room, but Larry’s in there using the phone.

    Baca: By the way, I disagree with what I read about you in WitnessLA.

    Stonich: What’s that?

    Baca: That you look like a cross between Stan Laural and Uncle Fester (laughing).

    Stonich: I saw that. I don’t think so either, but I think Larry does look like Jabba the Hutt!

    laughter

    Baca: I have to agree with that! What the hell is Larry doing on the phone?

    Stonich: He said he had to blow off steam.

    Baca: Blowing of steam? On the phone? Is he ok?

    Stonich: Yeah he’s been a little …..

    sound of door opening

    Waldie: Hey, Lee. How you doing?

    Baca: Good Larry. I just got back from Hawaii.

    Waldie: Vacation?

    Baca: “Trial Prep”. I took Carol to the islands. We flew in her “family” from China for a week. All paid for by the Defense Fund, of course.

    Waldie: Your Legal Defense Fund?

    Baca: You don’t think I’d spend any of MY money on this trial do you?

    laughter

    Baca: And of course I can’t “leave the country”.

    laughter

    Baca: And the “rehearsal” went well.

    Stonich: Um,….er….

    Waldie: Rehearsal? On a vacation? And what’s with the laughing?

    Stonich: Well, eh….

    Waldie: What the FUCK is going on?

    Stonich: Uh,…better tell him Boss.

    Baca: Well Larry, I don’t intend on staying around if I’m convicted.

    Waldie: Don’t “intend on staying around.” What does that mean?

    Stonich: Um,…have you ever heard the word…”rendition”?

    Waldie: You mean when they kidnap someone and take them to another country?

    Stonich: Let’s just say Lee’s setting up a “rendition.”

    Waldie: Using Carol’s family?

    Baca: Not exactly her family per se. Let’s just say it’s some friends of the family. But only if things go wrong.

    Waldie: H-O-L-Y CRAP!

    Baca: Look Larry. By the time this trial and the appeals are done, I”ll be in my late 70’s. And with this judge, I’m looking at least what Paul got. No fucking way am I going to prison for that amount of time at this age. Carol and I have already transferred our assets to Carol’s family and they have it safely in China. I’ll live like a KING! Screw Judge Anderson, one way or another I’m going to have the last laugh!

    Stonich: Uh,…Larry, you can’t tell anyone about this. Just remember, that is only one angle Lee’s working on. And it IS a last resort type of thing.

    Baca: Speaking of angles, let’s get to work on this “mental impairment” angle. That’s number one priority right now. Larry, has Bill briefed you on the point in time when I was suppose to start become a little “impaired”?

    Waldie: Uh, yeah we were just talking about that. But first, I have a question.

    Baca: What?

    Waldie: Well, first your attorney’s said you are in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s, right?

    Baca: Right, that was to avoid going to prison, if the judge accepted the plea agreement.

    Waldie: And now, your attorney’s are saying that you had a “mental impairment” that started around the time Paul came to you with this FBI cell phone?

    Baca: Well, the judge didn’t buy the plea deal, so we had to back my “illness” up to include my decision making when we were conducting the “operation” with the inmate.

    Waldie: So, was the Alzheimer’s suppose to be the causing the “mental impairment” back then?

    Baca: Uh…yeah, I was having…uh…”foggy moments.”

    Waldie: But if you are suppose to be in the “beginning stages” of Alzheimer’s NOW, how could it cause you to have “foggy moments” FIVE years ago?

    Baca: Don’t you worry about that! God Damn it! Like I said, that Alzheimer’s angle was just to keep me out of prison if Anderson had accepted the plead deal! Now we are using the diminished capacity defense and our “target” window has moved back a few years. We’ve got several shrinks who will be able to testify that my beginning stage “illness” has been coming on for that long. That isn’t what you are suppose to testify about, so don’t worry about it!

    Stonich: Uh,….Boss, Larry knows what he needs to testify to. We’re good.

    Baca: Good! Thanks, Bill. Now, Larry up to the time Paul came up with the phone, you guys had worked with me and you knew me to be sound of mind; the epitome of a visionary and a forward thinking leader of the world’s number one law enforcement agency. Right?

    Stonich: Right!

    Baca: Larry will get on the stand at my trial and be able to testify to all the wonderful things we had done and were doing at the Department to lead the nation’s most progressive agency. Right?

    Stonich: Right!

    Baca: Larry? Are you on board?

    Waldie: Uh, er…like what visionary things?

    !Baca: Well, how about “Education Based Incarceration”? We brought education the prisoners in the jail – the largest jail system in the country!

    Waldie: Lee, you know and I know that the Hacienda-LaPuente School District had been providing educational programs to the prisoners for years prior to you even becoming Sheriff. You just gave the program a new name and called it your program. They would rip me apart on cross examination if I was to use that as your visionary example.

    Baca: Well, ah…..how about when we took over Compton and were shocked to find out how many gang-on-gang crimes were being committed. I held a “town hall meeting” to settle those disputes? To end the gang violence once and for all. No one had ever tried that tactic before. It was truly visionary!

    Waldie: And we advertised it all over the community and even sent OSS Deputies door-to-door handing out fliers to gang member families inviting them to the meeting. This was going to settle age-old disputes and set their children on a new path.

    Baca: Truly visionary in law enforcement history!

    Waldie: And three people showed up.

    Baca: Well it was the IDEA that mattered!

    Waldie: And YOU want me to TESTIFY about your IDEAS?

    Baca: Of course, they were new to the annals of Law Enforcement. Completely untried and unthought of.

    Waldie: Like your idea to go to Washington DC and get in to a 415 with Congressman King about the middle-east?

    Baca: I needed to stand up to the demagogues in congress who were defaming Muslims!

    Waldie: You were the SHERIFF of Los Angeles County, and you thought it was a “good idea” to go to congress to get involved in a fight with a congressman about foreign affairs?

    Baca: Well I couldn’t just stay silent…..

    Waldie: Who in their RIGHT mind would think……

    Stonich: Uh, maybe we should look at this another way. Maybe we are talking about two different things. One is “mental impairment”. To simplify matters, let’s just call it “crazy” for short, ok?

    Baca: If you want to call it that, ok.

    Stonich: So let’s say Lee is suppose to start acting “crazy” around the time Paul comes up with this cell phone. Right?

    Baca: Right!

    Stonich: The second part of this, is that there are IDEAS. Ideas that Lee had before the phone incident. Ideas are different than actions. Right?

    Baca: Well, right.

    Stonich: Now, some may say they are visionary and some may say they are………well…”crazy”.

    Baca: What the fuck….

    Stonich: Just a second boss. I’m saying the ideas might be VIEWED as crazy, but the person with the idea isn’t necessarily……ah….”crazy”. See what I mean?

    Baca: Well I don’t think the ideas were…

    Stonich: Just a second. So Larry, you wouldn’t be testifying about Lee’s IDEAS, you would be testifying about Lee’s state of mind. See the difference?

    Waldie: Well, yeah.

    Baca: But those ideas were visionary!

    Stonich: We know boss. We’ll get back to all your great ideas. Larry, you would just have to say that Lee was very thoughtful in how he conducted himself day-to-day and had a clear “vision” for the Department. Things like that. Sound reasonable?

    Waldie: Uh, huh.

    Stonich: Are you comfortable with that?

    Waldie: Well, I still think……

    sound of knocking at the door

    muffled sound of people talking

    Stonich: Larry there are two Asian “ladies” in the hall. They call themselves the “Steam Valve Sisters” and are asking for a “Mr. Steam Pipe”?

    Waldie: Oh yeah (laughing). That’s MY room service. Can we continue this meeting in Lee’s room later?

    (Rest of tape is not for general audiences)

    Unfortunately the suite belonging to Former Sheriff Baca was not previously wired for sound. We’ll just have to wait until Dec 6th to see how the trial unfolds.

  • Santa: Of course a lot of what you have written is tongue and cheek. But, at the same time scaringly accurate. As far as the “steam pipe sisters” they came through Juarez, Mexico! You can out bank on that!

  • You would think the BOS and taxpayers would starting getting tired of writing checks to cover the lawsuits LASD is racking up. Oh..I forgot they do take actions by penalizing the folks left behind after the dust settles. The sins of the father always seem to find a way to comeback for payback. I thought the whole hiring folks with lowered qualifications scandal covered the years from 2005 through 2007 only when there was the massive hiring? I assumed everyone hired after that was thoroughly and doubly screened, vetted and qualified. Guess not. It will be interesting to see LASD in 20 years when those “vouched” for folks are in the drivers seat and their kids are just stay no out on the department as well. The legacy phenomena will insure the cycle of fraud, cheating, payback, favoritism, nepotism and the like will continue.

  • The new Sheriff is no different than the misinformed owner of a failing business. At the advice of management he fires low level employees, puts up a new facade and paints some walls. Unfortunately he’s still peddling the same unwanted merchandise. The management team is unchanged and still pushing their self serving lies to remain employed. All the while, the unpaid vendors and IRS are still howling at his door.

  • I think we should give Tyler and the new Sheriff a little bit of a break. they have a lot to do after
    All those years with Leroy. Why not set up a legal find for Nguyen ? Nguyen deserves it a lot more than Leroy does. P.C. Gave us Leroy, Obama and will give us Clinton. To this day Leroy has no idea what He did to the LASD. He is not capable of self evaluation.

  • Really confused why Tyler is still here. The bosses convinced the board that they needed more A/S’s so they got rid of the undersheriff position. Now we have Tyler. The grave digger needs to go. I have finally come to a conclusion on the upper brass promotional process. The sheriff still wants to be the smartest person in the room, promote stupid people who won’t challenge you and you remain the smartest person in the room. Cleaver.

  • Santa, you outdid yourself on this one. For you and your team of writers to come up with Waldie wanting to “blow off some steam,” and then being greeted by the “Steam Valve Sisters” sisters is absolutely classic. And having Waldie as the voice of reason in a delusional conversation is pure comic genius. Even Stonich has to be laughing at this episode. You and your workers keep on working. Hopefully, additional FBI interception will take place inside Sheriff McDonnell’s office talking about his decision to promote Hebert and Gerhardt on the heels of this lawsuit, his decision to rid LASD of those force provoking station mascots like Low Profile and Yosemite Sam, and then of course, there are the brass snaps and black Class A dinner jackets. I bet the conversations regarding all of those “command decisions” and “morale busters” would be quite interesting.

  • This whole thing would be deemed a bad comedy or soap opera, if it weren’t true. Sad thing is that not only is it true, but the BOS don’t seem to care, nor does the Sheriff!

  • Former LASD officer, they get no breaks. Tyler, for starters, was hired by Interim Sheriff Scott, so he’s been around long enough. Fresh Eyes McDonnell sold his candidacy to a gullible constituency, claiming he knew how to reform the LASD. Reform efforts, particularly successful ones, never include keeping the cancerous people and features of the corrupt predecessors. If Fresh Eyes only did one thing in his tenure in order to be considered positive, it was to address corrupt leadership – and he failed spectacularly. Hard to conceive so much executive experience would be wasted doubling down on stupid.

    Fresh eyes has managed to destroy morale, esprit de corps, and positive symbols of the heritage and legacy of a 166 year-old organization, while at the same time elevating people with Viking and OGCF tattoos – the real symbols to worry about. And don’t get me started on brass buttons and “look at me” PR stunts.

    For those keeping track, McDonnell again promoted someone who was front and center in the test cheating scandals, and we’re not talking corrupt/clueless Directors of Personnel. No, this individual from Personnel took the 2003 lieutenant exam, hand copied it almost verbatim, and walked out of the test area with the test in hand, which soon became the 2005 lieutenant exam. Of course, this test got around to all the right individuals, so now you know why Band 1 exploded to over 100 candidates – they “studied” from the actual test!

    That is how all those rocket scientists, who couldn’t muster a 70 on the old test, miraculously aced the next one! Ronnie Williams famously declared that the candidates “formed study groups” and that is why they did better. This was quite the revelation for all those studying their asses off all those years. It never occurred to them to form study groups! Had Old Santa had his hidden mike in place at EPC back in 2005, he would have had some choice recordings of Baca blowing his top, telling his ace cadre of executives that the line swine would know the testing was compromised. The recommendation back then? Promote them all, who cares!

    Fast forward to today, and those same Rhodes Scholars are now your lieutenants, captains, commanders, and division chiefs. They can’t make decisions to save their life, so they
    pass the buck to the inside crew holding the reins of power. A concentration of power, some very creative window dressing, a dumbing down of the hierarchy, and misery all around – all with the seal of approval of Fresh Eyes!

  • @ 6. Your information on Attorney Richard Love is way off. Richard Love is currently listed on the current “Super Lawyer” list. The bottom line is that Nguyen chose outside legal representation. The trend for career longevity is to seek counsel outside of Dick Shinee. Just think, the final decision to grant legal assistance is based upon ALADS Board of Directors vote.

  • Nope! You’re wrong. But, of course you usually are. Just have to wait and see. And the term “super lawyer” is a oxymoron. BTW Dick Shinee and Dick Love are and have been long time friends. And often Dick Shinee will rec Dick Love to clients. I’ve seen it for years! It’s all fixed! But, one thing is accurate; the Board must vote on approving funds for lawyers. I was told(years ago) that this came about due to the high costs of lawyers. Maybe partly true but ALL organizations (either as a group or self) will move to protect itself regardless of what is right or wrong!

    Once again I pray that ban wins but, he must pay strict attention because all oxymorons will screw their clients if it’s in their interest to do so.

    We are on the same side but, I personally know all these creeps and (serving themselves) is all part of their jobs, isn’t it?

  • It a sad day when the Department/Sheriff allows executives to open up old IA cases (really old). Sheriff when you decide to go after one of your own (captain and above) then I will believe you are trying to make change. The Department will be paying out a lot of $ because of this nonsense.

  • That’s great if you have the inside scoop on Love & Shinee. Sounds weird but whatever. Whether Ban Nguyen wins or not (I’m sure he will) there will be more exposure still rife within the department We agree that ALADS is self serving. The majority or deputies are unaware of this, until they need some help. The current board (even individually) are fearful to address the “one stop shop” of Shinee.

  • @25 – Wasn’t it (then Commander) Ronnie Williams who was paid off with his promotion to the rank of Chief in April 2004, after fixing the lieutenant’s list for Paul Tanaka and Larry Waldie? Does anyone have e a copy of Williams sworn declaration?

    See -“Sheriff’s Department promotions manipulated, official says
    In a sworn statement, a retired chief says some candidates’ scores were inflated. Undersheriffs named in statement have no comment” (November 06, 2012) -http://articles.latimes.com/2012/nov/06/local/la-me-sheriff-promotion-20121106

  • #30 INTO THE STORM:

    The link you provided is not coming through, but the LAT article you cited, written by Robert Faturechi & Jack Leonard, can be Googled, using the search words you provided.

    An interesting read.

  • “Curious”: Fearful is a word insinuating cowardice, to which I take exception, since you added “even individually.” Feel free to come the Board meetings if you’d like to be more informed. I wrote an article on that exact subject, within the first two months of my term, and our current President would not allow it to be published.

  • Wow finally the truth is coming out. While I applaud Deputy Nguyen for not taking the settlement and hopefully forcing too tall Paul to testify under oath I know the retaliation is brutal. It should be no surprise that more stuff is coming out and I hope it will start to be leaked to the media. I wonder when IAB will pull all the records for the ummm marginally qualified applicants and start digging thru Sgt Chavez and his involvement. By the way, when will IAB start looking at the entire poly section and asking who else was subjected to the same retaliation and smear tactics that Nguyen was hit with. I bet there were others that would speak up but are afraid to. Good luck to all L.A.S.D. and I know its vast majority who have integrity and scruples and refuse to let a few taint the majority. Be safe and God Bless all who wear the star.

  • So many issues to expose so little interest from management. This makes it very questionable???? Has IAB looked into our illustrious recruiting section ???? Rumor has it there has been some huge problems with the recruitment section that then Captain Gerhart and a Sargent was aware of and turned the blind eye to them. Allegedly Deputies on loan to the recruiting section were manipulating the system and were coming in late and leaving early, including being able to work from home. Wouldn’t IAB want to pull some copies of time cards just to make sure none of them were falsified ??? Oh and they need to take a ride down to Camp Pendelton ( HOO RAH ) and find out who was supposed to be there during recruitment events. I wonder if the U.S.M.C. even knows the name of the Deputies assigned down South. I sure hope that Celeste Fremon gets copies of some time sheets in her mailbox and talks to some U.S.M.C. staff members and digs into this issue.

  • @34 – The retaliation IS brutal. And the corrupt executives ability to carry out their retaliation vendetta is immeasurable. In many cases the retaliation vendetta goes on for more than a decade.

    The corrupt LASD executives, from Baca and on down, have spent untold thousands of dollars and man-hours, in department resources to actively go above and beyond to harm any, and all employees who speak the truth to them. Whether you’re “on the train” or “in the car” – if you dare to speak the truth, they will actively destroy you, in any way possible.

    I give Deputy Nguyen much credit for holding them accountable. And at least he is no longer on the department, and they cannot put him in their crosshairs and fabricate multiple “internal” cases against him – all with the end goal of firing him to further destroy his reputation and credibility.

    How McDonnell does not see any of this is unfathomable.

  • I wonder what spews out of the mouth of Hebert and Gerhardt when they talk to “their” captains, lieutenants, sergeants and deputies about “their expectations” of standards, integrity, accountability and honesty? I wonder what those two think when they review discipline cases that involve integrity issues? I wonder what they say about the same topics when they are in front of EPC or the Sheriff? Do they hold a straight face? Maybe they took acting lessons from Rothans, Mannis, Para, Johnson, Fennel and Fender, just to name a few. You guys are not fooling anyone but yourself. This trial is going to be interesting. When you see a couple of folks in the public seating area taking copious notes, and they look like FBI agents, don’t give it two thoughts, simple coincidence.

  • IAB under the previous administration was corrupt and investigation outcomes predetermined. I have no knowledge of integrity of the unit under the McDonnell administration. I think it is safe to say IAB is used as a political tool (retaliation) in most law enforcement agencies. There are always those willing to sell their souls who lack the integrity to say no. Based on McDonnell’s lack of effort to “clean house”, I don’t think much has changed.

  • There’s no doubt historically in any large organization the good ol boy system lives. Many of the Captains and above that complain about this were bumped up for just that reason. And how many donated, didn’t get promoted and complained after. Many! It was around long before Tanaka. How did he move so fast?

    As far as “Bam” having courage, that’s a crock! He is an opportunist trying to collect. He wasn’t directed to do bad things or to hire bad people. I guess if you were there, worked with him and saw this happen you would know! Did the department hired poor applicants? Of course! Anytime you push for numbers, this is bound to happen. It’s unfortunate but, he was not ordered or transferred punitively. Total lies. Soon enough there will be people whining about the new Boss. No win situation.

  • DSB2, this really is not the proper forum to discuss ALADS business. Suffice it to say I wrote an article that would have solicited response from our members. It was written in a fashion to give benefit of the doubt to our law firm, in case the unhappiness was unsubstantiated rumors. I guess he didn’t want to take the chance on the outcome.

  • @ 33. Maybe that censorship saved your position. Former ALADS prez Steck “The Wreck” also printed an article that spooked Dick Shinee. Now he’s back at West Hollywood Station pushing a hoop. Standard information even though it came in the form of “Dry Snitching”. Obviously it’s close to election time since you chose to conveniently put GH on blast with less than 50 days left in his term.

  • I hear you Ron. To the rest of the board, why not give members a choice in legal? It will make ALADS stronger and hopefully keep the above behaviors to a minimum when LASD supervisors know there will be legal consequeces to their unethical actions.

    The perception of Green & Shinee -Self serving and runs the board. If that’s not true, give us a choice.

  • The truth be told …..I don’t know but I’ve been told …Considering all the allegations coming to the surface concerning poly/backgrounds it would behoove the investigators to look into the rumors that the owner of a private polygraph company called “The truth be known” and her husband who worked backgrounds and that a certain Sgt who worked at the polygraph unit know each other quite well. The rumor has the owner of “The truth be known” doing A LOT of L.A.S.D. polys and that the Sgt at ploys gets referrals from her to do polys for L.A.P.D. , probation, private clients etc. I just hope this Sgt didn’t use his County hoop to travel to these side jobs and I hope he was off the clock during these poly exams. I have a high degree of confidence that those actions if true would probably violate policy. Maybe this triangle between the husband in backgrounds, the Sgt at polys and the female owner of ‘The truth be know” is all just serendipity and there was nothing nefarious going on. It just could be a case of mutual reciprocity between professionals. Oh and speaking of backgrounds has anyone interviewed Deputy B ( and I am not referring to Ban Nguyen ) who went out IOD because of the same treatment that Deputy Nguyen was subjected to ??? I would love to read her deposition. As always be safe and our prayers are with all of you.

  • @ DSB2. Only when general membership is informed and as a whole demand a change or opt out of ALADS. The harvest is plenty but the workers are few.

    A grass roots campaign has to be implemented. No doubt, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Look at LASPA. (I commend LASPA for having the guts to form themselves because of ALADS partiality within their organization.) Nothing worthwhile fighting for is won by playing footsie.

  • “Rabbit” (see #10) must be one of those deputies that Nguyen refused to clean up but got cleared by another investigator & hired. Does anybody know how to write anymore? Does anyone know how to spell? Does anyone care? If we weren’t anonymous would we try a little harder? What the hell ever happened to personal pride? I think it all goes back to the anonymity thing – it’s okay to be a dumb-ass if nobody knows it’s you.

  • 41. Know Your Facts:

    “As far as ‘Bam’ having courage, that’s a crock!”

    An afternote to the story says that Ban Nguyen declined a settlement to the case.

    That signifies that

    1. He thinks he’s right on the issue.
    2..He’s willing to go to the mat on what he thinks.

    That means moral courage–he’s got the courage of his convictions.

  • Deputy @ Large: First off, I’m not up for re-election so, what’s your point. I responded when “Curious” basically stated no one on the Board had addressed the “one stop shop of Shinee,” which was not true. So blame him/her for the timing. “Dry snitching,” not sure where you’re going with that remark. “Censorship saved my position!” That is funny! You think someone has the power to put me back in a radio car. You better do your homework. What is most comical to me is the common theme you guys who don’t like my remarks seem to share, and that is you all try to insult me, but none of you can dispute my remarks, without having to lie!

  • ALADS members must be aware that they can demand their own legal representation. The Board should help facilitate this for the due paying members, but they are in bed with Green and Shinee and Dick Shinee calls the shots. What has happened countless times to ALADS members is this, they are paying dues for years, decades and suddenly find themselves in need of legal representation. ALADS and Green and Shinee offer you a “use our lawyer” or hit the road option.

    ALADS has a secretive contract with Dick Shinee that they refuse to let you to see. They refuse to let you see a contract that you as members pay for! The retainer ALADS members pay for Green and Shinee is rumored to be approximately 3-4 Million a year, exclusive of their hourly billings for legal work. ALADS members must demand that their union discontinue the contract with Green and Shinee and offer a legal pool of outstanding attorneys they can choose from, it is the members right, the members money and the “Do Nothing” board members work for you! Demand it!

  • Know Your Facts, that’s for providing the standard management talking points and rationalizations. “Everyone else does it, we’re no different.” Did I get it right? You seem certain the deputy who is suing must be lying. How did you arrive at this conclusion? Please tell.

    Brace yourself, there are a truckload of more lawsuits coming down the pipe. I have yet to hear of anyone complaining about promotions and then getting promoted, it’s always the other way around. Everyone ELSE gets promoted to make an example out of the fool who complains. LASD management practices 101, ain’t that right Todd Rogers?

    What is always entertaining in these lawsuits are the statements made under oath, on the stand or in depositions. There are two versions of statements: the first are current management statements, which are almost universally perjured testimony because they have to defend the corrupt status quo. Then you have the retirement statements, when the department no longer has the same ability to retaliate. Miraculously, information starts changing, memories get clearer, and the truth comes out a lot more.

    Know Your Facts, you are in for a ride.

  • Know Your Facts…. I still stand by my earlier statement that it takes a lot of conviction to take on the machine. Deputy Nguyen has the facts and more importantly the truth on his side. I know for a fact that too tall Paul asked Deputy Nguyen to raise money and campaign for his bid to become Sheriff. You can probably read the lawsuit under the Civil Rights Violation Motion and verify that information yourself. All of us know that brutal and swift retaliation from certain managers is predictable . As a matter of fact there was a certain Sgt. in backgrounds when Lt. Guyovich was running it that refused to sanitize applicants files and by 11:00 A.M. found himself transferred to twin towers. I wonder how many good people left backgrounds after seeing management using fear and retaliation to create a hostile work environment I can only surmise that you are probably “in the car “with the convicted felon Tanaka. How many people have said no to Tanaka and have been punished for taking a stand against corruption. I know we will start to see more lawsuits and trials as the truth comes to light. Be safe.

  • @47 Senior Surfer, you are right, in the future I will use my spell check function. I am glad you took my comment personal, and got you upset, that was the point. If you are an executive, do something with it and change your corrupt ways. Greetings.

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