PLEASE DON’T CLOSE CHILD DEPENDENCY COURT. JUST DON’T DO IT!
On Wednesday there was a hearing in front of the 2nd Circuit Court of appeals that is to determine whether or not the order issued by Judge Robert Nash in January 2012 to finally open Los Angeles County’s child dependency courts to the press under certain controlled circumstances was legal.
These are the courtrooms where foster care cases are heard, that have too long been secretive and disastrously short of sunlight.
The LA Times editorial board asks the 2nd Circuit to leave the situation as is. As does Christie Renick for the Chronicle of Social Change.
Here’s a clip from what the Times had to say, with which we strongly agree:
Has openness perfected the Dependency Courts? No. But parents who felt their cases were being rushed through by overburdened lawyers and social workers have expressed relief to have outside eyes present; lawyers who complained of judges delaying cases have welcomed coverage that creates a disincentive to dawdle; judges say coverage has focused attention on questionable lawyering. Meanwhile, the tentative ruling cites no instance in which any child has been harmed by the presence of reporters.
This is an important work in progress; the appellate court should not end it. If it tries, the Legislature should pass a bill keeping the courts in Los Angeles open or, even better, extending the principle of Nash’s order to the entire state.
We’ll let you know when we learn more.
IS LEE BACA’S APPROVAL RATING DIVING? A CHALLENGER’S TAKES A POLL
Early Wednesday morning Los Angeles County Sheriff’s candidate and Lee Baca challenger Bob Olmsted released a poll that showed that incumbent Baca’s approval ratings could be in the midst of a bad slide.
The poll was a live telephone survey of 406 likely June 2014 voters in LA County conducted December 16th – 17th 2013. Olmsted’s campaign paid for the survey.
Gene Maddaus of the LA Weekly got the fastest story up on the matter. Here’s a clip:
Sheriff Lee Baca has had a rough couple of years, but it’s gotten really bad in the last two weeks, ever since federal prosecutors brought corruption charges against 18 of his deputies.
Baca is up for re-election next year, and the unending scandals have taken a toll on his approval ratings. That’s according to a new poll released today by one of Baca’s opponents.
The survey shows that Baca’s favorability rating has plunged in the last two years, and a majority of likely voters now disapprove of Baca’s handling of his job. Not a good sign for the 71-year-old lawman.
As with any internal poll, take it with a grain of salt.
With that, the results:
Baca (job approval)
His favorability rating has declined sharply since the fall of 2011, according to another poll the Weekly obtained last month.
Baca (2011 favorability)
That’s a 35-point drop in his net favorability rating in the last two years.
As Maddaus said, one should take insider polls with a dash of good sel de mer. Plus the sheriff has a big powerful political machine plus nearly two decades worth of popularity that one would be unwise to discount.
Yet, there is without a doubt blood in the water.
BACA FINALLY TALKS & CALLS HIS OPPONENTS “BITTER & A QUITTER”,
After not meeting with the press for months, Sheriff Lee Baca has emerged from his bat cave to speak with reporters a number of times in the last week. On Wednesday he met with KCAL 9’s Dave Lopez.
Be sure to watch the video, which includes a change of clothes on the part of the sheriff so that he could speak about the election legally—AKA out of uniform.
After talking about what he describes as his utter non-involvement with the FOS—Friends of the Sheriff—hiring program, he did his clothes change and chatted emphatically about his campaign.
Here’ a bit of what he said:
“My job right now is to explain my side of the story,” he said. “Leaders do not ever not have problems or controversy.”
Baca’s two opponents, Robert Olmsted and Paul Tanaka, are one-time assistant sheriffs who were once part of his inner circle. [Actually that isn’t accurate, but whatever]
Without mentioning the men by name, he referred to both of them Thursday.
“My opponents – one is bitter and one is actually a quitter and bitter. And so here you’ve got another one who is bitter but should have been a quitter,” he said.
Okay, I count three in that statement. One bitter, one a quitter, and “one who is bitter but should have been a quitter.’
Who’s the third guy, sheriff? Just asking.
NOTE: ABC-7 has a story on the Friends of the Sheriff issue, that is worth checking out as well.
“CIRCLE IT!” SAN ANTONIO, TX, SCHOOL USES INNOVATIVE STRATEGY TO SUCCESSFULLY REDUCE SUSPENSIONS
The term “circling it” has become an important part of the vernacular at Ed White Middle School in San Antonio, Texas.
Jim Forsyth at WOAI Radio has the story. Here’s a clip:
Marilyn Armour of the University of Texas School of Social Work calls it ‘Restorative Discipline’ and he says it has resulted in a staggering 84% decrease in suspensions at White, which previously had some of the highest discipline rates in the entire district.
“What’s happening here is really an effort to change the whole climate,” she told 1200 WOAI’s Michael Board. “Not just change the kids’ behavior.”
She says Restorative Discipline is a student based way of convincing kids to behave properly. When a child acts out, rather than an immediate trip to the principal’s office, in school suspension, or other traditional tactic, the students, counselors, teachers ‘talk out’ the issues in what are called ‘restorative circles.’
“When kids begin to get skills beyond the fighting, it gives them options they haven’t had before,” Armour said.
She says many examples of sixth and seventh graders engaging in disruptive behavior is frequently borne of frustration, the students want to be heard, and they want to be considered to have a role in their discipline and the activities they engage in. She says this process allows the student to talk out their problems, with an eye toward reducing bullying, truancy, and disruptive behavior…
STUDY SAYS H.S. GRADUATION PREVENTS CRIME AND SAVES $$
A recent report draws a correlation between graduation rates and entry into the criminal justice system—and then does the math. Obviously one cannot draw a straight line of cause and effect, but the relationship is there, and the study is worth noting.
Isabelle Dills of the Napa Valley Register has the story. Here’s a clip:
strong>Among all 50 states, California would save the most money — $2.4 billion in crime costs — if the male high school graduation rate increased by 5 percent, according to a recent report from the Alliance for Excellent Education.
The report, “Saving Futures, Saving Dollars: The Impact of Education on Crime Reduction and Earnings,” examines research that links lower levels of education with higher rates of arrests and incarceration.[SNIP]
There is an indirect correlation between educational attainment and arrest and incarceration rates, particularly among males, the report found. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Justice, 56 percent of federal inmates, 67 percent of inmates in state prisons, and 69 percent of inmates in local jails did not complete high school. Additionally, the number of incarcerated individuals without a high school diploma is increasing over time.
“Dropping out of school does not automatically result in a life of crime, but high school dropouts are far more likely than high school graduates to be arrested or incarcerated,” Wise said.
The report found that increasing the male graduation rate would decrease crime nationwide. According to the report, annual incidences of assault would decrease by nearly 60,000, larceny by more than 37,000, motor vehicle theft by more than 31,000 and burglaries by more than 17,000.
It would also prevent nearly 1,300 murders, more than 3,800 occurrences of rape and more than 1,500 robberies, according to the Alliance for Excellent Education.
Indictments have a wonderful way of dismantling political machines, particularly those that are paid by the taxpayer.
This election cycle for Sheriff will be like no other. The conventional political wisdom, (which Baca has placed all of his egg’s into their basket), of “the voters are stupid, they like me, I’ve invested all of my political capitol in stupid people (his thoughts, not mine) who I can manipulate,” is NOT going to work this time. For the first time in his political career, Baca has been exposed for the absolute failure as Sheriff that he is. Like Obama, the wheels have fallen off and he is riding on the axles. He has been exposed for what he is. This election cycle of Sheriff will be like no other, and it is quite clear that Olmsted IS the dark horse, he is the political threat and will force Leroy into a runoff come June. For once, I credit the media for doing their job, exposing Baca and Tanaka along with the corruption and dysfunction of LASD.
Baca told ABC news he didn’t know any of the Friends of the Sheriff applicants (http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/12/19/sheriff-lee-baca-denies-catering-to-friends-and-family-with-controversial-hiring-program/). He’s lying: http://www.sgvexaminer.com/images/2012/A%20June%2021%20-%2027%2012.pdf.
Don’t count Baca out yet. LA County is a place where a dead guy can get 38% of the vote for sheriff. The lack of competition in previous sheriff elections is a sign of how much voter apathy there is. Of the county’s 10 million residents, millions live in communities with their own police. The closest these people get to a sheriff’s deputy is passing a jail bus on the freeway. Baca’s opponents need to mobilize these voters to get them to see that this election matters even if their community is not policed by the LASD.
A lot more tension on the 4th floor. Word has it Tanaka thinks he has a better chance now and is going on the attack. Rambo pulled his retirement papers hoping for the best in June, and he and best friend Betkey are looking for more opportunities to feed the media.
Riddle me this: How does Baca in his right mind (I know lol) in the political fight of his career promote a “Lynwood Viking” as the new Captain of Century Station? There are only two answers, you choose.
1. Im the Sheriff and I can do anything I want and don’t care about the political fallout of my Captain having the infamous Viking tattoo. OR
2. The Sheriff was “Finessed” into this promotion by Tanaka’s people to make the Sheriff look like an idiot when someone finally picks up this story. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas will have a stroke about this. I predict the Sheriff will be forced to remove the Captain once he becomes aware of it and the real question is what will he do to the people who set him up in promoting this individual.
Im backing the Sheriff on this one when he eventually responds with, I didn’t know, or my staff never told me
The End is Near: Gooden was replaced? By whom?
#7…They promoted Gooden to Commander. But, heard he will enter the race for LA Sheriff.
If Gooden enters, it’s a crowded field already. He may want to spend some time explaining how he got promoted to lieutenant, it’s pretty interesting…
Gooden will never be sheriff!
Grandiose delusions is a minimum requirement to enter the race.
Well Sheriff Baca’s approval rating just went up in my book. He has opened up a new whistleblower web site so that LASD employees can anonymously let him know what needs to get investigated. I think this is a step in the right direction. There are some bugs in the system to be sure though, like where is the oversight to prevent 4th floor executives from sweeping complaints under the rug? What happens when the complaint is about Assistant Sheriffs Rogers and Hellmold who are actually running the complaint web page? Example; What if I have a complaint that in violation of policy and law to the contrary, Rogers and Hellmold keep questioning/intimidating subordinates on where their loyalty is and who they will vote for? Lee Baca, make this complaint web page what you truly intended it to be and let the new Inspector General run it. I think you have a good idea here but your own people will sabotage your great effort. That seems to happen a lot to you Sheriff. Why don’t you move someone close to you who is looking out for you and not their next promotion? Thank you for trying Sheriff…
An LASD tip website that goes directly to the undersheriff and Genacco’s office. I wonder which hoping to be promoted exec came up with this one. I agree with the post above. What happens when someone complains about management? There’s no vetting out or neutral 3rd party look into the allegations. I think it’s pretty clear at this point the majority of the problems surfacing is due to a lack of leadership and skills required of the positions. What a joke. Members of the dept can already drop dimes to the ombudsman, IA, Gennaco’s office and soon we’ll have an “attorney general’s” office I’m sure we’ll be able to call. This website is nothing more than someone’s attempt to be noticed and promoted. All these options and yet upper mangement continues to fail to see what the real problems are and go take a look in the mirror.
If anything ever said FEDERAL TAKEOVER, the website speaks volumes. Gall, arrogance, plain assed bad form. Good grief….and is there actually someone who has the audacity to claim ownership? Moonbeam must have gotten hit by a comet. Either that or he’s an alien…..an undocumented life form, a stink bug masquerading as an elected official. How do u get so many wrong things in the same place at the same time? Indictments? How about some abductions–just take them away, quickly.
@ J. L. #15 .. Haha LMFAO! Sad, but true. Anyone who actually believes you can report brass misconduct to this new website, OIR or to this new OIG clown and expect a positive result is high on crack! If you do report brass misconduct, stand by! You will be labeled incompetent, a malcontent, a snitch and will become a pariah. Your reputation will suffer, you will be “investigated”, you will be admin transferred, denied promotions and desirable positions. In other words, you will commit career seppuku and better find yourself a good attorney.
I once naively went to those OIR assclowns when they first started years back with irrefutable evidence of POBR violations systematically and repeatedly committed against deputies by certain brass members, thinking OIR could do something about it. I was immediately brushed off and told they were only interested in “deputy misconduct”. My snitchIn’ on the brass move nearly cost me my job. The retaliation was fierce.
The LASD brass culture won’t change, no matter who wins the election. If you think you can take on the LASD brass and all of their resources because you want to stand up and do the right thing, you will be in a fight for your life. The brass has deep pockets and unlimited resources to fight you and silence you. They have IA, ICIB, OIR, SHB, county council, outside council, teams of ass kissing minions and now, the new OIG to come at you to do damage control. They can fabricate allegations of “misconduct” to discredit you and put you under investigation anytime they want, with absolutely no personal consequence, and they know it. All you have is yourself and weak-ass representation from ALADs to fight back … and if you do, your partners wIll distance themselves from you for sure.
The only possibility for reform is to strengthen legislation that makes the Goverment Code POBR violations criminal offenses that hold brass personally accountable with stiff fines and jail time. In a perfect world, those cases and other alleged crimes committed by brass, should be handled by independent investigators and prosecutors from the state AG’s office, since we all know the LACO DA would never go after LASD brass and the Feds are taking way too long. Those of you still on the job and are fighting to resuscitate LASD, I commend you and wish you the best of luck, but don’t waste your time with any internal complaint process. You will be disappointed.
Well, let us just see how the start of 2014 is going to be. I would love to be the fly on the wall in FBI conference rooms.
Ok, the website says you can report corruption anonymously. Does that mean the sheriff is admitting that you may face retaliation and he can’t do anything to stop it! Or is it because he condones the retaliation! Either way, just another reason he needs to go!
We all know that this is a ploy to help the department “get dirt” on anyone who does not conform to their ways. And, if your name comes up on the “tip line” and you’re one of the boys, they will bury the evidence, temporarily fix the behavior and it will be ignored, because who’s going to pressure them to follow it through, since the tip is anonymous.
As I do a mental recall of the “bad execs” on our department I am reminded that the majority of them have “stepped on it” during their careers (in some cases continue to step on it) and because they were not fired/indicted they now owe “the Boss! If that isn’t a criminal enterprise I don’t know what is!
We should have seen this coming when we realized the “straight shooters” were being ignored because the brass feared them and felt they couldn’t be trusted to do their dirty work and those who constantly made bad decisions continued to rise through the ranks.
There is only one way to solve this problem, a strong leader with no skeletons who has no reason to fear good, strong leaders below him and who was actually a “street” cop.
Bob Olmsted for Sheriff!
What a novel idea…………… hey, how about a “SUGGESTION BOX ” at the water cooler.
That should likely fix everything .
Funny!! Baca is obviously an awfule choice. Tanaka is just as bad. But those of you that keep mentioning this Olmsted guy are hilarious! The vast majority of this Department had no idea who he was until he played is part in the MCJ disaster. Now for some reason you beleive the majority of LA County residents are going to vote for him? Nope! Sorry everyone but unless Baca is indicted, he will be reelected. The average voter has no idea what is going on. They will vote for him because the deputies on the street are doing a good job, and they think voting for our fool Sheriff is the way to support us. Sad but true…..
@Kidding I agree Baca and Tanaka are terrible choices. If they had listened to Olmsted. The MCJ disaster wouldn’t have happened. You should do your homework. Stand by for the campaigning to move in to high gear after the first of the year. I don’t think the voters are as uninformed as you think. But, We shall see.
Kidding: With the primary still months away and Baca’s negative ratings so high I just don’t think Baca can survive. My Opinion.
Yougottabekidding, you seem to have forgotten your history. In 1998 a relatively unknown retired chief, challenged the incumbent and all-mighty and powerful Sheriff Block, who could raise money by snapping his fingers. In the primary, Block won 36% to Baca’s 32%, and the incumbent was well on his way to losing the election, dead or alive.
Please explain to me how the current incumbent, the all-mighty and powerful Sheriff Baca, who can raise money by snapping his fingers, is going to do better than Block did? He has ten times the number and size of problems that Block did, and the electorate is five times more informed.
Baca will lose in a landslide, and Olmsted has my vote. I do not want to see the department led by some opportunistic politician looking to make a quick buck off of our misfortunes. And in case you haven’t noticed, Olmsted is far more visible in the media today than Baca was in 1998. I trust voters will figure it out, in spite of the naysayers like yourself…
@ “Kidding”: at least some of us are trying to find a solution to the problem rather than just sitting back and hoping it will fix itself. And, as far as the Deputies on the street doing a good job, we leave a lot to be desired because there is no accountability. However, I don’t blame the Deputies, because it’s learned behavior and they figured out they get paid the same no matter how well they do their job. The current execs have taken the pride out of doing it correctly!
Baca/Tanaka supporters, as bad as they are, you know where they stand. Then there’s that group sitting on the fence, saying nothing, just coming to work, terrified – thinking just working is good enough. Let somebody else do it. Well, look where that got us. We can’t sit here and ‘no ack’ the call. If we want our department back, if we want our reputation back, now is the time to take it. Don’t whine about what is or isn’t going to happen, make it happen. Thank God for all those named and anonymous voices, disgruntled and honest folks, retired and working, who’ve had enough. The only way to break these clowns and stop these asshat piecemeal fixes, is to keep dragging them and their minions in front of a grand jury. It’s slow work, but getting it right takes time. And God knows, election or not, there’s still a lot to do. Stop holding back, let it rip.
Olmsted IS the clear choice. The Tanaka car has slowed but is still calling shots on the dept. Those in the car and those clinging on are professing their delusions that Tanaka will win this thing.
I am sure they are volunteering and $upporting their candidate. Unfortunately our County Sheriff is Sheriff Dean, I can’t vote for Olmsted. What can we do?
@Frank Murphy: educate friends, family neighbors who may live in LA County or who have friends and family who live in LA County. The uninformed voter is who can lose the election for Olmsted! A key point I have noticed when talking to people is that they don’t realize they vote for their Sheriff, especially if they live in a city with their own PD.
Frank Murphy there is a lot we can do. Even if you live in another county, you can still support Olmsted’s campaign financially or volunteer to do campaign work. I just checked his website and their next fundraiser is in East Los Angeles on January 6th. You can get the details at http://www.olmstedinstead.com, and register to volunteer as well.
I agree that the fence sitters need to sprout a spine and do something for the department’s future, not their own. I think most people have figured out Baca and Tanaka are two variations on a bad theme. At this point in the game the only thing that gives these two corrupt individuals any life is the ability to instill fear in department members.
Fear not for your futures, I’ve learned that long ago. Your good deeds and honest effort is what makes your future and that of the organization you work for worthwhile. If all you do is look out for your own self-interest, well that makes you no better than Baca or Tanaka. The one thing they figured out when they came into office was to exploit your fears and played you like a cheap suit.
Olmsted is going to clean house and reform the department. He’s looking for people with spines to stand up and be counted. Jellyfish need not apply, you can serve out the rest of your careers perched on the false safety of your fence.
LATBG you talk a great game but how have you stood up to the department to better it?
Interested Party, I’d love to share with you all that has been done, but you will know sooner or later. When you do, you will appreciate the resolve in what I write…
Hi all: in almost 30 years at LASD, I’ve learned that if you play the Political game, you will either prosper or suffer. Frankly, I have 4 left and I’m done. I would rather support in silence and not risk losing a good position due to a political alliance. The next 4 years are about me working hard, keeping my family safe, staying in shape, and not being an administrative victim of an elected candidates wrath. You retirees enjoy the armchair quarterback game, but your not in the mix with us active folks. I’ve seen the damage that political alliances have caused. So vote for your favorite candidate. And you retirees, quit stirring the pot and get back to your backgammon and wine spritzers (save me a chair).
Almost there, speak for yourself. The fight of good versus evil is not a political game, the future of the department is at stake. Your silence does not support anything, but only enables the corrupt status quo. Like I said before, Tanaka and company saw you coming.
Four more years of gutless wonder…good job. Show the kids where to put the vaseline.
I do agree with Almost there that this department uses retaliation, I believe as a daily tool at all levels. That probably will not change no matter who is Sheriff. But now the department has been weakened so much that a retaliation lawsuit will have big teeth.
Fo now we have to be careful but by no means sit back and do nothing. The tanaka supporters are influential but not for long. Those that don’t agree with that culture are the majority. Let’s take this department back.
For me the violator is Baca. He will always be the man in charge and he and he alone is responsible for who he places in key positions. You don’t get to use the, “I didn’t know, No one told me, I was out of the country excuses. The buck stops with him. His job is to manage the department.
For him not to have a computer, not read reports, not to have first hand information is a sin to all the men and women who work under his umbrella. He is collecting a check that he does not deserve.
I guess I am saying I won’t vote for him this time around.
Some of you self righteous people are hilarious, in a hypocritical sort of way. You think some guy who has no political cover, isn’t in any car and is vulnerable as hell to the bullshit political games that are played should just step right up and take a stand? Right. They should just throw the whole concept of career survival right out the window with no regard as to how it affects not only them but their families too. That’s real easy for you ass kissers who have already sold your souls to get in Baca or Tanaka’s car. You’ve already rolled your dice and it can’t be undone. The guys in Baca’s car? They know he’s a bona fide nut case. They don’t say shit about it and try to keep the big secret. The guys in Tanaka’s car? You’re all aware of the shenanigans on your man’s end. You’ve kept your mouths shut and never said: “Wait a minute, this is bullshit”.
It’s real easy for those of you in either car to talk smack. However, none of you, not one swinging d#%k can look themselves in the mirror and not admit to yourselves that your camp is/has/will be involved in some shady shit.
Your die is cast. You’ve already hitched your wagon. It can’t be undone. So quit talking shit like a cell soldier to the majority of people on the LASD who know one conversation with the wrong person can end up having a very negative affect on their career.
Gutless or smart?
Yeah. Ok. You’re the one with the guts. Everybody else is spineless but you and your homies in your car.
Where has your spine been when you’ve seen the bullshit?
You guys in Baca’s car, where’s your spine to step up and admit that he’s nuts?
You guys in Tanaka’s car, where’s that ultra steely spine of yours to admit that your guy kept his mouth shut for years about Baca being nuts? That’s right. He knew it. You know he knew it. He knows you know he knew it. But no. He just kept his mouth shut. He didn’t take a stand did he?
It would have been political suicide, that’s why. He’s said as much in interviews. Paul Tanaka tried to play it as politically smart as he could. He didn’t just cast all calculation to the side and say: “The hell with it. I don’t care what the political consequences are, I’m calling bullshit”.
And now you want to talk shit to some low level line swine who’s not in anybody’s car about how they should step up and take a stand, regardless of the consequences? Really?
None of you are without shame. So it doesn’t become you now to talk smack and try to come off like you’re some kind of unblemished hero where ethics are concerned.
#37, most of these fools aren’t even in the game anymore. Alot of these retirees that post are allegedly former Department Executives. How did you get your upper Management spots, that’s right, by being in someone’s car. Me, I signed up to be a cop, not a manager or politician. I don’t need a camp.
#38 you are right on the money.
Do you ever wonder how hard the Baca “supporters” laugh at his nutty policies and antics when they’re alone? Yet they keep doing his bidding.
Do you ever wonder how the Tanaka supporters reconcile it with themselves that they donated money to his Gardena Mayoral campaign? As if they really give a damn about who the Mayor of Gardena is.
That’s why it I find it funny as hell that these political whore’s have the unmitigated gall to lecture someone about “where to put the Vaseline”.
# 38.. go back to sleep.
Dry your eyes, river. I was banished to the cornfield a long time ago. The mirror doesn’t bother me at all. Your rationale is typical, a career in hell as opposed to standing up straight. When you finish doing those monkey flips, I’ll be here. You’ll still outrank me, but so what. I signed up to be a cop, not a handmaiden. Put some cucumbers on your eyelids. No one will ever know.
LATBG — an FYI — You have accurately and eloquently written about the current reality of LASD in each of your postings. The other “Interested Party” (#30) is a different dude….. Keep up your informative contributions to the site. Thanks.