Fed Judge Dynamites Baca Plea Deal, Says 6 Month Sentence Would “Trivialize the Seriousness” of His Offense”


When the sentencing hearing for former Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy Baca began on Monday morning in the courtroom of U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson, most of those in attendance were fairly sure they knew what to expect.

The room was packed with Baca supporters who had various kinds of personal ties to the former sheriff. Most of the supporters showed up at the downtown federal courthouse on Spring Street an hour early to make sure they got a seat in the courtroom before the place filled to overflow, which it did quickly. Tommy Lasorda, the beloved former manager of the Dodgers, was one of those waiting to enter.

One supporter brought with him a plastic bag full of enamel lapel pins, each formed in the shape of a small yellow ribbon tied in bow. The man went down the line passing out the pins to the crowd. One man who said he’d known Baca since middle-school, quick fastened a pin to his suit jacket. “I guess it’s just another way of showing support,” he said.

Eventually, a trio of federal marshals allowed everyone who could fit to file into the courtroom and get seated. By that time around two thirds of those gathered wore a yellow ribbon pin, excluding the press, and the smattering of lookee-loo attorneys who had wandered down from the building’s upper floors.

In February of this year, Baca pleaded guilty to one count of lying to federal officials, having to do with his knowledge of hiding federal informant Anthony Brown, the threatening of a federal agent, and other forms of interference in a federal investigation into brutality and corruption by deputies the LA County Jail system.

It was an agreement that reportedly took much negotiation to wrestle to the ground. But, eventually the government and the defense were in accord, and Baca formally pleaded guilty to the single charge in front of Judge Anderson. Now all these months later, the deal was about to be finalized, once Anderson sentenced Baca.


In most plea deals, when it comes time to sentence, the defense and the prosecution each make their pitch for the sentence they hope to sell to the court, then the judge delivers the sentence he or she deems just, and that sentence is binding.

But Baca’s agreement was a slightly different breed of federal plea bargain called an 11(c)1(C) agreement. This form of plea deal allows the government and the defense to agree upon a narrow range of possible sentences from which the judge may select. If the court doesn’t agree with the sentencing range, it may go outside the agreed upon parameter. Then the defendant must decide whether to accept the rogue sentence, or instead be allowed withdraw his or her plea, in which case everyone is back to square one. Commonly the judge stays within the agreed upon sentencing range since, in most cases, no one is all that interested in the square one option.

In Baca’s case, the agreed-upon sentencing range was 0 to 6 months —zero meaning probation only.

Thus, all that had to happen on Monday was for both defense and prosecution to make their respective pitches to the judge for their preferred sentences, and for Anderson to select the point on the 0 to 6 month continuum he believed to be the most appropriate for Baca.

But that was not what occurred.

As most of you reading this likely know by now, Anderson instead flipped the game table, took a blow torch to the sentencing spread, dynamited the plea agreement (or whatever other metaphor you prefer). He chose none of the above— which essentially rendered the carefully crafted 11(c)1(C) agreement null and void.

However, at the beginning of the morning, everyone was still blissfully ignorant of the curve ball that was coming.


When Baca entered the hallway outside Anderson’s court, stopping to greet be greeted by supporter after supporter, he seemed relatively prepared for whatever fate was going to be handed to him. (In contrast, when the former sheriff came to court back in February, he seemed on the verge of shattering.)

After some necessary legal remarks by the judge, Baca’s lead defense attorney, Michael Zweiback, got up with his client beside him, and made an eloquent case for the probation only alternative. Zweiback read excerpts from letters written by a wide variety of people whose lives Baca seemed to have touched or helped to make better, and listed Baca’s accomplishments.

Finally Zweiback laid out the Alzheimer’s issue, and why he believed his client’s condition would make a federal prison “a cruel place” for the former sheriff to be.

Unlike other sheriff’s department defendants the judge has sentenced, the defense attorney said, “my client is accepting responsibility” for what he’s done….

“We would urge this court not to incarcerate Mr. Baca. There is so much more that can be done for him and by him” if he is allowed to stay out of prison.


When it was the federal prosecutors’ turn, as they had in their sentencing briefs, the prosecution pushed for the full six months. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Fox praised Baca’s positive achievements, But “this is not all about Mr. Baca,” said Fox. “It’s about justice.” And about “deterrence,” and communicating to others that “they will be held accountable.”

When Baca lied to federal officials, he did so to protect himself from an indictment, Fox said “That’s not what a leader does. That’s what a coward does.”

The former sheriff also “ignored plenty of warnings that deputies in his jails were abusing inmates,” and then became “angry” when the FBI began investigating his department,” the prosecutor said. Yet Fox also made it clear that the government thought anything greater than a six month sentence for Baca was excessive, considering his medical condition.

Furthermore Fox said, the government believed that Paul Tanaka was “far more responsible” for the wrongs that had been done in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, than the former sheriff. He also pointed out that no other defendant involved in the obstruction cases has admitted to the court that they’d done anything wrong, save Baca. “They remained defiant throughout the process.”

After Fox sat down, Baca read a page long prepared statement in which he expressed regret about his actions. “I failed,” he said. “I did not lead. Instead I delegated the responsibility for this investigation. I should not have done that.


Finally it was Anderson’s turn. And, as the judge began to talk, it quickly became evident that he was not happy with the sentencing choices the plea deal had given him.

A six month sentence, Anderson said, does not “fairly account for the significant harm” caused “by this defendant” and “under-appreciates this defendant’s culpability.” The guidelines agreed upon, the judge continued, “fail to fairly measure the culpability of this defendant….and the nature and circumstances of criminal conduct.”

Under Baca, said Percy Anderson, a grand jury investigation was derailed, jail deputies “were taught to how to cover up abuse by other deputies.” If an inmate disrespected a deputy, his fellow deputies were taught that they should beat the inmate badly enough “to put him in the hospital.”

While [in the agreement] the parties place no value on this harm,” Anderson said grimly, “I do.

“The behavior of the chief law enforcement officer on Los Angeles county” involves covering up abuse in the men’s central jail.

Yes, Baca has many accomplishments, Anderson said. “But those factors are greatly outweighed by other sentencing factors.”

Six months in prison, he said, “would trivialize the seriousness of his offenses, his lack of respect for the law and the gross abuse of the public trust….”

“…Thus this court rejects the plea agreement.”

And that, was that.


Anderson informed Zweiback that Baca was not longer bound by the plea agreement, a fact of which Zweiback and his associates were already quite aware.

This meant he and his client could withdraw the plea, and the “court could impose a sentence that is “more severe than what had been agreed upon.” But Anderson declined to say how severe.

After Zweiback and Baca conferred, the defense attorney asked for a continuance.

It was agreed that everyone would return to court in two weeks, on August 1.

Outside the courtroom, Zweiback said that in seventeen years as an Assistant US Attorney, and 9 years as a criminal defense attorney he’d never had a deal rejected.

Between now and August first, Zweiback added, he will meet with the federal prosecutors and try to hammer out another deal that will work both the government and the defense—and, of course, for Judge Percy Anderson.

But, said Zweiback, “It may well be that nothing will satisfy the court except for a trial.”

Yet a trial is a risk for both the defense and the prosecution, said former Assistant U.S. Attorney Miriam Krinsky, who was also the executive director of the Citizen’s Commission for Jail Violence. “If they go to trial, that means first the government has to present its evidence to a grand jury and get an indictment. And the government may decide to indict on more charges.”

At the same time, Krinsky said, the prosecutors have indicated that their evidence on Baca is likely not as strong as it was on Tanaka and others.

So what kind of sentence would Percy Anderson like to impose? There is no way of knowing, of course. However, two different veteran attorneys guessed that a one or two year sentence. “And if you’re Baca, you take that deal,” one of the attorneys said.

Miriam Krinsky agreed “This judge is very aware,” she added, “that a lot of people got caught up due to Baca’s failure of leadership, and got much higher sentences” than he found in the now-rejected deal.

WLA’s photo of Baca and one of his attorneys was taken after his plea hearing in February 2016.


  • What goes around comes around. You will be going to that Big House. But stand by for the subpoena on my termination case….

  • The FBI and DOJ had that coming. Utter the words “There’s going to be” at the direction of your superiors ? Years in prison for you! Be the one to openly challenge the FBI in the media and to direct your deputies to go to the agents home? Recommend a few months probation for the head guy! “You know we might arrest you” – years of prison! “I took the bribe, ruined everyone’s for $1,500, and admit to beating inmates (which is what the whole thing was supposed to root out, right? ) – let’s recommend a few months house arrest! What a farce and a mess this whole Pandora’s Box business is. There’s no justice here, no public interest served. For all the hullabaloo, precious little actual INMATE abuse was actually proven and prosecuted. Through their maneuvers, the FBI/DOJ showed what they considered to be the most important value, and that is recognition of their authority. That’s not the same as the public good. Those who are perceived to have defied the FBI/DOJ the most get the harshest treatment. Those who actually caused great public harm – the guy at top, the bribe – taker and inmate beater – get probation or tiny sentences recommended because they knuckled under. The FBI/DOJ spent years and millions to bring local law enforcement to heel, and that is all they achieved.

  • It was a bit uncomfortable being in a sea of Baca supporters who were quick to tell their stories of Baca’s good deeds. And even the news reporter who was quick to turn her back on me when she learned that I was not a willing to wear a yellow pin and that I felt that he should be punished much as anyone else should despite his medical condition was a bit unnerving. She was quick to educate me on what a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s entailed, she did not afford me the opportunity to mention the fact that as a psychologist I am well informed about the diagnosis by training, education and experience. I should not have been surprised that the courtroom was over taken by those in support of a man who is just as capable of being compassionate as he is of being corrupt because months ago he told me that this was the plan. The glares when it was learned how I felt about Baca was a tad bit intimidating, but no way was I going to miss the possibility of witnessing justice being served. Alas, I saw a familiar face arrive in line at the court room so my anxiety was eased and I was happy that I would not be the only person in the room hoping for justice. As we entered the court room my only hope was that the judge would see through the B.S. and hold this man accountable. Many have been harmed under the leadership of Lee Baca and a small bit of hope that justice does prevail was restored in that courtroom. #justiceformitricerichardson

  • Santa’s team has found it hard to concentrate on brass snaps, Smokey the Bear, lying Sheriffs, and convicted midget tyrants over the past several weeks. The “State of the Union” has the entire team in the dumps and Santa has had to call one of those dreaded staff meetings to crack the whip.

    As a consequence, the team has done a mega-sweep of the FBI data base and discovered a pertinent conversation that has heretofore gone unreported. This conversation took place in the Federal Building on Wilshire Blvd in an office of the US Marshal’s Service shortly after former Undersheriff Tanaka was sentenced to 60 months in prison. Evidently, this is an office often used for prisoner interviews and is wired for sound. In this case, it was being used by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons for interviews, and the embedded microphones just happened to be active and was recorded. The content is self-explanatory:

    Voice A: The next case is “Tanaka”, he is convicted of Obstruction of Justice. He was involved in that scandal where the Sheriff’s Department hid a prisoner-informant from the FBI.

    Voice B: Hid a prisoner?

    Voice C: I know about the case, this Tanaka and Sheriff Baca got a stick up their ass when the FBI smuggled a cell phone in to the jail during an investigation and, after the phone was discovered and ID’d as the FBI’s, decided to “hide” the prisoner from the FeeBs so they couldn’t contact the guy.

    Voice B: What were they thinking?

    Voice C: Well, if you know anything about Baca, he could’ve been thinking anything. That guy is a real loony tune.


    Voice B: And this Tanaka was part of it?

    Voice C: Yeah, he was Baca’s number 2 guy – Undersheriff – and ran the “operation”.

    Voice B: And he’s headed our way?

    Voice A: Yeah, for 5 years.

    Voice B: Wow! What did Baca get?

    Voice C: He cut a deal with the prosecutors and they are offering him 6 months.

    Voice B: 6 months! Damn, he must be related to the Clintons!


    Voice A: Ok, let’s get him in here and get this over with.

    sound of door opening

    Voice A: TANAKA!

    sound of person(s) moving

    Voice A: Take THAT seat Mr. Tanaka.

    Voice A: Your name?

    Former Undersheriff Tanaka: Paul Tanaka

    Voice A: Mr. Tanaka, we are members of the US Bureau of Prisons Prisoner Classification Board. Do you understand that your cooperation is necessary for us to determine which is the proper facility to house you in during your initial incarceration?

    Tanaka: Yes

    Voice A: And that “initial” incarceration, will likely be for a period of at least two years?

    Tanaka: ah,….yes.

    Voice A: And you understand that failure to cooperate with this panel will result in your immediate incarceration, irrespective of your appeal status.

    Tanaka: ah, that is not my understanding.

    Voice A: Mister Tanaka. Here is your signature on a document stating that you understated these conditions. You signed this document prior to being allowed to leave the courthouse last week……on June 27th, the day of your sentencing. Do you recall that?

    Tanaka: Yes, but since then…

    Voice C: Since then NOTHING has changed. Do you UNDERSTAND?

    Tanaka: But my attorney…

    Voice C: Your attorney has NO standing in this proceeding. You are NOW technically a FEDERAL PRISONER, you have been sentenced to FIVE years in Federal custody and the ONLY reason you have been released is because you signed THIS document stating you would cooperate with this panel. Do you UNDERSTAND?

    Tanaka: But I AM FREE TO GO!

    Voice C: We will be the judge of that, MISTER TANAKA!

    Voice A: MISTER Tanaka, you waived your rights when you signed this document in exchange for your freedom pending the outcome of your appeal. Do you understand THAT?

    Tanaka: I want to call my attorney.

    Voice C: There will be NO CALLS to your attorney until we are done with you – one way or another. If you cooperate with us, you can call your attorney from your cell phone as you walk out of this building. If you do NOT cooperate, you can call your attorney from the Metro lock-up as your are being booked. DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT???

    Tanaka: You MOTHERFUCKERS HIJACKED me!!!!!

    Voice C: M-I-S-T-E-R Tanaka! I don’t think YOU understand exactly WHO is WHO here. YOU are just another convicted felon to us. Calling us names like we are some sort of underling does not mean SHIT. One word from us and we can have those Marshals outside throw your tiny ass in prison RIGHT NOW. Comprende???????

    long silence

    Tanaka: ah,…yeah,…. I understand.

    Voice A: Good. Now let’s get on with trying to determine where WE would like to send YOU – once you are incarcerated. Now, do you have any tattoos?

    Tanaka: Why is that important?

    Voice C: As you are soon to learn, it IS important because WE said so. Now, do you have any tattoos?

    Tanaka: That’s not really important.

    Voice C: Look you little shit, I am going to ask one more time, then I am going to step out of this room and tell one of those big ugly Marshals to take you to the Metro lock-up. Is THAT clear?

    Tanaka: ah…..yes

    long silence

    Tanaka: Sir

    Voice C: Now, do you have a tattoo?

    Tanaka: Yes.

    Voice A: Where and what?

    Tanaka: On my left leg.

    Voice A: What is it?

    Tanaka: It depicts the head of a Viking WARRIOR.

    Voice A: Is that it, just a Viking head? Anything else?

    Tanaka: Well, there is the number 17 and the letters “LV25”

    Voice A: What does that stand for?

    Tanaka: What does that matter?

    Voice C: Look, you little prick, I’ve about had it with you! It matters because WE ASKED!

    Tanaka: Well, ah…the 17 is because it was the 17th Viking tattoo and the “LV” stands for Lynwood Vario. The 25 indicates that it is Sheriff’s station #25.

    Voice A: So it depicts some sort of Sheriff’s Department GANG out of Lynwood Station?

    Tanaka: Well, not a gang, just a social club. We played softball, did community fundraisers………

    Voice C: Cut the bullshit! We are not fucking around! We are here to find out where is the most suitable place to put you in the Federal PENITENTIARY System. We are not having tryouts for your….

    sound of shuffling papers

    Voice C: ….your Gardena Junior High Glee Club!

    Tanaka: Well, ah… was a group of Deputies who kind’a hung around together….

    Voice C: AND thought you were above the LAW! Isn’t that right?

    Tanaka: Ah…well, …some have said that.

    Voice A: Ok, we understand the significance of the tattoo. Is that it? The viking head and those numbers? Nothing more?

    Tanaka: Ah, yeah…that’s about it…….

    Voice C: That’s ABOUT it?…….Why don’t I take a look at this….tattoo?

    sounds of people moving around

    Voice C: What the fuck are those other letters?…….”OGCF?”

    Tanaka: Oh, I….ah…. forgot about that.

    Voice C: FORGOT?

    Tanaka: Ah, I don’t think about the tattoo very much.

    Voice C: Don’t you take a fucking SHOWER and see it every day?????

    Tanaka: Well, yeah….I just don’t…

    Voice C: Cut the crap, WHAT does OGCG stand for???

    Tanaka: Ah, I think…ah, “Original Gangster Chongo Fighter”

    Voice C: You THINK? It’s on your fucking leg and you THINK?

    Tanaka: Ah…yeah…I recall being told that’s what it stands for.

    Voice A: Original Gangster CHONGO Fighter?

    Voice B: Isn’t CHONGO ghetto slang for monkey, meaning a Black or African American – to put it politely?

    Tanaka: I…..I d-don’t know, I never asked.

    Voice C: You never ASKED?

    Tanaka: Ah, …. I was ….ah….. drunk that night.

    Voice A: As you can see, two of us are African Americans and I am sure you are aware that you will be imprisoned with many people of color. And THAT tattoo proudly claims you are a CHONGO fighter! THAT presents a REAL PROBLEM!

    Tanaka: Um,…it does?

    Voice B: Look, you need to be aware of the fact that tattoo is something that MAY well cause you issues during your incarceration. Do you UNDERSTAND?

    Tanaka: Yes, sir……..ah,…… it’s…ah,… not something I wear proudly…….ah,…..I…was drunk….

    Voice B: Then you might consider having it removed prior to your confinement.

    long silence

    Voice A: I see.


    Voice A: Ok! Does any of the panel have anything else?


    Voice A: Fine! Mr Tanaka, you may go.

    Tanaka: Thank you, sirs…,…..I appreciate your time……

    sound of door closing

    Voice A: Damn, Fred! What got in to you?

    Voice C: I know all about that little fucker. I had a neighbor who was on the Sheriff’s Department – great guy who was a Sergeant. He was on several promotional lists but never got promoted. He told me about this Undersheriff dude who had corrupted the system to the point of getting the answers to the tests to his chosen few to make sure they got in some sort of “band” where they could be promoted. This guy never had a chance. He finally got fed-up and quit the Department – moved to Oregon where he’s a deputy sheriff. He told me what a tyrant this guy was and how he treated everyone like he was some sort of fucking Emperor or something. Little did I know, I would have a chance to turn the tables on the little bastard!

    long silence

    Voice B: Sounds like quite the asshole and he didn’t do anything to dispel that notion today.

    Voice C: Yeah, I haven’t been called a motherfucker since I left the lock-up side.


    long silence

    Voice A: Well, where shall we put him?

    Voice B: You mean our little OGCF “WARRIOR”?

    Voice A: Exactly! We need to find the PERFECT spot for the dip-shit!

    sound of loud laughter………….

    (A Note from Santa: Rest assured Santa’s helpers will be Code-6 for a similar panel once former-Sheriff Baca is brought to justice – stay tuned)


    This guy just got 46 months for hacking a competing baseball club’s computer system to put this mess in perspective. I still wonder how or why prosecutors thought this was a good idea, given the facts. Baca will get between a year and 18 months, which is still way too lenient. He should take such a deal before the ink is dry.

    I was hoping the judge would tell Baca he violated his own Core Values. That would have been rich.

  • I still say the 7 convicted Sgts, Lt’s and Deputies deserve much more prison time then they received. They knew better.
    Oh well, let us wait for the Appeals Court decision.

    It should be interesting with Baca.

  • Drronda, interesting comment. Could you name the Baca supporters you may have recognized and/or the reporter? Celebrity and rich backers have always been a big part of the Baca story. Celeste, did you recognize any? (Other then Tommy Lasorta, which was interesting)


    Nicobar, I didn’t. However, I’m the world’s worst at that. I saw one or two LASD people I knew, but nobody of the type that you’re talking about. That doesn’t mean they weren’t there. It just means that I’m awful at recognizing people out of context.


  • I could not name any of the supporters by name but many I have seen at community events. If you need the name of the reporter for some reason you can contact me and we can discuss the relevance of knowing her name. I am sure she is monitoring this page and I hope she gets the message that her behavior in the capacity of a reporter was inappropriate.

    I openly admit that I am angry at Lee Baca for allowing the actions of officers involved in the disappearance of my former intern Mitrice Richardson to go unpunished and in some cases rewarded (i.e. Tom Martin). For allowing officers to engage in threatening and intimidating behavior because of my questioning of how they dealt with Mitrice during her arrest. I am angry that my life has been a living Hell due to actions of the LASD under the direction of Lee Baca et. al. and I will never have the life that I worked very hard for. But it is because of the many people like me that have similar stories that I want to see him receive appropriate consequences for a mulititude of actions that have been determintal to the lives of many individuals he was supposed to protect and serve. This is not about not about vengeance, this is about justice. –

  • What, no Stonich or Waldie? They were such an important part of the Baca legacy. Surly they were there wearing their yellow ribbons. Celeste, you couldn’t have missed them: they would have looked somewhat like Laurel and Hardy, the Laurel character would be a cross between Stan Laurel and Uncle Fester, The Hardy Character, would look like…well Jabba the Hutt.

  • C: I agree with 13. If there were any two knuckleheads who benefitted from the lies, corruption by Baca it was Stonich and Walide. I also agree with the description. LOL Recall when Waldie finally retired and Baca wrote “With Love” note to Waldie? The party at HQ was just plain relief until we got Tanaka. Yup! Things got worse! Well, Lee where are these guys now?

  • @12, et al – As a long time victim of the convicted LASD criminal “Leadership” – Baca & Tanaka, I find it incredibly disturbing that the courtroom was packed with Baca supporters. Why would anyone knowingly support either of them? If they didn’t know that the person they were there to support did willingly and with seemingly sadistic pleasure, actively destroy so many honest LASD employees for FUN; then they know now.

    Baca AND Tanaka relentlessly tortured their targeted employees for a span of many years – up to and often for more than ten years. Why would anyone publicly support that?

    I suggest that for the August 1 court date, that Baca’s victims pack the courtroom – wearing a black ribbon to symbolize mourning the loss of so many careers, professional lives and livelihoods.

    Thank you Judge Anderson for your profound understanding of the depths of destruction these criminals have wrought upon the reputation of the fine men and women of the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department, and for Baca and Tanaka sullying the reputation of law enforcement, in general.

    It should be noted that so many former and current LASD executives willingly went along with the corrupt activities of both Baca and Tanaka, for many years. And even though they were mandated to report the criminal acts and policy violations, not one of them did anything to stop it. This is where the new sheriff comes in. He should be addressing those issues. Alas, he just continues to ignore it. Shameful!

    Hope to see you all on August 1.

  • What you mean all those execs that came to the commission hearings, and stood there in support of Tanaka and Baca were not there to support him now. You gotta be kidding me. Let me guess they have Mc D fooled into believing they now support him.

  • Anyone read the oped in LA Times the other day? Baca is in the cat bird’s seat once again. This is something I was afraid of….

    By throwing out the plea deal because he felt the terms were too low, Judge Anderson might have insured that LB will NEVER serve a period of incarceration AT ALL, for ANY length of time.

    Baca’s cognitive decliine is now very much a part of the record. Should his attorneys decide on a change of plea instead of trying to broker another plea agreement with terms more satisfactory to the Court, I’m sure the government is poised to execute a fairly rapid GJ indictment. But with a trial date that would probably be at least year or more away and with delays…and you know there would be…many… if LB cannot assist in the preparation of his own defense, game over.

    Hate to say it, but if I were the defense right now, I’d roll the dice…

  • @ 15) ITS. I hate to hear that you were directly victimized by the former #1 & #2 leaders (Heckle & Jeckle) in LASO. Curious as to whether or not if ALADS, POPA, LASPA, ERCOM or County Counsel assisted you in any way. It is relevant to know as the department supposedly moves forward to another chapter..If so, did their assistance help or hinder you? Did they have balls or were they eunuchs?

  • Dear (There’s No) Santa(?),

    This is the best yet. Thank you, thank you, thank you. (Still LMAO)

  • Drronda, I’d just like to see the names of the hard core Baca cronies. Their little scheme to influence the court, not to mention giving you a hard time stinks of crony elitism. I’d love for you to make those name(s) public but I can’t say I blame you for avoiding the hassle.

  • The focus has to stay on the fact that Baca lied at the very least and he needs to be held accountable. If he would allow and encourage an FBI agent to be threatened can you image what individuals in the general public have gone through? Not to mention those in the department who wanted to speak out against the corruption? I know first hand how it feels to be in the presence of those in the department who’s business it is/was to attempt to intimidate in order to stifle complaints and concerns. Take my word for it, it is a pretty scary place to be and bottom line is Baca and Tanaka allowed it and in some cases ordered it. The sad fact is that McDonnell has chosen to keep some of those same individuals as his command staff so I cannot imagine that thing have changed very much. Hopefully, McDonnell will take a close look at those who he is allowing to have power and control.

  • drrhonda: Welcome to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department where the truth takes a back seat to political expediency and civil liabilities. I’m sorry for the treatment you have received from the Department. It always amazes me the lack of integritity and ethics exhibited by the leaders of our Department. I am hopeful any civil actions pending against the Department in the Mitrice Richardson case will be
    successful. Evidently, it is business as usual at the LA County Sheriff’s Department.

  • @22

    You’ve got some good points, but you also have to look at some organizational history that facilitated Mr. Tanaka’s rise to power and that created the culture that facilitated abuse.

    When Lee Baca first became Sheriff, there seemed to be an endless stream of management directives from his office that were disjointed at best. Many of these were quickly rescinded when later discovered to be illegal, or in conflict with other directives. He tended to promote folks based on their singular success on a particular task and his infatuation with the outcome. The management style was a series of “Right Full Rudder, Left Full Rudder, Full Speed Ahead, Full Speed Astern” orders. Staff got real seasick, real fast. Following the same type of financial (mis) management, the Board of Supervisors was seriously looking at “taking his checkbook” away.

    Tanaka came into the picture as a CPA, and as a person with some very significant management ability. He quickly got Dr. Baca “out of grease” with the Board of Supervisors and bought a lot of needed stability to the organization. He fixed the “seasickness” problem with management.

    But Tanaka moved up far too fast, and never adequately matured into his responsibilities. The power trip took over. Tanaka was able to identify folks who possessed good management skills. He had a keen eye for talent, but he also demanded personal loyalty (as opposed to organizational loyalty) and he used his select few as “Fedayeen” much in the same was as Saddam Hussein used the “Fedayeen Saddam” to ensure stability and personal loyalty in the Iraqi government and military.

    It’s not as simple as Sheriff McDonnell being able to “purge” the LASD of the “Fedayeen” members. Some of his sharpest talent are former “Fedayeen.” He would cripple the department if he were to fully purge them. At the same time, each individual “Fedayeen” had varying levels of allegiance to Tanaka (and less so now that Tanaka appears on his way to prison).

    McDonnell needs the former “Fedayeen” in order to be successful, but he also has to be mindful that many (but not all, and in varying degrees) of the “Feydayeen” were willing to compromise ethics on order to advance Tanaka’s objectives.

    It’s also important for him to reach out to those courageous folks who declined to serve as “Fedayeen” and suffered as a result. Central among those is Bob Olmstead. Bob did some very honorable things in order to fix the wrongs that Baca had charged him with fixing. Many of the senior leaders who found it appropriate to leave the organization under the “Fedayeen” management style have returned. The former interim Sheriff, and the current Executive Officer are good examples. I’d very much like to the same invite extended to Mr. Olmstead.

  • Sorry Rick, but I disagree with your comments by removing the “Fedayeen”, Sheriff McDonnell would be crippling the Department. I’m quite sure the Department would survive just fine without the “sharpest talent” that may be lacking in character and ethics. That being said, the Department cannot heal without the removal of the cancer (Fedayeen) that has plagued the Department for so long. McDonnell still has a long way to go to earn the respect and trust of his employees. My two cents…..

  • Hey Bandwagon,
    you mean the employees that did nothing while Deputies were beating handcuffed prisoners and watching other criminal acts ? McDonnell has to earn their respect ?
    The Dept. can only heal if it prosecutes the rest of the thugs and goes back to being leaders for society.

  • LASD made their choice. The nation’s largest Sheriff’s union “ALADS”, could have made a difference if they weren’t in bed with Tanaka. That plan was foiled in November 2013 when Floyd Hayhurst lost his spot as prez. Highly touted by former board member & ex ALADS prez Jeff Steck, McDonnell “the outsider” was ALADS and PPOA’s choice. Wow! Why not pick Olmsted who “called out” leadership at LASD.

  • That’s a pretty big chip on shoulder fella. You and BLM have a lot in common. I guess in ur world it’s okay to paint everybody with the same brush. And yes McDonnell needs to earn the respect and trust of his employeees. Until he cleans house with his Command Staff nothing will change. See you at the next BLM protest. Go Hillary!(sarcasm)

  • Add a nanny nanny boo boo at the end and you will complete the adult thought process…

    Turn off the the Toby Keith and learn how both the department and criminal justice system works.

  • Alads & Ppoa’s curent presidents and upper brass are probably doing the conga line dance straight into the SHeriff’s office rightt now! Why wouldn’t the unions be in bed with upper management!

  • Bandwagon,
    It’s all you….the typical Right Wing “Ding” who other Republicans try to disassociate themselves from.

    Cool your jets…’re making Donald Trump look worse than Arnold Swartzenegger, the other clown that you fell for. Remember him?

  • @ 30. The San Francisco Police Officer Association did otherwise. They have a pair…..cast iron, mind you.

  • 31: perhaps you ant to reconsider your political tone considering that the left wing Wall Street prostitution loony that murdered our boys in Benghazi.

    There’s enough incompetence to go around, don’t you think? But, if you want to play whose worse Hillary and her rapist husband let’s have a go?

  • #33….Hillary or her rapist husband or Deputies who beat handcuffed prisoners ? Hmmmm, that easy !

  • @24… I agree that Bob O. is a good man and I would have loved to see him still working to bring integrity to the department; but I am not surprised that McD did not bring him on…too much integrity would spoil the brew and I am sure that there is some real crap brewing as we speak.

  • Radar: Is that the best you have? Your comments are typical of our failed education system. See you and Lonestar at the next rally… The

  • Radar: By the,way….was that you I saw burning the Anerican Flag in Cleveland…
    Your a great american…the founding fathers would be proud of you…oh…I forgot..liberals don’t believe in the Constitution…..

  • Rick D, I could not disagree with you more. Tanaka had a knack for only one thing, and that was to spot those who were willing to kiss his ass. The most qualified, competent, and ethical were deemed early on to be a threat to the corrupt administration. That threat was expressed in two ways – first the capacity to tell the emperor a resounding NO when called for, and secondly making all the ass kissers and bootlickers look like the unqualified, incompetent fools that they are.

    Rick, in what alternate universe do you identify “some of his sharpest talent” in a disgraced management team that destroyed the department? Tanaka was a poor manager, a piss poor leader, and a sorry excuse of a human being. Anyone promoted under his auspices by definition has serious character flaws, which at a minimum include looking the other way. A composite of the three monkeys.

    For the record, you could replace McDonnell’s entire command staff with a group of proven leaders from any Fortune 500 company and have an instant turn around. The failed supervisors, managers, and executives are the main impediment to true reform.

  • Radar: Your president just responded to Trump’s speech last night. Evidently crime is down, the economy is great…and ISIS (JV Team) is on the run. Nothing to worry about after all.. all that worrying for nothing.

  • It is not too late to bring Olmstead back,if he were to truly assist. Olmstead would definitely keep the remaining Tanakanites at bay with a close eye on them.
    They brought in the “old geezer” Tyler and for what reason, most will never know other than “Old Guard” cronyism.

  • @38
    LATBG, we don’t have to agree. This is a discussion forum and it would be a very boring one if we all did agree.

    But personal anger (and I can sense a lot in your posting) doesn’t change the facts any. I had my own falling out with Mr. Tanaka and wound up retiring earlier than I had planned. But that doesn’t change the facts. Paul did promote a lot of very sharp people, and he also promoted some very unqualified, and under-qualified folks who did his bidding. It’s important to understand that both groups do exist.

    I was working in the Headquarters building when Baca first became Sheriff and it was kinda scary to see the quality of management deliberation that preceded management action. It was almost “I want, I get” from the front office. Paul bought a lot of order to the system. You don’t gotta like him, but he made the “trains run on time” albeit at a great cost to the integrity of the organization, as you have correctly pointed out.

    The real problem with Tanaka was that as he rose in rank, his management style also developed in the “I want, I get” mentality, couple with “I’ll bulldoze anyone in my way.”

    Tanaka, like all of us, has a “Moral Compass”, but as he rose in rank, I have to think that his “Moral Compass” was equipped with magnets so that he could make it point any way that it needed to for any particular situation.

    I was honored to work with some of the “Fedayeen” who were highly professional and ethical and who were promoted by Tanaka, and who would have been promoted in any other administration. Unfortunately, I also know of some who were advanced only because of favors they did for Tanaka. I also know of many who compromised their ethics in doing so. It is what it is.

    The real issue facing Sheriff McDonnell is ensuring that the remaining “Fedayeen” act up to the ethical standards required of them. “Factoid” may a very good observation about the value of Neal Tyler to the organization. But folks like Neal are few and far between. MCDonnell needs a few more Neal Tyler’s around and Bob Olmstead would be a pretty good addition.

  • I have spoken to Bob O and asked as to why he wasn’t brought back? Being the man on integrity, that he is, he made no ill comment about McD.

    Sheriff McDonald: You could get a lot more done of you could have Bob O work in, at least, a consultant capacity. There’s no down side for you. I’m not trying to belittle the election but, without Bob entering the race you would not have entered.

    Please think about it.

  • It’s interesting to read the revisionist history on this blog. Anyone calling for Mr. Olmstead to return to LASD is basically back-handing every member of the Department. Leave the retired out to pasture. He only came forward after he retired and when safe to do so. Back to the issue at hand. It sickens me to see top executives hobbling around looking ridiculous in uniform, It’s time for McDonnell to make change at the top and work his way down. Several of the top brass are there for three main reasons: 1. Avoid their wives. 2. Enjoy their power. 3. Sock away 5 grand a month in Super Mega Flex Deferred Comp benefits. The other Assistant Sheriff spends his days looking over his shoulder hoping his scandal will just go away. It’s embarrassing McDonnell. Make change now before we make change for you in 2018. Last point, Is it just me or does the brass look ridiculous in the bus driver caps at graduations? Tradition is one thing but it’s funny to see them sitting there like a bunch of stuffed animals in a Pixar movie. Instead of brass buttons toss the hats.

  • @43 Scandals always come out, one way or another, so the Assistant Sheriff should be aware that his secret is not safe, many of us are aware of what is going on and it is only a matter of time before he is exposed. McD needs much change and now.

  • Celeste,
    Do you have any information about Tom Carey’s sentencing? His case seems to have disappeared from the news reports.

  • I don’t want to beat a dead horse but, someone brought up the cheating scandal. Tanaka moved his people from band 4/3 into band 2. The sad thing is that people that were originally on band 2 died on it. I believe he brought in around 35 and promoted 31. So 30 or so that actually made the list well got screwed because they weren’t kissing his ass. The test was compromised. several people that benefited from the move are executives and had little understanding of Policy and Procedures. So you wonder why the Department is in such bad shape.

  • @19 – Old School – Great question. Not one of the executives, nor anyone at POPA, OIR or County Counsel did one thing to help. I found that with each contact I made seeking help, only caused me to suffer new and “exciting” retaliatory actions. I tried my best to make a change, but in the end I effected nothing.

  • Off the radar: Where did you go…..take your ball and go home? I’ve been pondering to vote this election or not. I will not vote for the criminal who lets our soldiers die without sending help and then lies about it. I wasn’t planning on voting for Trump either for a variety of reasons….but to make your day…and other liberals…with your disdain for the law and Constitution…I’ve decided to join the cops4trump crowd. Keep up the good work…every time you open your guarantee a Trump victory!

  • 43: As usual you don’t know what you are talking about.It was McD that ran sacred and wouldn’t run for offcie until Baca got forced out. As for Trump-he’s a jerk but I’m will vote for him!

  • Bandwagon, if only your GOP inquisitions in Congress (all eight of them) proved what you claim, however that was not the case. You may hate her for a variety of reasons, but my belief is Trump is far worse on any given day, and twice on Sundays. As has been observed, the public and private sector are alike in all unimportant aspects. Trump has made a fortune out of separating others from their hard earned cash, I jut don’t see how that translates into presidential material.

    Rick D, we’ll agree to disagree, that is a point of this forum. Sharp people don’t let bad things happen to their peers, subordinates, or to their organization. I consider a strong ethical character to be a core tenet of “sharpness,” something that was virtually absent in the crowd Baca and Tanaka chose to elevate. They enriched themselves while the organization tanked. That’s not very “sharp.” Shrewd would be a more appropriate term, self-absorbed in their individual success and they didn’t give a rat’s ass about the department and what befell the employees.

  • @ 48-ITW- Don’t know if you lost your job or rank, however you can probably sleep at night and look in the mirror with no regrets.

  • You are right brother. I am 0-2. I voted for that Obama guy the first time….I gave him the benefit of the doubt on the hope and change. Instead I got hope and bullshit…..didn’t make the same mistake twice… the way…I crossed party lines to make that vote….

  • LATBG: Kinda hard to prove guilt when the Attorney General is bought and paid for,,,,,be it AG Holder or AG Lynch. Little meeting on the tarmac says it all…most transparent administration in history…right….no…the most corrupt….with Hillary right in the middle. I will take my chances with Trump….at least he can have the opportunity to prove one of us wrong!

  • #46 Moi….thank you for the update. I lost track of him.
    Did you know the ICIB was burglarized and files were removed ? Little known fact that was covered up.

  • LATBG. Respect most of what you deliver on here, but ponder this if you’re on the fence. The choice between a sometimes brash, arrogant egotistical jerk and a lifetime corrupt liar is a no brainer. Take the person out of it, put the resumes before you and cast your vote. It’s sad that these are the 2 we have to choose from out of 300 million people but it is what it is. Put the first country and take emotion out of it. Just my 2 cents. Stay well

  • @ Bandwagon – Do you really think anyone believes that you crossed political party lines to vote for Obama in his first election?……If so, I have real estate property in Fallujah to sell them. You’re one funny guy!

  • Brother: You can believe anything that little brain of yours will allow. You probably also believe Bill Clinton and AG Lynch talked about grandkids for an hour on the tarmac… wonder this country is so screwed up….

  • Bandwagon you mixed up two issues. I’m talking about the serial GOP congressional inquiries that don’t support your assertion. Hillary has her screw ups, no doubt, but she’s not unlike other mainstream politicians minus the right wing obsession. Here’s a prime example: the claim that because of Hillary military members were not getting their votes counted. It’s repeated as an article of faith, part of a long laundry list of her alleged sins. The only problem is that it was made up as a satire in a blog called The Duffel Bag. It got forwarded and voilà it’s now true.

    Both parties suck because they represent corporate interests, not you and I. The difference is which corporations do you prefer to be screwed by. The array of corporate interests backing the narcissistic megalomaniac scare me more because they can do far more damage than the ones backing Shrillary. Trump has a very long track record of screwing people out of their money, and I don’t care to give him a bigger playing field to do that. There won’t be any winners in this election except corporate America, my humble two cents.

  • LATBG: I will agree the winners in the election will be corporate america and the losers the american people…..that being said I see no real difference between a narcissistic Donald Trump and a lying self serving Hilary Clinton. We can at least give the Donald four years…..we know what we got with Obama/Clinton in eight….I also agree with Ownership and find your comments generally insightful and well stated…back to you my friend…

  • @ 64) America also had to deal with Baby Bush and the false narrative of WMD. America does not have a short memory.

  • I could entertain a Trump presidency with a different Congress. The key is three to four SCOTUS appointments in the next eight years. The balance needs to revert to the center, but Trump would swing it hard right for the next thirty years. How many more Citizens United decisions can we endure? Remember Romneys famous defense, “corporations are people my friend.”

    Although we don’t always agree, I appreciate your perspective as well.

  • 65: Regarding the false narrative, who brought us that false narrative? Colin Powell. And who voted for the war? Hillary Clinton. I won’t vote for that Wall Street whore!

  • Questions: I’m a staunch Republican. But if you think that narrative was generated by Powell, you are beyond naive.

  • @ 68: Typical of you to pull the race card on Colin Powell. BTB (Blame the Brother) I’m not surprised.

  • Please pay attention. Colin Powell brought it to the UN and then to Pres and congress. The lies were given to Powell unlike the lies by Rice, Clinton and Obama who made up Benghazi. You believe that an Anti-Muslim video caused Benghazi? Oh Plaasseee!

  • Questions, you seem to be trying to create a false analogy between lies used to justify the Iraq War, probably the single worst decision in US history, and a discredited explanation for an event that already happened.

  • 73: You haven’t a clue and my sons were there! And didn’t Hillary vote for the war?

  • Questions: You say Powell brought it to the UN, then Congress and the President? Are you kidding me?!?! You really think he went to the UN before the agenda was developed and decided on by the administration?? Come on bro, your killing us.

  • Questions, like I said, I’m a staunch republican. But when you spew such absurdity, it makes the conservative movement look really stupid.

  • And what do your sons being there have to do with anything? I appreciate their service, but unless they became privy to intelligence and politics that nobody else was aware of while in theater, your mention of them is irrelevant and a weak attempt at trying to lend some credibility to your opinions.

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