FBI Jail LA County Jail LASD Paul Tanaka Sheriff Lee Baca U.S. Attorney

LASD Deputy James Sexton Will Call Lee Baca to Testify in Upcoming ReTrial


On Monday, LASD Deputy James Sexton and his attorney, Thomas O’Brien, were in court
as Judge Percy Anderson decided what evidence would and would not be permitted to be used for Sexton’s defense in his retrial scheduled to begin on September 9.

Although Anderson did not issue final rulings on all of the day’s motions, for the most part he appeared to lean toward excluding what the prosecution wanted excluded.

He did appear to mostly agree, however, that Sexton’s attorneys could call former Sheriff Lee Baca as a witness.

Sexton, if you’ll recall, was one of seven members of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department indicted for obstruction of justice for allegedly hiding federal informant and then jail inmate, Anthony Brown, from his FBI handlers in the summer of 2011.

Deputy Sexton was already tried once on obstruction charges this past May. The trial resulted in a “hopelessly deadlocked” jury, with a split of 6-6.

Initially, it was not clear that the prosecution would try Sexton a second time. Yet, after the government got guilty verdicts in early July against the six other department members charged with obstruction, federal prosecutors announced they were going to go ahead and retry the deputy.

Although Sexton will be retried on charges similar to those of which the other six were convicted, his case is dissimilar in significant ways, in that he was far lower on the food chain that the two lieutenants, two sergeants, and two deputies who were convicted, and are scheduled to be sentenced next month.

Also, unlike the others, Sexton cooperated with the FBI for more than a year, reportedly submitting willingly to 37 different interviews.

(The deputy talked with the FBI so much, in fact, that, in order to make communication with the feds easier and safer for Sexton, FBI agents gave him a cell phone that he could use solely for his calls to them.)

Interestingly, among the elements from the last trial that the prosecution wishes to exclude from Sexton’s defense in the second trial are the details of this cooperation.

87 Comments

  • I hope and pray that Sexton is victorious this next go round. Tom O’Brian is no Dick Shinee….. which means a fight. (No sell out or bail out).

    Shame on ALADS who is being sued for refusing to represent him. Lessons definitely will be taught and bought. Since FLOYD HAYHURST’S hasty departure, Steck will be responsible for damage control.

    The masks are off and all of the “Players in the LASD & ALADS” game are being exposed for who they truly are. Good luck and God speed for Sexton.

  • This will provide for wonderful theater. Baca does not do well when he is placed in a box. It has been my observation over the years that Baca’s normal response has been to lash out in ways that defy logic. Of course, he always had a captive audience, be it a staff meeting, Church of Scientology appearance or soft-ball media interview. Somewhere in this Federal trial, Baca is going to be called to the witness stand. One side will try to prop him up and the other side will try to tear him down. Questions such as, “Why did you suddenly retire? Isn’t it true you are a target of a Federal investigation, bla bla bla.” And you can bet your posse box that Baca is going to throw Tanaka under the bus like a Boss. That in itself will be worth taking an F-day to attend. The question will be, will the Defense call Tanaka to the stand? I really can’t see how they can’t because Baca is going to lay it all off on Tanaka and that leaves the door open for PT to be forced to the witness stand where, in his interest, he will lay it all off on Baca. The winner? Sexton and the media, who will love reporting this story. It will also put hardball questions on the table about the next step, indicting Baca and Tanaka.

  • Good article by Carl Horowitz from the National Legal & Policy Center on AG Holder and possible prosecution og Officer Wilson.

  • This is absolutely typical of retrials. Each side has an opportunity to step back and reflect on their strategy, and they get a chance to discuss the case with willing jurors.

    The prosecution must have thought, “Why did we allow Sexton to bang the drum so hard about his ‘cooperation’ with us?” And the defense must have thought, “Why did we call Tanaka instead of Baca?”

    I’m not a political animal in the department, so I might be wrong about this one: but, Cowboy, wasn’t ALADS’ refusal to pay for a different attorney due to its contract with G&S and keeping costs down? I disagree with ALADS’ position on this – if the deputy is facing criminal charges, he gets the attorney of his choice on our dime. Of course, I might feel differently if I were running the books at ALADS…

  • I am also rooting for Sexton. Hopefully the outcome will be a “Game Changer”. Getting Baca on the stand is priceless.
    As for Alads, there has been more moves and back stabbings on the” Alads Board of Directors” than EME has “hits” in the State Prisons.
    Keep your eyes and ears open…..If the numbers are 4 or more (from the board) in his favor come November and there is still no Executive Director, You can bet your ass, that they will bring Hayhurst back.Wake up 7000 plus, members and demand a complete and thorough audit. In addition to that, with the money that the members pay, we can afford several “Top Notch” Attorneys. If members are content on how dues are being spent, then so complaining.

  • I would hope our department shows up in Tan and Green with huge numbers in support of Sexton the day Baca testifies.

    It’s the least ALADs or executives could do to show support.

    This is a great opportunity not to leave a man on the battlefield ladies and gents. Fan or not of Mr. Sexton, he is still Deputy Sexton and WE can send a message to Mr. Baca.

    Baca should have done this before, during, and after the indictments.

  • “Mr. Baca, are you able to recall back to the start of your relationship as a confidential informant for the F.B.I.?”

  • I’m not even a doctor and I can tell you this legal development means Baca must be very concerned about a heightened risk of heart condition, stroke or slip-and-fall in the bathtub.

  • As I understand ALADS is being sued for failure to represent Sexton, once again it points to the incestuous relationship between “Dick” Shinee, his law firm, and the board of directors. Does he counsel the board to hire his firm as corporate counsel? Conflict of interest 101.

    There are only a handful of attorneys who specialize in criminal defense of peace officers, and “Dick” is not one of them. He never has been, and the big names we already know, like Ira Salzman, Darryl Mounger, to name a few. ALADS members need to step up to the plate and gain control of their union, or don’t complain about the outcome.

  • Last I heard Baca is overseas,but he MAY be back in the country as of today. So if he does get subpoenaed the question is: Will he even be state side to appear in court???

  • This is going to be rich. Much like Obama without the Teleprompter, Baca will expose himself for the incompetent fool he is once he has no mouthpiece speaking for him or aides to tell him what to say. However, he does love an audience. Will he try to start talking his insane mumbo jumbo psychobabble bullshit on the witness stand? Don’t be surprised if he tries.
    Or he could DFO before the trial ever starts.
    It’s been a hard fall from grace for the guy that used to be king. What must it feel like to go from bootlickers kissing your ass everyday to those same people laughing at you? Baca’s gone from mafia boss to shoeshine boy in a very short time. From everybody telling him he’s a genius to being openly mocked and the butt of jokes.
    That’s a cold, cruel reality he’s dealing with. Coupled with what he knows his testimony is going to reveal, it might be too much for him.
    Don’t be surprised if he never makes it to the witness stand.

  • Will someone please explain to me why Judge Anderson won’t allow evidence that Sexton was an informant for the FBI? I believe Sexton can beat these guys again if the playing field is fair. I know Thomas O’Brien is a good attorney but the jury needs to hear all the evidence and not just what the Feds want in !!!!! I guess being appointed a judge for life with no consequence can and will allow you to act like GOD!!!!!

  • Daddy Sexton and Baby Sexton got into bed with Baca and got bit. Hopefully Deputy Sexton gets off but they and many others have to be asking themselves why the trusted either Baca or Tanaka.

    What is demoralizing is some of Tanaka’s chief executioners have survived and are thriving. Chief Buddy Goldman was one of Tanaka’s cigar smokin, coin carrying, donating hatchet men and now he is snuggling up to Chief McDonell.

    Remember these are the folks who gave donations to curry favor. Bundled donations to solidify their future and those of their personal cliques. How many good employees got sidelined as these guys violated civil service rules to benefit themselves!

    What is Sheriff Scott thinking!

  • Speaking of John Scott, just what exactly is he doing? There hasn’t been any real change at the major executive level. Is Santa Claus, as he was called at Carson, just biding time and collecting a nice paycheck? You would have think he would have cleaned house for McDonnell and for the sake if LASD. All Scott has done is a little light housekeeping but then, should we be surprised?

  • I hear two more SHQ staff will be lead to the chopping block. One of em is a MB/A, fat with one star. The other is a female, NFD.

  • Get over it guys. At least Baca and Tanaka are gone. We’ve always had the Goldman types. He was an ass kisser from day one. Whoever is in power, Goldman will kiss their ass and do what he has to do to curry favor. First class schmoozer. The department has had them since day one.
    The egghead ass kissers are not exclusive to Baca and Tanaka.
    Scott, McDonnell or anybody else is going to have a few people in their upper ranks who got there strictly by kissing ass.
    At least they aren’t kissing Baca or Tanaka’s ass anymore. It’s obvious with Goldman. He doesn’t even try to hide it. Then you have your Jimmy Hellmold types. Fronts himself off as the ghetto street cop crime fighter who made it good. Lots of people fell for his bullshit. By the time he was exposed to the gullible fools who gave him a pass because of his Region II and SEB resume he’s an Assistant Sheriff.
    It’s an old story. Political ass kissing whores like Goldman, Hellmold and let’s not forget Rogers have always been around and always will be. Sheriff is an elected position. It’s inherent in the beast that politics will be played.

  • Mr. Dawson, while you often make good points (and yes I remember you from back in the day), I for one will not be there to show support for Sexton. He created much of this drama while living his double agent secret life, now he has to deal with it. I waste no prayers on him. If he is found guilty, acquitted, or another hung verdict, so be it. I only hope he never comes back to our department, our proud department, that he helped tarnish. My thoughts and positive energy is saved for the guys who are out there doing the right thing, for the right reasons.

    Hope all is well with you

  • Oh Well, amen to that. Ass kissing and bootlicking have been elevated to an art form by a boatload of individuals in the Baca/Tanaka regime, and during the Block years as well, but they at least were more modest about it. Helena Ashby said it best: “cronyism was the exception, not the rule, during Block’s time. Under Baca, it is the opposite.”

    The usual path for these glorified desk jockeys is through station administrations, then division aides, then executive aides, and “viola!” they’ve been anointed as the second coming of Wyatt Earp. You add up their time actually doing the Lord’s work and you realize they spent the bulk of their career behind a desk, with their lips surgically attached to the ass of the brass above them. It’s amazing how far you can milk your one year experience in a traffic car on earlies (no offense to traffic units).

    If anyone is in need of a good laugh, just look at the department promotional announcements and the glossy photos you find at every unit. The pattern is very telling, and for some strange reason those who are seriously lacking in obvious experiences they skipped, they find a way to edit the format to gloss it over. Rogers and Hellmold both make the hall of shame!

  • Sachamoe, what a silly question!

    John Scott has successfully promoted his friends; Barrantes (who will retire a couple months after McDonell arrives), Anda (good Reg II friend and created a new division for her) and civilian now “chief” Gialamas (boy wonder crime lab tech and pal from the OC). Demoted the largest contributor to the Tanaka campaign, Goran and family, and major Tanaka schmoozer, Betkey. And a few others here and there…

    All looks good on paper (or in the paper.)

  • @ 21……Obviously you have a problem with Sexton. Is it because he pulled the covers off Tanaka and his gullible followers? (some of whom will be sentenced next month). It appears that you are part of that group.

    Tanaka’s magical spell captivated many, but not all. Maybe you care to expound on why you are casting hate on Sexton.
    Fyi the true members of this department are way past tired of the BULLSHIT in LASD which has run rampant for years without being checked. It would be interesting to hear your story. When anyone who stands up to evil doers……They will always be backed by the majority. As for you….. Do tell

  • #19: Just checked out your link; thanks. Of the ten bottom judges in the whole country six are from California’s Central District.

    Six out of ten.

    Any thoughts on this?

  • 4th and goal
    Very well said. I never did believe any of them belonged in prison over a pissing match between us and the feds. It’s nothing more than the feds sending a message to us that we better not fuck with them. That being said, I won’t lose any sleep over it either. They knew what they were doing. They made the conscious decision that the points they would get with Baca and Tanaka for playing the game was worth the minimal risk of them ending up in a courtroom. They rolled the dice. Too bad it turned up snake eyes. They chose to play.

  • The Pandora Box scandal is the ultimate example of Baca and Tanaka’s situational ethics and corrupt thinking. The Feds have always had jurisdiction over investigating jail abuse by correctional staff! This whole, you don’t investigate me, I am the Sheriff of LA County, was stupid. Baca responded politically and attempted to contain the fallout as to events that already occurred. He used the INternal Investigation Division to contain the fail out for many scandals. Now some of these people are going to Federal prison because of Baca! Most likely including the son of his buddy from Alabama.

  • #’s 21 & 26: Google “WitnessLA–Betrayal of Trust-Part 1”; it all starts there.

    #19: Before we leave the subject it should be noted that the Central District covers the L.A. area for the Federal Courts.

    Of the bottom ten judges for the whole country the Central District gets six.

    Absolutely fascinating.

  • @Inside source) To my understanding. ….I believe that Lt.Leavins turned also against Sexton behind another incident at MCJ regarding the Aryan Brotherhood.

  • We need to look at the entire Federal Law Enforcement and Justice system as if it were the New York Stock Exchange. Or the Chicago Commodities Trading Exchange. Or Ebay. Or a cattle and hog auction.
    What did Deputy James Sexton do which has the system in a tizzy?
    He started dumping pork bellies on the market. And dumping. And dumping.
    Sexton is crashing the price of pork bellies. There are a lot of people who depend on a stable price for pork bellies and a lot of money hedged on those exchange rates.

    Deputy Sexton came to La-La Land believing the principles he found in his Boy Scout Handbook are what you do in the real world.

    Sexton needs a lesson and needs to be made an example.

    You do not walk into the FBI office and start giving them free information.
    What an insult to all the FBI agents who spend hundreds or thousands of paid hours slowly cultivating potential contacts and then carefully managing one or two over a long developed investigation.
    Of course, along with that comes the paperwork for requesting and disbursing the cash payments and other materials and documents needed in operating and harvesting an FBI informant. There is an entire bureaucracy depending on this system for positions and monthly perks and paychecks.

    Deputy Sexton thought he could skip the voluminous paperwork and achingly slow system of approvals and signoffs?
    He thought he would just give it all away for free and the FBI and the Justice Dept. would schedule a ceremony to award his Boy Scout Badge?
    What’s your problem Deputy Sexton, you wanna make everyone here look bad?

    Tear up your Boy Scout Manual and flush it. If you ever again have information about a conspiracy to obstruct justice, these are your options –

    1. keep your mouth shut and and obey orders from higher rank. If you have a problem sleeping at night, try a glass of warm milk with some chocolate syrup.

    2. resign your position, forfeit your career and move far away

    3. if you feel compelled to blow the whistle. Then you go to the FBI and offer an exchange.
    Your participation in providing evidence can either be exchanged for cash money, or credit for use in reducing prison time for your own crime or permission from the Justice Dept to participate in and commit future crime in order to maintain your cover. If the information you offer is valuable enough, you may get official permission to commit assault, robbery, even murder.

    4. No more Boy Scout, no more free cooperation. Kapiche?

  • The possibility of hearing testimony from ex-Sheriff Baca is quite tantalizing. But I’m actually more interested in hearing testimony from former FBI Agent in Charge Rodriguez, or AG Holder, or whoever gave the final order.
    The FBI wanted Deputy Sexton to wear in the presence of private in office conversation between Sheriff Baca and Ted Sexton and who knows who else.
    The FBI pushed and pushed the plan, but Deputy Sexton refused to get wired up secretly under his dad.
    The FBI then found somebody else on the inside to record Sheriff Baca in a private meeting.
    Then the FBI cancelled the plan.
    Why?
    But why o why?

  • I had already read that article that Judge Anderson made the list of
    10 ten worst Federal Judges. What I don’t understand how can he justify not allowing the jury to hear that Sexton met with the Feds close to 40 times? Sounds like that can be reason for appeal if found guilty. What are the Feds afraid of? If Sexton was guilty of all that they claim then try the case on all the evidence!!! I think they have a weak case and they know it. Also, Why are they so intent on prosecuting a low level deputy and not go after the big fishes???? It just doesn’t make sense and I personally wish Sexton the best. I don’t have a dog in this hunt but I will always pull for the underdog. Those that have a issue with this young man seem to be a small group that may suffer from being jealous.

  • #32,
    Jealous? Lol. Of what? Let’s cut the bullshit. None of them really belong in prison. Not when you have people not doing a day in prison for far more egregious criminal conduct. This is the feds flexing their muscles and nothing else.
    You guys that are rooting for Sexton so hard, I’ve got a question for you. Were you rooting for the others too? Were you rooting for Manzo and Smith? I haven’t seen any posts rooting for the other low level line swine.
    Are you only rooting for Sexton because he worked with the feds, the same feds that are trying to royally fuck him now? WHEN did he go to the feds and WHY?
    I’m not rooting for anybody in this clusterfuck abortion. They get what they get. The only reason I would be happy about a Sexton acquittal is because the feds need to be kicked in the nuts for even going after him again.

  • #30: It’s not the Boy Scouts; it’s West Point. In my citation in Post #28 Celeste points out that James Sexton attended West Point for one year, then completed his Baccalaureate at the University of Alabama & his Master’s at USC.

    The West Point Honor Code: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadet_Honor_Code

    The Honor Code was formulated by Maxwell D. Taylor, who commanded the 101st Airborne Division in WWII.

    I am a graduate of the 101st Airborne Division Parachute Jump School (The 101st, unhappily, is now a helicopter–Air Assault– division) and I well remember the fate of soldiers who flunked out of that jump school:

    They were reassigned to the Military Police.

  • I rooted for the others and prayed for them and their families. I only know what I have read and Sextons case was different from the others. I will say not as much has been posted about the other low level deputies so I can’t really give a accurate opinion. I did read where some of the deputies were involved in inmate beatings. I never read that about Sexton. I believe “Oh We’ll Says” has some issues. I don’t refer to humans as swine and if you really were a genuine person yourself you wouldn’t either.

  • Put the blame where it belongs, on Baca! Let’s face facts. There were strong allegations of jail violence. Was it more than other systems? I think not. However the Feds investigate abuse in custody facilities. They have jurisdiction! Baca and Tanaka knowingly obstructed the investigation. Their reasons don’t matter. Given Tanaka’s previous statements about the gray area and his reputation within Law Enforcement circles, the Feds choose not to tell Baca and Tanaka they were investigating. When you look at how Baca and a Tanaka acted, the Feds were probably right not to tell them.

    Seven good people will likely go to prison for their mistakes. Baca, Tanaka, Genneco, Abner, and other senior executives who could have tried to stop this madness will quietly fade into retirement.

  • A few things seem to be getting overlooked and/or twisted about James Sexton: He was already on the outs with Greg Thompson and the entire shop at OSJ before any indictments came down or FBI agents came sniffing around the unit. Why? Because he’s an honest cop, as far as his reputation goes.

    In early 12, him and his partner, Mike Rathbun, tried to blow the whistle on some deputies at MCJ allegedly slanging dope on the tier. They noticed when they wrote memos to Thompson regarding the dirty deps, the black deps in question got stung by ICIB and prosecuted. The white dep, who was an up and comer for OSJ and a friend of Greg Thompson got a pass, and a wink-nod warning that Rathbun and Sexton were onto them.

    The point is this: James Sexton has an established track record as an honest cop. Some of the other guys who got convicted in the Pandora’s box caper have the opposite reputation. That’s what sets Sexton apart. Personally I still think the only guy who got what he deserved is Thompson, and that’s not even because he was guilty of what he was convicted of. It is just that Karma finally caught up with him.

  • @ Wild Turkey,,,,,,,I always knew there was more to the story regarding the deputy who was “in” with Thompson. I don’t know if the defendants will be sentenced later this week or not, but this is going to be a very busy month.

  • @ the shit talkers and haters of Sexton is another reason why LASD is so dysfunctional when you have Deputies vs Deputies.

    It leads me to wonder if the haters are part of the Tanaka Klan.

  • @Hardy Boy,
    Re: “Line swine” and your problem with my use of the term, are you one of those guys that keeps the POE eggheads busy with beefs? Lol. Get a clue.
    For those suggesting that I’m a “hater” of Sexton, your reading retention is sub par. I don’t hate Sexton. Don’t know him. I don’t hate anybody involved.
    As far as Sexton “not beating anybody” and that being what sets him apart, geez, how uninformed on the topic at hand can one be? NOBODY in Pandora’s Box is accused of beating anybody. What is it that some of you people don’t understand about me unequivocally stating that I believe NONE of them belong in prison OVER PANDORA’S BOX?
    Karma for Thompson stemming from another caper? I’ve got no beef with that.
    As far as being ok with the other deputies going to prison but being in Sexton’s corner, I just can’t see that logic. Sexton rolled the dice right along with the rest of them, and it’s my opinion the chances are very high it was for the very same reason. To stay in the good graces of Baca and Tanaka and be “one of the boys” when it came to consideration for promotion or coveted position.
    @Wild Turkey,
    Sexton was obviously “part of the team” when those clandestine meetings re: Pandora’s Box took place. He was obviously “in the car” when they made him part of the team. He willingly participated.
    As for what all took place between Pandora’s Box and the time the indictments came down, that’s why I asked the WHEN and WHY of Sexton’s decision to go to the feds.

  • Sexton is a honest deputy that got caught up in doing what he was told and fear of retaliation. Time will tell. He has had death threats from thugs and even those that work with him. He doesn’t deserve what the FBI is throwing at him and I wish him the best of luck next week. I have never said I understood all that has happened. I said I only know what I have read.

  • All I asserted was that James Sexton has a proven track record as an honest cop who will call it fair both ways. That hasn’t changed. I know him well, I worked with him for years at OSJ. He did his job, honestly, and would blow the whistle if he saw foul, regardless of whether or not it pissed off brass. That’s the truth I can speak to, regarding James Sexton.

  • @ Oh Well:

    I can’t speak to the when and why of Sexton’s decisions to reach out to the FBI. I was out of custody by then, (thank God). And I certainly don’t want to get into slandering reputations here, when guys have enough on their plates. But Sexton had a much different reputation than a lot of deputies in Greg Thompson’s shop.

    And to say that there is NO difference between Sexton and Manzo or Smith is INSANE. Sexton voluntarily sought out the FBI to establish contact and then became and informant for them. He had an FBI supplied burner phone and met with the feds three dozen times to pass on intel. Smith and Manzo did no such thing.

    I don’t think Manzo and Smith deserve prison for this caper either. That honor should go to Thompson and above. But I’m also not going to let anyone pee up my leg and tell me it’s raining by saying Sexton is no different than anyone else who sits at a defendants’ table.

  • Hardy, Wild Turkey
    Fair enough. Again, I’m with you re: Sexton not deserving what the feds are throwing at him. Because I don’t know any of the deps. involved, I’m not basing my opinion or outlook on emotions or past experiences. I see Pandora’s Box strictly for what it was and the actions of those involved.
    Correct me if you have knowledge that contradicts my belief that at the time Pandora’s Box went down, Sexton was in the car, part of the team and willingly participated. Call me crazy, but if Sexton would have immediately went to the feds they never would have been able to hide Brown from the feds. As far as him being an honest cop who would blow the whistle even if it pissed off the brass, that doesn’t seem to be the case re: Pandora’s Box. If it was, if Sexton, when he was made aware of what was going to take place with Brown would have said “no, I won’t be part of this” and he wouldn’t have ever seen a courtroom. Is that what he did, or did he willingly participate in Pandora’s Box and then go to the feds because after the Pandora’s Box cluster some other shit went down and he decided he wasn’t going to be in the car anymore?
    Again, WHEN and WHY?
    Re: Pandora’s Box and Pandora’s Box ONLY, Sexton was no more or less guilty than Manzo or Smith of making a conscious decision to go along with it. Right?
    They are all three looking at prison over Pandora’s Box, and nothing else.

  • Monday, September 8, will be a day of reckoning for the Tanaka 6.

    Paul Tanaka could do the right thing and address the court and say, “Blame me, all of this just got out of control. These guys were following my orders and I was wrong for issuing those orders. It is true, judge, I ruled LASD with an iron fist. I created an environment where no one was allowed to say “no” to me without being crushed. I take the blame for all of this, come after me and leave these former employees of LASD alone. They have already paid a huge price for my arrogance. They have all been fired and dishonored for following my orders.”

    It will never happen. PT does not have a molecule of honor nor integrity in his body. He will be relaxing on the shores of Oahu saying to himself, “Sucks to be them.”

    One interesting twist to look for; which of these defendants will the AUSA ask the court to “postpone” their sentencing on Monday. Those are the folks who decided to play “Let’s make a deal.” Those who refused will have their fate given to them on Monday. They will go down with the ship, SS PT Titanic, proudly proclaiming, “Viva la France.” Read it and weep.

  • @ oh well……..All of your questions will be answered in the coming weeks. You and all those who don’t have facts or knowledge are better in the neutral zone.

  • Reality Check,
    Hello? Knock knock. Anybody home? I’m already in the neutral zone. I guess in your eyes because I’m not an avid supporter of Sexton over the others and saying what an honest cop he is that makes me non neutral. I dare you to find one statement from me saying he should be retried or he belongs in prison. You can’t. I’ve said the exact opposite. How much more neutral can I get?
    I guess because I’m not saying what an honest cop he is or hailing him as some kind of hero, in your eyes that means I’m against him. Not the case.
    Maybe my head is up my ass, but it seems like I’m “neutral” compared to the people here who are avid, vocal supporters.
    If I was a vocal supporter, THAT would make me non neutral. No?
    Maybe our definition of neutral varies significantly.

  • MCJ Tribune,
    “I sense angst from you concerning Sexton.”

    Please tell me what I have said that has led you to that conclusion.

    Reality Check,
    I asked the question re: Sexton being a willing participant. If you have knowledge or facts that answer that question, bring them. If you knowledge or facts that contradict anything I’ve said, bring them. What’s with the “your questions will be answered in the coming weeks”. Oh, I get it. You have all the inside knowledge and facts, but you can’t reveal them without fucking up the big case. Got it. Maybe you could do me a favor and let me end up looking like a fool by myself when the facts come to light in the coming weeks, instead of insinuating you have all the answers and facts but can’t disclose them. Anybody at anytime can insinuate the same thing. It means nothing. It also makes you look foolish in the eyes of any investigator worth their salt.
    Stop it. There’s no need for you to join me in the ranks of those that appear not to have all the answers. I never claimed I did. That’s why I ask questions. If you can’t or won’t answer them, right now, at present, it makes you appear as if you don’t know any more than I do.

  • I’m not here for War of Words or Blog Sparring. …..the coming weeks is when all questions will be answered by the horses mouth, and the horses mouth ONLY. All opinions and speculation cease, ( yours, mine and everyone) come court proceedings.

  • my gut sense says all the action we will see is going down right now in the pretrial motions between O’Brien and Birotte’s team. By the date scheduled to begin jury selection, both sides will have laid down their best possible hand and arrived at a formula for dividing the pot.

    Let’s suppose Judge Anderson grants Sexton’s defense everything O’Brien wants and denies Birotte’s request for excluding Sexton’s cooperation with the FBI.
    That leaves Sexton’s defense at full strength from the first trial; but winning acquittal is still going to be a longshot. We can assume the probability of conviction is 50% or less. The probability of another mistrial is 50% or greater. And you can bet the Prosecution has given no sign they won’t file charges a 3rd time if necessary.
    That’s a lot of good reasons to bargain for the best deal possible and then take it.

  • @ Oh Well. Per your previous posts # 26 & 33. Anyone reading can tell that it makes you no diffrence and you don’t even know Sexton, (your words) however you interject your true self when you appear to interrogate those who know James personally or worked with him.

    You don’t have to root for him. For you not to know or care, as compared to those who do……..you definitely have lot of questions (IA/ ICB). It will be James story to tell. I guarantee you this and that is James Sexton has more people rooting for him (even in LASD) than not. I’m done.

  • @ Oh Well-

    I respect your willingness to remain neutral and admit to not knowing, but you say some stuff I have to politely challenge:

    This refrain I’ve heard a lot lately that the guys at OSJ should have flat out refused their orders from Baca, Tanaka Thompson et.al is Monday morning quarterbacking at its finest. It’s all based in hindsight that guys like Sexton didn’t have.

    From talking to the guys who worked Pandora’s Box, it appeared to them at the time to be a jurisdictional pissing contest between Baca and the FBI, with line deputies stuck in the middle. That hardly adds up to knowing a crime was being committed at the time.

    Asserting that a 26 year old custody dep with 4 years on should have “said “no, I won’t be part of this”. Is really quite silly. Everyone from OSJ I’ve spoken to made the assumption that if the orders were coming from SHB then they must have been legal, that the LASD had to have been within the bounds of its authority. The OSJ guys, like Sexton, assumed their Sheriff and Undersheriff wouldn’t give them an unlawful order. Can you blame them for making that assumption?

    Was that faith in their leaders misplaced? Yes. But you have got to be able to walk in the shoes of the OSJ guys. You have the Sheriff, the Undersheriff, a Lieutenant from ICIB and the Lieutenant from CISU all saying “this is okay, this is legal, we can do this”.

    Yet you posit that in spite of all this, Sexton should have jumped on his desk, Dead Poet’s Society style, and started reciting the elements for obstruction in some grand disobedient gesture? Give me a break. Look at how this looked to the guys on the line at the time. Was it objectively reasonable, in the mind of a custody deputy that the LASD might have the authority to do what they were doing?

    And yes, Sexton did wait go to the feds after the second dirty incident involving Greg Thompson, where Thompson hung Rathbun and Sexton out to dry for reporting allegations of deputies dealing dope on 3000 floor.

    That’s called a decision based on the totality of the circumstances. After the Anthony Brown operation was over, the OSJ guys start seeing details about this in the paper. The facts started to line up in a narrative that differed greatly from the line the brass had been feeding the OSJ guys. Then, on top of that, Thompson begins interfering with, and outright scuttling investigations into deputy wrongdoing? That’s what makes someone sit up and go, shit, this unit doesn’t pass the smell test.

    I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been for Sexton to pick up the phone and cold call the FBI and say “something is fucked up over here. Something is not right”. That takes integrity, and it takes balls, even if it didn’t happen on the timeline that you feel was appropriate. The fact remains, he and Rathbun are the only ones that did that, and that DOES set them apart from the other guys. It just does.

  • I recently had major back surgery by a 42 year old ortho surgeon who is THE BEST. the big difference between him and doctors of my generation is : He ( my MD, ) doesn’t have all the answers, yet, I have since recovered to near 100% . Keep asking the tough questions, OH WELL. you acknowledge that you don’t have all the answers, Looking for those answers builds skill and professionalism. Good job.

  • Sexton tried to contact the FBI very early on. He spoke with an FBI agent that was a friend and they gave him a name to contact. The Feds never called him back. This will be proved at trial. His case is different than the others but not saying they deserve the conviction either. The Tanaka six will be sentenced after the Sexton trial.

  • Reality Check, Hardy Boys and Wild Turkey. Standing on solid information is priceless. I’m not a betting man, but my gut feeling is, Sexton will have victory in more ways than one.

  • Wild Turkey you are right. It is reasonable to assume the orders coming from the top, who apparently also had legal advice, were correct. Hindsight is 20 20 for all us bloggers! This should factor into the sentencing but I doubt the AUSA will take this into consideration. Mister “Core Values” needs to stop hiding behind Tanaka and his lawyers and “Right all wrongs”. Mr. Baca needs to publicly acknowledge he called the shots and appeal to the public for a lower sentence. This is the least he can do.

    I know there are a lot of Tanaka haters but this was Baca’s effort to control the political fallout from the alledged Jail Abuse scandal. He needs to take responsibility.

  • Coulda, shoulda, and woulda, the three German sisters of infamy. Yes, hindsight is always 20/20, and the degree of cooperation Sexton provided the feds should be allowed to factor in to a jury’s determination of guilt. My only concerns regarding believing what Baca and Tanaka told their subordinates is that this occurred in 2011, way past the time their ethics had been called into question on numerous fronts.

    I too agree that doing the “Oh captain, my captain” may have led to a shallow career grave somewhere. The only problem with that theory, however, is that many an otherwise honest citizen gets convicted all the time for crimes they claim they knew nothing about. The response from victorious DA’s is always the same: ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking the law.

    When this entire investigation is completed, regardless of who gets convicted, indicted, exonerated, or not, there will only be one loser: the LASD.

  • Wild Turkey,
    Good points. I’m not trying to MMQB these guys. If, as stupid as I am, I went to clandestine meetings with windows blacked out like it was a CIA style caper, I would ask myself why a legal above board caper was being handled like this. You’re forgetting one thing. An IRC civilian said no. An IRC civilian was smart enough to figure out it was illegal but deputies weren’t? Changing names and inventing booking numbers and charges? At some point you don’t think the deps. knew that AT THE VERY LEAST THIS WAS A SHADY CAPER?
    I have asserted from the beginning of this clusterfuck is that NONE of them belong in prison over it. Yet I didn’t see anybody on this blog rooting for Manzo or Smith. They were following orders just like Sexton, correct?
    There is not one swinging dick defending them on this blog.
    It seems some commenters want to hail Sexton as a hero and Manzo and Smith as villains. I don’t see it that way.
    I’m just stating fact that at the time the caper went down, all three were willing participants. Why is everybody rooting for Sexton while Manzo and Smith get no love?
    Sorry. I just can’t see that logic.
    Then again, I’m not a personal friend of Sexton.

  • Been following this story and it seems as though, the upcoming court testimony from Deputy Sexton will definitely send ripples throughout the Sheriff’s Department.
    I hope that the outcome of this whole case, in addition to your new Sheriff (come Nov) will put the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department back on the map as a premier law enforcement agency.

  • I agree with LATBG on his statement. At some point, Smith and Manzo figured it out and decided to get in the car. They had to know what time of day it was and decided the pat on the head was worth the risk. After all, they were going to be protected, right? That’s a lesson for all and I certainly hope everyone of rank who had knowledge of this stupid operation, and I’m talking executives, and hid under their desk and hid, are exposed.

    But how about this. Let’s say for the sake of a conversation Emperor Baca, and he alone, come up with this stupid set of orders that evolved into Pandora’s Box. Let’s Leroy directed all of it from his office. Let’s say he gave Tanaka the marching orders. (Disclaimer: I think Tanaka was the shot caller on this caper.) At what point should Undersheriff Tanaka have told Baca behind closed doors, “Lee, you’re nuts. We can’t do that, are you kidding me? I’m not going to let our people march over a cliff. Hell, that’s Obstruction of Justice for God’s sake.” None of that happened, did it?

    I think Tanaka drove this train full throttle off the rails to prove a point, that he was The Man, period. Well, I suspect in very short order, PT is going to have a date with destiny. It will just be the beginning of his worst nightmare. It has been a long time coming.

  • Hardy,
    Re: 63, there it is. You saying you’re not saying the others deserved the conviction either. Missed it prior to my response in #70. There’s the first time I’ve seen anybody being consistent re: Manzo, Smith and Sexton. Bravo. Intellectual honesty and consistent logic is what is missing with those who believe Manzo and Smith deserved conviction but Sexton should be acquitted.
    Yes, Sexton’s case IS different. He cooperated. IF he is convicted, that should be considered at sentencing. Because Sexton cooperated after the fact, THAT IN AND OF ITSELF doesn’t mean at the time of the caper he wasn’t a willing participant.
    Thanks for the honesty and consistency. THAT’S what I’ve been waiting for.

    Wild Turkey,
    Per Hardy, Sexton contacted his buddy in the FBI “very early on”. Why would he contact a buddy in the FBI if he had no concerns and believed everything was on the up and up?
    Now we have the IRC clerk saying no, and Sexton calling the FBI early on.
    Call me insane, but that gives me pause with the old “babe in the woods” defense. For Sexton or anybody else.
    Termination from the LASD and the loss of their careers and honor is punishment enough in my opinion. They DO NOT belong in prison.

    Brother From Another,
    Sorry it bothers you that I defend my position. Sorry that I ask the tough questions of the Sexton cheering squad.

  • @ Oh Well. To clarify. The only person I think dirty enough to go to prison out of the convicted six is Greg Thompson. I don’t want to see Manzo and Smith go to prison either.

    And one other thing. And this doesn’t change anything, but I want deps getting credit where deps deserve it. It wasn’t a clerk that said no. I am 100% sure it was the female deputy working in the head clerks’ office. A deputy. She deserves credit for seeing through the bullshit, and I don’t want to see that credit going to some civilian.

    @ Oh Well, you and I agree on a lot. I just happened to know Sexton really well for a time, and I’m telling you what his state of mind was as I saw it. I’m not guessing or making this stuff up. It’s not a theory. When you have all the slick brass with their hair blown back from riding in the car with Too Tall Paul, it’s hard to not get starstruck and make bad decisions. That’s all.

  • Actually I think was Baca who drove the train on this. I think he got legal advice and heard what he wanted to hear, meaning he probably did not heed any warnings. There is no way he did not know about the pay for play scam. It simply went on for to long for him to be ignorant of Tanaka’s activity. He had people twist the arms of executives for campaign donations for himself. We already know he knew about the allegations of abuse in the jails and ignored it.

    He gave wealthy reserves cars and badges without proper training. He hired field deputies with dubious backgrounds. Clearly his ethics was situational. Could you imagine what we don’t know.

    I think he started think tactically regarding these political issue. I think he knew Tanaka was a liability for some time. When he moved IID under him, it was to use the Division to begin the process of undermining Tanaka and diminish the political heat on himself.

    I believe he compelled Tanaka to testify at the jail violence commission to weaken him because he knew how would ultimately face him.

    Lee Baca needs to take full responsibility for his actions.

  • Bottom line cops nation-wide may feel the effect of Sexton’s case in that following lawful orders from a superior is clearly not a defense. That may erode or weaken your ‘Qualified Immunity”.

  • @ Oh We’ll, Manzo and Smith may not deserve the conviction, but that trial is over. I believe being tried as a whole, time limits for each attorney and their own legal representation all contributed to their demise. Sexton’s case is different and his trial is up coming, so this is where everyone’s attention is focused right now. I have not forgotten the two low level deputies or what this has done to their families. I truly believe that the saying “what comes around, goes around”. The Feds that are prosecuting all will also have their day of reckoning. They may get a promotion or publicity but they will pay a price for this on day. I pray that Smith and Manzo get a light sentencing, but all Judge Anderson does is kiss the FEDS A$$. Go Luck to Sexton and his family next week. Yes, I am rooting for him and for those that don’t that’s your choice. I respect your choice
    . That is what is great about this country. FREEDOM OF SPEECH!!!! God Speed Sexton!!!!!!

  • Wild Turkey,
    Fair enough. Sexton may very well be a fine young man who got caught up in this crap. As I said before, I don’t know him. I have no beefs with those want to testify to his character. The ONLY three things I’ve held fast about since the beginning are these:

    1. NONE of the defendants belong in prison over this cluster
    2. Baca and Tanaka should be indicted instead of the deputies
    3. At the time of the caper, Sexton willingly participated.

    Jack,
    I agree with 90% of your positions. I just don’t understand your thinking on this one.

  • # 84. Testimony in Sexton’s first trial published in LA Times reported Sexton was not a willing participant. Did not plan operation, send emails, or attend briefings with executives. Would have faced diciplinary action for not following orders. That is why ALL cops need to be supporting Sexton. Same actions could be taken against them one day.

  • #85,
    IF that is correct, then I am wrong and have no problem admitting it. Been wrong before. However, IF your info. is correct, how in the holy hell did six jurors find Sexton culpable? Or was it a case of most of them believing he was culpable, but some thought he should be given a break for his cooperation?
    IF testimony will reveal that he was NOT a willing participant in this upcoming trial, and the cooperation isn’t a major factor, why did his defense team fight so hard to have it introduced? If he wasn’t a willing participant and was nothing more than a “scared babe in the woods” one would think that would be obvious to the jury at at least a 10-2 not guilty clip.

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