The Retrial of Lee Baca

Ninth Circuit Says NO to Former LA Sheriff Lee Baca’s Appeal & Opens Path To Prison

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

On Monday, February 11, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction of former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca for charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice, and making false statement to federal investigators—all charges that came about when the once powerful sheriff got in the way of a federal investigation into brutality and corruption in LA County’s then scandal-plagued jail system.

The Ninth Circuit’s efficiently-worded opinion brings the 76-year-old Baca—who will be 77 on May 27—a big step closer to beginning his three-year federal prison sentence.

Baca was convicted of the three federal charges on the afternoon of March 15, 2017, by an eight-man four-woman jury. The jurors deliberated for approximately fourteen hours before reaching their verdict.

It was Lee Baca’s second trial.

When the former sheriff was tried the first time around in December of 2016, the jury declared itself hopelessly deadlocked after 24 hours of deliberation, and U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson declared a mistrial.

Two months after his conviction at the end of trial two, U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson sentenced Baca to three years in a federal prison.

“Alzheimer’s disease is not a get out of jail card,” Anderson said just before he announced the former sheriff’s sentence on May 12, 2017.

(Baca was first officially diagnosed as having some kind of cognitive impairments on May 13, 2014, and WitnessLA broke the news of his early Alzheimer’s diagnosis in May 2016.)

Baca’s “fall from such heights is tragic for many reasons,” Anderson told the packed courtroom in a fierce prelude to the actual sentencing. Yet however painful Baca’s fall might be, the judge said, it was not enough to counterbalance the necessity to hold the former sheriff accountable.

The former sheriff betrayed “inmates who were his responsibility” who were consequently “brutalized by deputies” whom the former sheriff then protected, continued Anderson,.  He then addressed Baca directly. “Your actions embarrassed the thousands of men and women who put their lives on the line every day.”

The failed appeal

Baca’s lawyers appealed the conviction to the Ninth Circuit right away, and the appeals court granted the former sheriff bail, while he waited for the slow appeals process.

During the November 6, 2018 hearing at the Ninth it was difficult to guess what direction the three-judge panel was leaning.

But on Monday, February 11, we found out.

Ninth Circuit Judges Johnnie B. Rawlinson, Andrew D. Hurwitz, plus U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Baugh from the Western District of Missouri—who is not with the Ninth but was designated to sit in on the panel—affirmed Baca’s conviction in a six-and-a-half page opinion.

(We’ll get to the details of the opinion in a minute.)

Baca’s attorneys reportedly intend to ask for an additional en banc hearing from the appeals court. If granted, this would mean that the court’s Chief Judge, and ten other randomly drawn judges, would hear the case again. If the Ninth says no to the en banc hearing, which they do more often than not, then there is always the option of trying to persuade U.S. Supreme Court to hear the appeal.

If those strategies fail, the way is cleared for Judge Percy Anderson to set a surrender date for Lee Baca to begin his federal prison term.

“The Ninth Circuit opinion confirms the principle that no one is above the law,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna on Monday, of the appeals court’s decision.

Hanna, who was appointed by the Trump administration in January of last year, stated that the government’s prosecutors “presented a fair and thorough case that demonstrated Mr. Baca acted corruptly” by obstructing a federal grand jury investigation.

“Instead of cooperating with a federal investigation that ultimately was concerned about improving conditions in the county jails,” said Hanna,  “Mr. Baca chose to obstruct and then lie to federal authorities.  I am extremely proud of the prosecutors and the FBI agents whose work led to significant reforms in the Sheriff’s Department.”

Alzheimer’s and the exclusion of a witness

When the hearing in front of the Ninth Circuit panel took place, on November 6, 2018, Judges Rawlinson, Hurwitz and Baugh seemed particularly interested in the contention from Baca’s attorneys, that Judge Percy Anderson, who presided over both of Baca’s trials, had “erred by excluding expert evidence” about Baca’s Alzheimer’s disease.

The former sheriff’s defense team had wished to bring in UCLA psychiatrist Dr. James Spar, to testify about Baca’s diagnosis of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, and what such a diagnosis suggested about his cognitive ability in the years prior to his diagnosis.

Specifically, the defense wanted Spar to tell the jury about what he described as the likelihood that the former sheriff was suffering cognitive impairment during the four-and-a-half hour interview with federal officials on April 12, 2013, during which time he allegedly lied to the feds on four different occasions.

Judge Anderson ultimately ruled against Dr.Spar being permitted to testify, writing:

“Evidence linking defendant’s current diagnosis to the charges is entirely speculative and inadmissible, is the product of unreliable methodology, artificially limited facts, and bare speculation.1/ Indeed, undefined pronouncements including those in which Dr. Spar opines that defendant’s current diagnosis “may have been demonstrating clinical symptoms” and that there was an “increased probability” that defendant’s condition “negatively affected his ability” in 2013 would not help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or determine a fact in issue and would only serve to confuse the jury….

Yet of all Baca’s stated reasons for appeal, the issue about the exclusion of Dr. Spar seemed perhaps the most promising—especially given the fact that, when the Ninth Circuit panel granted Baca bail, they wrote that that the defense attorneys’ point about the excused expert witness was “at least ‘fairly debatable,’” given that “the exclusion of the expert’s testimony was ‘directly relevant and material’ with respect to Baca’s claim that he lacked the requisite mens rea for the false statements charge.”

(“Mens rea” means criminal intent or guilty mind, in other words, an individual’s awareness of the fact that his or her conduct is criminal.)

Moreover, wrote the appeals court panel, “if that substantial question is determined favorably to defendant on appeal, that decision is likely to result in reversal or an order for a new trial of all counts on which imprisonment has been imposed.”

But, although at the November 2018 hearing the judges asked a lot of questions  of both Baca’s attorney and the government’s attorney on the topic, when it came to writing their opinion, the panel concluded that the district court “did not abuse its discretion in rejecting Dr. Spar’s testimony as unreliable given his speculation about whether Baca suffered from cognitive impairments when making his false statements, and, if so, how those impairments affected his answers.”

Nor did the exclusion of that evidence “deny Baca his constitutional right to present a defense,” as the Baca’s attorneys had suggested, wrote the panel.

Anonymous juries and mistrials

The panel of judges also refuted other points put forward by Baca’s attorneys in their appeal, such as their claim that Judge Anderson wrongly insisted on “empaneling an anonymous jury.”

The district court’s decision to empanel an anonymous jury, wrote the justices,  “was reasonable in light of the highly publicized nature of this case, Baca’s and his co-conspirator’s positions as former high- ranking law enforcement officers, and the nature of the charges at issue.”

Anderson also “minimized any risk of prejudice” to Baca, the Ninth wrote, “by instructing the jury that an anonymous jury was utilized to protect the jurors’ privacy and was unrelated to Baca’s guilt or innocence.”

The panel was similarly terse when shooting down Baca’s attorneys’ contention that Judge Anderson had behaved wrongfully in Baca’s first trial, when he declared a mistrial after the jury declared itself hopelessly deadlocked.

“Given the jury’s assessment and the length of the deliberations,” wrote the justices, “the district court did not abuse its discretion” in declaring the mistrial.

“Finally,” the judges wrote near the end of the opinion, “sufficient evidence supported Baca’s convictions.”

He acted “corruptly,” they wrote, which “as used in the statute means the act must be done with the purpose of obstructing justice.”  With regard to this, the government, wrote the judges, “introduced sufficient evidence from which a jury could conclude that Baca acted with this requisite intent.”

Ditto when it came to sufficient evidence “from which the jury could conclude that Baca made his false statements…”

So there you have it.

You can read the rest of the opinion here.


  • Through the years I’ve kept a binder with all my photos with the Sheriff (Block, Baca), at events including promotional luncheons, retirement parties, etc. I was really proud of these pictures and at the time felt honored to have had the opportunity to have my picture taken with the Sheriff. Little did I know then that one day I would look back and realize that for the first time in my life, EVER, that I had my photos taken with a future felon. I haven’t gone through my binder since all the troubles began. Don’t know what I should do with the photos now… should I take a pair of scissors and cut him out?.. because these are the only pictures I have of myself in uniform and while still on the Department. I type this as I hang my head in shame…

  • Baca’s mental condition versus corruption, the cell phone and withheld evidence and sadly we didn’t convict all the guilty parties. Last, irony.

    Had Dr. Spar treated Baca for his illness from the start of Baca’s tenure as sheriff, then perhaps his mental condition may have been a factor. All of us that have known Baca, for years, are quite aware that this medical condition was Baca’s everyday normal weird behavior. Either Baca was (and is ) a pathological liar or he was mental. Regardless, he was unfit to be sheriff and you can’t have it both ways. The court decided Baca was corrupt. How strange that Baca fooled so many executives for so many years and got elected repeatedly. And even the LAT recently touted Baca’s “reforms” in an Op-Ed by Lopez. We don’t know what reforms Lopez was referring to but, in any socialist mind-set anything is possible, regardless of probability.

    Baca acted “corruptly” to obstruct justice, according to the court opinion. Wasn’t part of the corruption, Baca ordered the cell phone withheld from the FBI? I agree that withholding the cell phone would be one aspect of obstruction. It would also have been obstruction had Baca took a hammer to the cell phone, thereby withholding evidence from the FBI. Of course politics and double standards go hand in hand. Um, too bad Hillary wasn’t tried for destroying her cell phone.

    As I have related before, none of this could have happened in a vacuum. Yes, many of the main culprits were tried and convicted. However, there was no way that the conditions that created all this corruption, in the jails, taking bribes ( i.e. accepting a free car), perjury, visiting prostitutes did not all happen on Tanaka’s watch. I don’t know if Larry Waldie and William Stonich are still under FBI investigation but I wouldn’t be surprised if more arrests are forthcoming. How conspicuously absent Stonich and Waldie during this entire mess. Weren’t we all told that Baca, Stonich and Waldie were involved in a bro-mance and “loved’ each other? So much for the so-called LASD family.

    The tragic irony is that there was nothing on the cell phone.

    NOTE: Past BOS Molina once said that Baca needed to have a “come to Jesus” moment. I agree. Time for Baca to to seriously consider telling the truth, save himself and Carol. As it is written the truth will set you free.

  • Cog: I know what cognitive means and I know what impairment means. But, what do the terms mean when they are put together, legally?

  • Nothing you can do about it now but enjoy your photos for the worthiness at that time. Think of the people who voted for and shared photo ops with disgraced President Richard Nixon.

    My point is to enjoy the good times and memories before the scandal.
    Lucifer started out in heaven and was kicked out only when he wanted to take over.

  • @Um is so right. The corruption started at the LASD the moment Lee Baca and Bill Stonich did an unprofessional high-five during Baca’s swearing ceremony. From that point it was full speed ahead – do whatever they wanted. There was a new Sheriff in town starting with internal promotions of wholly unqualified campaign supporters (sound familiar), followed up by strong-arming Department execs to help pay for Baca’s laughable idea to have a Rose Parade float. Then there was the request for clemency to Bill Clinton for a convicted drug dealer from Minnesota who just happened to be the son of a big local wheeler-dealer/campaign contributor. And there was Baca’s unpublished corruption of the Asian Crime Task Force (current A/S Murakami had a horrified front-row seat). And of course the mandatory campaign contribution by his staff (and anyone wanting to be part of his staff), the aforementioned Stonich acting as his bag man.. And who can forget the hiring of the unforgettable Bishop Turner and campaign contributor (and free golf supplier) Mike Yamaki to $100,000 per year jobs to do nothing. And the “Reserve” badge giveaways to a whole passel of LA high-rollers and contributors. Or the unpublished story of contract taken away from the vendor supplying commissary items to jail inmates only to be given to an associate of Baca’s.

    And he was just warming up because he turned his back as the cancer of Paul Tanaka was spreading within the organization. Or maybe he approved of what was going on. As executive after executive told Baca of the evil of Tanaka, Baca ignored them. In fact he seemed to encourage Tanaka’s thuggery by promoting him time and time again. Don’t forget Tanaka was a lieutenant when Baca took over (in those days lieutenant was not an automatic qualifier for Chief!) and he steadily rose through the ranks with Baca’s blessing.

    In the meantime the LA Times and local media was heralding the “quirky” Sheriff who was thinking out of the box. He was coming up with all these innovative programs ( many of which were already in place when he came in to office – a new name will do wonders for a program). The Times always referred to Baca as “The popular Lee Baca.” As if saying it, made it true.

    The media seemed to ignore their own stories about the glimpse of corruption inside the LASD – like the Turner/Yamaki hirings or the badge giveaways or the clemency letter.

    But the Feds knew. They knew about it all. One of the tech crew members from the LASD even went to them and told them he did not like some of the stuff he was being told to do!! (he ended up being an informant for the Feds – good on him). But the Feds sat on their asses while the “Popular Lee Baca” continued down his merry road.

    Finally the dam broke when the 3000 boys – sponsored by Tanaka, who encouraged Deputies to “work the grey area” wink, wink and gave them his cell number if a supervisor became……………….well too supervisorial) – made the news by beating up some fellow deputies at a Christmas party. It was time for the Feds to act. Go after the Deputies – not the people who had created the situation in the first place. Go after the low hanging fruit.

    That lead to “the cell phone” and the absurd plan cooked up by Baca and Tanaka to play hide and seek with the Feds. Then the “Popular Lee Baca” makes a highly publicized visit to the US Attorney (oh yeah, and they decide to quasi-threaten to arrest an FBI agent). The “Popular Lee Baca” had gone too far. His arrogance had caught up with him. The Feds were kicked off their asses and given an indictment on a golden platter (they still screwed up the first trial).

    So now “Popular Lee Baca” says he was suffering from dementia. Claims he was off his rocker. He could have gotten plenty of people to verify that fact. Just ask anyone who sat through any of his speeches. Or anyone who has worked around him. He’s cracked for sure. Is cracked, was cracked, will always be cracked. But “dementia” coming on in 2011? Naw! The shrink who diagnosed him was fooled by the way he could just stare at you before he talks his nonsense. He’s always done that, like he’s looking off in to another dimension. That is his way of letting you know he’s a deep thinker. Deep? More like he’s gone off the deep end.

    Now that I think about it, the last thing in the world that would have benefited Baca’s defense would have been to have people testify who had worked around him. His lack of work ethic, judgement and integrity would have cinched a conviction.

    It was just a shame that those who were just following his orders had to pay such a high price. One hopes Baca’s stay with the Feds is not a pleasant one.

  • @ Whole Ride, outstanding post & as you know there are more transgressions. Let’s not forget those who were instrumental in bringing us Lee Baca; Paul Myron, Bill Stonich,Larry Waldie & Tanaka.

  • Celeste Fremon,
    Again, thank you for getting it right from the beginning, not creating things that weren’t there, and putting it all together in such a way that still holds my attention almost two years later.
    Juror #8

  • Whole Ride – Great post from start to finish. Thank you. An egocentric wack – but functional and accountable nonetheless. Sickening to think of the lives/families/careers that he has contributed to ruining.

  • I think this is the appropriate place to comment on the new leadership & Sheriff. Sheriff Baca’s legacy & related key leaders should serve as a template, lessons learned. For me there are several keys that were lacking in the Baca years; an unethical start supported by plainly disloyal self serving executives, an apparent partisan non critical press, mostly the LATimes and ill informed Board of Supervisors. The Public Corruptions unit of the DA & FBI were, as noted by @Whole Ride, sitting on their hands. Baca was a fraud as were those outlined by @Whole Ride, plain as day.
    As to McDonnell, I for one thought he’s had the requisite background to right the ship. He was clearly dealt a tough hand to play & it was beyond his leadership style. It’s as if he modeled himself after Chief Bernie Parks, bludgeon them, whomever “they” are into compliance. Like Parks he forgot you can’t lead if they won’t follow. He adopted a bunker style management & holed up like those at the Alamo, only to be overrun by partisans & his own troops.
    As to Villanueva, I have never met him nor do I remember anything about him in my three plus decades of an LASD career, so no axe to grind nor incoming bias. As presumptuous as this is, I throw these thoughts out & risk a flogging like the character Hominy in the book Sellout. I expect a 3,000 word counter by Charle Unit who must be being paid by the word. So here goes:

    * Sheriff Villanueva stop with the blame game & present your vision for the future. To some extent you seem like the wizard in the Wizard of Oz, a whole lot of bluster. Suggest you tone it down, you’ve already made the people who fund the department uneasy.
    * Make recruitment an emergency management problem to solve. I would guess that the contract cities are more than uneasy about the impact of the vacancies. The more that cities like Palmdale & Lancaster create staff to compensate for contract under performance the more likely cites will begin to form regional policing, like Sante Fe Springs & Whittier did in the past. While it’s certain that all the negative Departmental press, in combination with high employment & anti police rhetoric makes recruitment difficult, you need to find a way. The recent very shrill & public comments about morale & the past disciplinary unfairness only serve to make the problem worse. We more that get it that you want to support the deputies, hardly a disagreement here. If it’s me I charter an immediate emergency recruitment planning effort that includes the stake holders, especially the Contract Cities & Board of Supervisors. Sheriff you didn’t create the problem but you best look for a group solution & commitment because there is huge long term downside if not solved.
    * Your stand on ICE seems antithetical to public safety & it’s hard to tell what you’re really doing. Seems as though your answers depend on who’s asking.
    * Your actions re: Mandoyan strike at the very heart of your credibility, a head shaker to be certain! You need to be more forthcoming about the reconciliation notion you have, as it won’t make even a little impact on staffing numbers & seems more a “look at me I’m the deputies champion” play. As a percentage very few deputies have disciplinary problems & you are giving too much weight to the past. The fear that it generates is that you’re circling the wagons when all you need to do is set a reasonable tone. We don’t need a Deputy IV as Sheriff!
    * The the apparent fact that the Sheriff’s Department wasn’t part of the public debate over the Board’s decision to abandon the jail replacement of MCJ is very surprising, unless of course, there was non public Sheriff concurrence. By inference is the Board of Supervisors incrementally taking away the Custody control from the Sheriff?
    * What is your plan to bring the budget to proper control?
    *If I’m executive staff I would want to know from whom the Sheriff is accepting contributions. Frankly there should be a periodic disclosure & discussion by a group like the EPC, if such a group still exists, to keep things honest. If you look at Baca’s contributors, any reasonable group would rebell. There also should be the outlining of the subtle influences that come at the Executive staff, such as free trips, golf, etc to make clear ethical behavior.
    *The position of Sheriff is considered non partisan & should be kept that way. While alignment with a particular political party & special interest may help in election, it is clearly corrupting. Often neutrality is the most difficult course to take.
    * I see that you have promoted some Tanaka associates to Executive level, so I guess they have been absolved of guilt by association unlike those who you ran off. Also understand that the two ROD Commanders are Tanaka products. Puzzling.
    * In teaching management I say remember that your collective staff is smarter than you, so suggest you use & create trust with them. The old adage is hire, or in your case, promote those smarter than you, they’ll make you look good. I keep hearing the comment that you think you’re the smartest guy in the room, I sincerely hope that’s misinformation. I’d ask rhetorically, would you pass the Villanueva litmus test if a new Villanueva showed up? Interesting rehires, wholesale dismissal of executives & command staff, ROD Commanders, make for the question, are you any less heavy handed than McDonnell?

  • Like others, I forget what a mass circus LASD was with all you mentioned plus what has been forgotten. Brings back memories, no nightmares, on what was allowed to happen. The thick of thieves got their just deserves. Disagreeing with the bosses was not an option back then. Your career quickly ended and the freeway commute tripled. Glad to be retired and proud of early LASD.

    God bless the men and women who work the line. They have a long road ahead of them and hope they don’t suffer the same fates as many of us did.

    Police work is so much different these days.

    I was once told that one oh shit erases anything good you may have done. Baca and PT, if they ever did anything good, is long gone down the tube. An internet search for them will only reveal what they did to a once great department, and yes, federal inmates to boot.

    Chapter closed on this book.

    Enjoy your stay and say hello to El Chapo. Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum.

  • Dont be so sure.
    You are wrong.
    One of the Commanders was regularly kissing up to Thompspn and was deep into the “Hide The Informant Operation”. He was a Tanaka Boy.
    He also talked alot of sh*t about his commander back then, Olmstead, and now he answers to him and kisses his butt.

  • I can only guess you got your own email advising that your services were no longer needed or your buddy got one. I’m tracking what the new sheriff is doing, and he is keeping true to his campaign promises. It’s only unsettling to those whose ox is getting gored. It looks like a lot of groundwork is being layed out, be patient.

  • @The Past, I happen to agree with some of what you are writing. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Of course the best ideas ought to prevail within the organization. Constructive disagreement and rational argument (w/out ego) are the lifeblood of healthy organizations. Any examination of Israeli military or police units would reveal this principle, a principle, if robustly and more widely practiced in the Baca years, could have served as an effective peer-hedge against one-off and patterns of corruption. I don’t get the sense of information silos being constructed across the Department.

    With respect to the LASD, the McDonnell-Teran administration was as siloed informationally as the Baca-Tanaka administration, maybe worse by several degrees. No options existed to offer alternatives to their radical theory of production. Alternatively, I have heard Alex Villanueva say he is moving closer to a more open, flatter information framework, maybe similar to the Israeli model of organizational information, where people discuss issues and resolve matters closer to their point of origin, a modest decentralization where line deputies, supervisors, and managers (Lt.s and Capt.s) are trusted with professional decision-making discretion in their respective zones of responsibility. That is the way the LASD and many law enforcement agencies functioned long ago in the 1980s, and before. What this means, however, is that peer-to-peer accountability will be more important than ever; ethics and professionalism will heighten not lessen. Each deputy will own more not less responsibility for professional integrity and the mission of Department. Could LASD be moving toward a new era of promise? As Fed Up noted, let’s be patient and keep feeding ideas to Villanueva’s team.

  • @Cognistator – I’ve not finished reading the “Whenlawmenlie” piece yet but so far, a sad read. I feel for this guy.

  • @Charle Unit, meanwhile Rome burns. Tuesday the Board of Supervisors “gassed” the Sheriff re: MCJ & today our politician aka Sheriff threw in with a major donor, CHIRLA, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Los Angeles by locking out ICE from ALL sheriff’s facilities & courts where deputies provide security. Not a peep about MCJ, astounding. Between MCJ & Mira Loma you’re talking near 8,000 beds. I’d guess if you asked the Sheriff & his leadership team if they have read the past Board approved Jail Master Plan you’d get a stare. I’d bet the BOS hasn’t read it either. Soon there will be only room for heretofore State prisoners & the local criminal justice system will have been abandoned. The Sheriff presents attractive charts to debate the past, rehires a handful of disciplinary staff to fill his time, considers the release of alien criminals on our community& we’re asked to be patient, your kidding right?

  • Old & Jaded:

    “I feel for this guy.”


    When you get through reading Google

    1. Shaffer v. Field.

    This is a court case that goes into more detail on the shooting that sent Shaffer into prison.

    2. Donald P. Scott.

    Shaffer’s roommate went into the DEA & led the raid that resulted in Scott’s death.

  • Regarding the points I have raised, no, I’m not kidding about being patient. You conveniently smuggled in your own list on the back of my comments and then re-framed the question. A pinchbeck move, but I think your intentions are well-meaning. Still, don’t confuse useful articulation on one or two issues with a burden of complete articulation on all issues. That’s not how it works. What I did raise concerning information processing w/in the organization, e.g., disagreement, and rational argument, were germane and tangential to points you raised. If you speak to those I’ll consider replying (note: like the old LATBG, silence will mean no further dialog is necessary or I’m having too much fun doing something else). I haven’t raised the ICE issue or Jail master plan.

  • Excellent post, “Past.” But be careful or you’ll be labeled a McDonnell-lover.

    Today’s LA Times front page story is just one MORE reason the election of AV was a huge mistake. He’s not only NOT going to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to enforce federal law, he’s going actively obstruct their efforts by not posting release dates for “immigrants” (formerly, undocumented immigrants, formerly illegal immigrants, formerly illegal aliens). AND to keep his hands clean for CHIRLA (who donated $50,000 to his campaign) he’s going to hire an outside company who will take criminal illegal aliens from the LASD and hand them to ICE. It a GENIUS move. “I don’t give them to ICE! I give them to an (expensive) company that gives them to ICE….see the difference?”

    I hope Officer Ronil Singh’s family confront AV about his progressive policy someday.

    He’s sold his soul to the Latino (illegal) immigrant rights advocates and must now pay up at the expense of citizens of the United States. Is it really too much to ask that if you’re ALREADY in this country illegally, you don’t commit MORE crimes while you’re here?

    But now, we have a Sheriff, the chief law enforcement officer in the county, saying he won’t respect the laws of the United States.

  • @ “The Past, Your post was spot on, it spouted undisputed truths. You even allowed “Charlie Unit” to show us his fading pirouette once again, lol.

    @ LASD Apostle, I query as to why the naysayers have a problem when you point out the obvious stumbling blocks with the LASD’s newest administration. I’m all for a good argument from intellectual beings but only when their facts outweigh their opinion.

    I will agree that Villanueva’s latino name rousted many Latino’s to get out and vote. The political posters depicting Trump, Sessions and McDonnell was cleaver but dirty at the same time.

    I truly hope that Alex listens intently to Leyva and Olmsted and take their advice as they are two of the most knowledgeable of LASD’s institutional maze.

    Trump had several sharp knives in his Administrative Cabinet and they left because they refused to be on a losing team, and additionally, they had more institutional knowledge than what Trump could ever imagine or will ever have.

    If Alex or his team is reading this, the best revenge was winning the election, so throw the ax away and go to work.

  • Thank you for the follow up articles. I will read them. It does sadden me to read about a well intentioned young person entering law enforcement and winding up in custody. I felt the same about former Deputy Sexton and some of the other line Deputies sentenced in federal court more recently. What a waste and so avoidable. While ultimately, we all are responsible for our decisions, some of the “superiors” in these situations over the years should be ashamed for the rest of their lives.

    I do not condone Shaffer’s decisions; however, it appears that early on, he learned that drinking, sleeping, sex on duty, lying and a host of other impropriety was no big deal. When leaders give a wink and a nod to serious misconduct, big problems are ahead and new staff in particular can get in deep water quickly. I guess in the end, the years move forward but the lessons remain the same…

  • I don’t think you paid attention to the new sheriff’s position on ICE. He stated that his responsibility is to provide public safety for ALL, and he doesn’t get to pick and choose who is worthy of their own safety while they’re in LA county. According to the Jan 30 press conference, forcible rapes rose 8% in LA after Trump was elected, but dropped 13% in areas with overwhelming Latino populations, aka the Trump affect. As long as immigration enforcement is weaponized for political gain, local law enforcement needs to separate themselves from that mess.

    BTW, Villanueva didn’t hire any outside company. ICE has employed a transport company for years, the same one used by the US Marshals. Perhaps you should do a little more research before you arrive at your conclusions.

  • “Fed Up,” maybe the article is wrong: “…immigrant rights leaders and Villanueva are still working out how to accommodate those transfers. Some alternatives, such as hiring a private company to deal with the transfers, have been floated.”

    In your defense it wouldn’t be the first time the LA Times was wrong, but if you’re right, it makes ALL the difference. “I’m not handing criminal illegal aliens over to ICE, I’m handing them to a private company that ICE uses so THEY can hand them over to ICE.” Come on, “Fed Up.”

    As for the Trump Effect (not affect), I just CAN’T think of ANY other way people here illegally could avoid being victims of crime in THIS country….where they shouldn’t be, can you? And by your logic, we should just accept and facilitate the crimes of people here illegally so that THEIR right to report crimes isn’t infringed upon? You gotta try harder, “Fed Up.”

  • @LASD Apostle, for clarification, I neither worked for Baca or McDonnell nor voted or contributed to either. I’m from the Pitchess, Block era. Yes labeling is the present day tool of argument, but let’s try to keep it about AV & his team. By the way AV and his team would not have pasted muster or the present litmus test of my era based simply the lack of command experience. That’s not to say that AV or his team members would not have risen but would have had to have been far more experienced. Let’s just consider the present, future & the notion that AV & team appear to not know or consider what they may not know. Let’s sincerely offer suggestions absent grievance. I offer a couple of observations:
    * Any wholesale reduction in the Custody staffing by LASD will have an adverse affect on the cost of the Contract Cities Model. Suggest AV & team have the CAO explain how the model works & it’s cost derivatives.
    * Like previously mentioned solving the vacancy problem should be a top priority. Vacancy combined with potentially big increases in Contract costs should/will make the many City Managers nervous. AV & team need to address the City Mangers to explain their shared interests. Honestly it’s not hard to envision a fractured Contract Cities program in light of the neophyte Board of Supervisor’s & AV & team.
    *ALADS & PPOA need to consider that they could lose membership if the system fractures
    *The Superior Court needs to be addressed as the BOS decision re MCJ will bring a new & costly responsibility to it.
    *Has AV discussed his banishment of ICE from the courts with the court officers?
    * Has AV had his patrol staff ask the many Contract Cities about his ICE policy or does it matter?

  • Let me translate your position: they’re here illegally, so screw them and whatever happens to them it’s their fault. Is that pretty much it? With about a million undocumented in LA, that’s an awful lot of crime that is not being reported. Predators know this and now have a free reign to victimize whoever they damn well please and you can feel better about yourself! But of course let’s not trouble your legislators to enact comprehensive immigration reform that includes both border security and a pathway to citizenship for those already here, right?

  • Let me translate YOUR position, Fed Up. US citizens are here legally, so screw them and make sure the rights of people here illegally are taken care of. Is that pretty much it?

    Maybe you’re right….the Sheriff, who is sworn to uphold the law, should, instead, obstruct the law as he sees fit until those laws are changed through comprehensive immigration reform. With about 10 million LEGAL residents in LA County, that’s a lot more people put at risk in order to protect criminals who are ALSO here illegally.

    My father (born in Veracruz, Mexico) used to say that the Unites States is a lifeboat and only so many people can fit on the lifeboat before it starts to sink.

  • That round went to The Past by knocking Unit Charlie to the canvas by pointing out the lack of command experience of AV’s executive team and then following it up with points that one doubts were even in AV’s thought process in this whole issue.

    It remains to be see if Unit Charlie will get up off the mat.

  • Hey Judge,
    I’m in furniture store waiting on wifey reading your post while LMAO!
    Charlie Unit needs another swig from his canteen to continue his encyclopedia chronicles.

  • I had run ins with baca when I was on the job twice, He was a vindictive asshole and will get what he deserves. As for your photos they have amazing ways of deleting items and substitution details, I personally would go that way so when your grandkids look at them they will be proud to see you in uniform and not with a disgraced FELON.

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