LA DA's Race 2020

Op-Ed: Why I Believe We Need a Change at the Top in L.A. County’s DA’s Office

WLA Guest
Written by WLA Guest

by Katherine Mader

Los Angeles Criminal Court Judge, retired February 2020

Having spent the last forty-five years participating in the Los Angeles criminal justice system from four different viewpoints (prosecutor, defense attorney, LAPD Inspector General, and Superior Court judge), I feel uniquely positioned to comment upon the upcoming race for Los Angeles County District Attorney.

Here’s what I have concluded: The DA’s office needs a course correction. I do not have anything personal against the current District Attorney, Jackie Lacey. I believe she is well-meaning. I do not believe, however, that she is the leader the county’s DA office desperately needs.

A few years ago, I heard DA Lacey speak at a judge’s meeting about a mentally ill young woman with no criminal record who, during a psychotic breakdown, committed a carjacking. Let’s call her “Lucy.” Lucy’s parents arrived in Lacey’s office to beg for leniency so their daughter would not end up with a violent felony on her record. Lacey described her compassion for the family’s plight, and how she intervened to lessen Lucy’s charge of robbery and her punishment. According to DA Lacey, this was the type of mercy for the mentally ill that she wanted her prosecutors to administer.

Since hearing that speech, numerous Lucy’s have appeared before me. Dozens of prosecutors have floated through my courtroom representing the DA’s position in cases such as Lucy’s. Defense attorneys, armed with medical histories, past and current, have urged compassion for their clients. Rarely, if ever, was compassion granted in the manner DA Lacey described.

In one case similar to Lucy’s, a young woman was charged with two robberies in which, during a psychotic episode, she grabbed cell phones from two victims she thought were taking her picture. She was found at the scene hiding in a manhole, trying to avoid having more pictures taken of her.

Even though the DA’s office agreed that the second Lucy was also mentally ill, and attending college, the deputy DA in court, as well as his supervisors, would not budge from their insistence that the young woman must plead guilty to the felony charge of robbery, ensuring a lifetime of job rejections.

Why did this happen? While DA Lacey may truly believe in compassion for the mentally ill, she has not been able, in seven-plus years in office, to insist that her deputies follow her lead. My conclusion is that while DA Lacey may be a kind person, she is not a strong enough leader to bend the culture of her office to comply with her stated philosophy.

A deputy DA who adopts a “tough on crime” position will never suffer a negative career consequence in the current LA County District Attorney’s office. Many deputy DA’s who want to exercise compassion to the Lucys of the world, though, do exist.

I know this because they have confided their frustrations to me. Unfortunately, the compassionate DA’s job evaluations are written by numerous old-school supervisors who will label any DA as “soft on crime” if he or she urges compassion against a supervisor’s wishes. The prosecutors are at their supervisors’ mercy. No one will get a better performance review for urging more lenient sentences when they are called for.  Instead, deputy DA’s who are “soft on crime” risk their reputation and assignment.

Why has DA Lacey never assured her troops that she will not banish DA’s to unfavorable assignments if they question the unnecessary harshness of their supervisors’ policies? And why has she not delivered the same policy message to her supervisors?

DA Lacey has bragged of her office’s creation of a “diversion” program for the mentally ill. Yet, although my caseload contained at least 40 percent “yellow shirts,” (prisoners classified as having serious mental health problems), I have rarely, if ever, heard a deputy DA in my court voluntarily agree to diversion in a serious case, such as that of Lucy II and her cell phone robberies. DA Lacey’s campaign rhetoric sounds persuasive on the subject of diversion programs, but the actions of her staff speak louder than her words.

I’ve witnessed close-up that the sentencing policies of DAs working under Lacey are erratic and unreasonable. Respect for the criminal justice system requires those in charge to show the public that they are fair and even-handed. DA Lacey has not ensured sentence consistency from courthouse to courthouse, floor to floor, head deputy to head deputy.

Here’s how bad it is: on one floor of the downtown criminal courthouse, the DA supervisor mandated that every person convicted of the crime of “evading the police” be sent to state prison. On a different floor, the DA supervisor often agreed to probation and local custody for the same crime. How can a person’s fate be so cavalierly determined?

Sentences in other types of serious cases are equally inconsistent and sometimes appear drawn from a hat. Individual deputy DA’s attitudes too often do not seem to be driven by the search for a just outcome.  Rather they appear to ask the question: “How much time can we get on this guy?”

For example, a 20-year- old gang member commits a robbery with a gun. He wants to plead guilty, but the DA’s office says he must agree to fifteen years in prison, a sentence randomly selected because it is 50% of the maximum in that case. Rejecting the offer, the defendant goes to trial and is found guilty. Now the DA’s office wants twenty-five years, close to twice the initial sentence offered.

Frequently, I’ve questioned the prosecutors on the change in sentencing.

“Why did your offer go up just because the defendant exercised his constitutional right to go to trial?” I asked in one instance.

“We had to call in the witnesses,” the deputy DA told me. “We always ask for more custody if a defendant goes to trial.”

That is not a response that inspires confidence. What was the robbery case worth? Where is the statistical evidence showing the years needed to prevent re-offense?

No one ever seems to know. The DA’s just know they are required to offer a lesser amount for an earlier plea and then ask for the max, or close to it, after a defendant loses at trial. There is rarely an effort to sentence with the purpose of protecting the public and rehabilitating the convicted. This failure to act with informed purpose is not justice. This is, again, prosecutors worrying about pleasing supervisors, and, not risking being considered “soft on crime.”

Where is DA Jackie Lacey in this picture? Why isn’t she taking the lead in applying the latest research on re-offenders?

As a judge, I hold myself to blame for going along too many times with non-research-based sentences.

In the 1990s, DA’s and judges got used to asking for and administering severe sentences. When defense attorneys challenged the lengthy sentences on appeal, the higher courts said they were not “cruel or unusual.” We all became blasé, especially DA’s, many of whom have never seen the inside of a jail or a prison first hand.

More recently, in California, and across the nation, we have seen reforms of those destructive attitudes and policies. But, today, in the Los Angeles County D.A’s office, that knee-jerk response persists.

For all of the above reasons, I believe it’s time for a change at the highest level in the county’s DA’s office.

I also believe George Gascón is the right person to lead that change.

Gascón will make sure that he gives clear directives to his DA’s that rehabilitation is not a dirty word. He will insist that when deputy DA’s take a case to court, they will not be retaliated against for seeking justice, not solely focusing on a “win.” Also, George Gascón will identify mentally ill offenders ​at the beginning of the arrest process​, when such conditions can be included in the charging calculous, not at the end, after offenders struggling with their mental health been jailed for months, and have risked being further damaged. These directives and others will begin to change the culture of the DA’s Office.

As a former First Assistant Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department and the chief of two other police agencies, Gascón fully understands that public safety is essential to community health. Yet, he is also committed to punishing police officers who go astray, and doing so fairly.

There is a reason why the police unions have pumped nearly two million dollars into defeating Gascón. I also spent years as a prosecutor and LAPD Inspector General scrutinizing police misconduct. These cases are difficult. But on-duty misconduct needs to be appropriately prosecuted.

There are many other areas that point to the need for change, such as Lacey’s resistance to criminal justice reform until she’s pushed into it. DA Lacey is not the reformer who is needed to support deputy DA’s who want to do the right thing. She has failed to keep supervisors from browbeating courtroom prosecutors who in turn browbeat criminal defendants. ​At the same time, she has been slow to file on prominent defendants in addition to law enforcement.

The people behind the millions being dumped into keeping DA Lacey in office are promoting false narratives to scare voters into believing George Gascón is preparing to open the prison doors, and that he will put public safety at risk.

They are also claiming that DA Lacey is at the forefront of protecting defendants with mental illnesses and promoting diversion programs. The plain facts say otherwise.

Change can be scary, but right now it is necessary if we are to commit ourselves to public safety ​and justice in Los Angeles County.


Former Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Katherine Mader

Katherine Mader practiced criminal defense from 1973-1985, was a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney from 1985-1996 and 1999-2001, the first LAPD inspector general from 1996-1999, and Los Angeles Superior Court judge from 2001 until February 19, 2020. She is the co-author of several true crime books, and the upcoming memoir, ​”Inside the Robe.”  She can be reached at: mskatherinemader@gmail.com.


Editor’s note

WitnessLA does not endorse candidates. But we welcome informed opinions on all sides of relevant local races. So, as this election season continues to unfold, please contact us if you believe you have something important to contribute: celeste@witnessla.com

99 Comments

  • I’ll say one thing for Gascon, he’s sure got the middle aged liberal white ladies all lathered up. When’s the last time we’ve seen this kind of starry eyed drooling among the 50 plus ladies? If this DA thing doesn’t work out he could probably have a future in show biz.

    • Mader’s time as a defense attorney disqualifies her as anybody I’d ever listen to about the criminal justice system. She’s obviously desperate to let her pet criminals off the hook and back onto the streets as soon as possible. Somebody tell me she doesn’t live in a very secure, gated community, protected from the poor “yellow shirts” she wants to get a break.

  • Ladies- Its time for a change, and its coming.

    Madame Kong – I sense a little envy. Lest you forget that envy is one the deadly sins. The only middle aged white ladies you might be able to get all lathered up, from recent stories, are those in jail, if you are working the jail, as apparently some officers claim to be Don Juans when the women are captives. But, do not worry because so long as Lazy is DA you can plead 2d degree seduction, or some shit she will make up, given that she would consider it “consensual.”

    Dose of Reality, she was a DA for 11 years after her stint as a defense attorney. Does that not redeem the writer in your eyes? And, as with Madame Kong, do not be envious. I suspect that nice police officer salary and/or pension of yours lets you live quite comfortably in Simi Valley, or there abouts, but I suspect you, too, would be in the gated community if you made more money. Don’t be a hater.

    BTW, ladies, how about that crazy husband of Lazy pointing his gun all over the place. I suspect he is in trouble now with you fine gentlemen – a big black man with gun. Surely, you are off to arrest him. I am sure Mr. and Mrs. Lazy will now want to move from there. Would you welcome a black man with a gun in Simi Valley?

    • Hey gj, you sure don’t seem to like it when cops get paid and earn benefits. As I’m sure you know, law enforcement reserves don’t get pay or benefits, I guess a guy could get a little envious, doing the job for basically nothing, while the real cops get all those sweet benefits. Gj, what do you think about reserves? See if you could get back to me on that one , would you?

    • I have great respect for career prosecutors, not attorneys who jump around to build up that fake, well-rounded resume you are touting. I’ve known and worked with such prosecutors closely, especially some of the finest human beings in the Crimes Against Peace Officers unit.

      As to Mr. Lacey – it’s understandable why he was scared. Being harassed by BLM, a group that is and should be designated a terrorist group, is no fun at all. I don’t know what his background is, but he needs to learn when he can point a gun at somebody.

    • @cf- Nope. No one is going after him. He had multiple people on his property uninvited. He was in fear for his wife and his own life. Justified.

      You really must of been a reserve deputy.

  • Dose – She hasn’t been a defense attorney in 35 years; was a prosecutor and judge thereafter. BTW, do you know when Deputies really really trust and believe in defense attorneys? When they are the accused. Funny, their rights then matter, truth then matters and fairness then matters; but some mentally ill homeless guy isn’t entitled to the same, right?

    If you and Kong represent the logic and maturity of LASD Deputies today, no wonder this once fine agency’s reputation is melting like a snow cone in Phoenix.

    To save you some key strokes, I don’t support Gascon. I am not a “liberal middle aged white” female and I do support the many good people on LASD that you make look bad with your comments. Long past time for you both to grow up.

    • I categorically deny any implications ,either expressed or implied, that I represent anyone (including myself) in any way.

    • ProJustice,

      My comments are based on a 30+ year career as a cop. Maybe I come off a bit jaded, but I’m trying to provide the readers with … a dose of reality. I know that comes off as offensive to the audience here at times.

      As to defense attorneys, I’ve come up against many of them in the criminal, civil, and administrative arenas. Police defense attorneys and County Counsel attorneys “get it” and deserve great respect. Criminal defense attorneys, on the other hand, work pretty hard at freeing the folks we worked hard to keep from hurting the innocent public. Not my cup of tea. If that’s what you call immaturity, I’ll wear that as a badge of honor.

      • McIdiot had his chance and failed miserably. Villanueva is succeeding in spite of the best efforts of the political establishment, aided by the LA Times. Nice try.

  • Does Jackie Lacey REALLY want the endorsement of LA deputies?

    Why I believe we need a change at the top of the LASD:

    https://www.aol.com/article/news/2020/03/03/la-sheriff-ordered-kobe-bryant-crash-site-photos-deleted-prompting-concerns-about-destruction-of-evidence/23939133/

    Well, ONE of the reasons…..He’s an embarrassment in so many ways, not the least of which is his Tio Cheech command of the English language. I cringe every time he’s in front of a camera and his comments regarding the Kobe pics were no exception:

    ‘These families are the victims of suffering enough already…to have any action of our deputies COMPILE (compound?) their suffering…”

    “We identified the deputies involved, they came to the station on their own and had admitted they had taken them and they had deleted them. And we’re CONTENT (confident?) that those involved did that.”

    I won’t even get into the unbelievable reasoning he gave for ordering the eight deputies to delete the pics in an effort to make the whole thing go away. ALADS sure got it’s moneys worth with this guy.

    This once proud organization is looking more and more like a police agency in a Banana Republic.

    • Apostle, this was left out.

      LA Times, 2/28 Capt Valdez, SIB “there was no order given to delete any photographs.”

      Media interview, 3/02 Sheriff Villanueva, “acknowledges he gave the order to delete the photographs.”

      The entire department is a disaster. Villanueva is an egotistical narcissist that thinks being sheriff is as easy as watching The Andy Griffith Show.

    • Yeah, destruction of evidence? Perhaps you can spell out the crime first. Not the imaginary ones in your head. I take it you hate Villanueva, and he lives rent free in your head. Now exactly what would you have done in Villanueva’s shoes when confronted with this issue?

      • “Perhaps you can spell out a crime first.’

        You are being purposefully disingenuous here.

        A headline in this morning’s L.A. Times:

        “A Deputy allegedly showed off grisly Kobe Bryant crash photos at a bar. Next came the cover-up.”

        Reminds me of the saying: the cover-up is worse than the crime.

      • Keep Dreaming, you know there is no leadership at LASD. Captain Valdez says one thing, and then the Sheriff says acknowledges he gave the order. So who is lying here Valdez or the Sheriff.
        BTW Metro ?

    • @ LASD Apostle:
      Trying hard not to speak on ALADS but they may not get what they paid for, but they paid for what they got.

      Unfortunately ALADS is not what it use to be and their Board needs to reel in Ron Hernandez who is all over the map. I’m sure they think the same thing.

      It’s a big difference between being a voice for the deputies (his words) than just having an opinionated big mouth.

      • “Sam Brown” please explain your points. Or is this just another drive by?

        -“ALADS is not what it use to be.”

        -“Board needs to reel in Ron Hernandez who is all over the map.”

        I’m an “opinionated big mouth!”

        I’m so offended!

        • No dissertation needed and never a drive by, just letting you know that we know.
          Q – Can you honestly say if all of the remaining ALADS Board Members are on board with you.

          • “Sam Brown,” I’ll leave that to you, ole wise one. Because I’m sure your more informed than I, or at least would like people to think so.

            So here is all I can go by.

            As I’m sure you know, after every election the Board picks the Executive Officers. I was nominated, and was voted unanimously, to remain as President. But I guess that doesn’t necessarily mean anything!

          • “Sam Brown” and by the way, who is we? We just had an election 3 months ago. Did you and your peeps sleep through that?

    • @ LASD Apostle. Re: ALADS getting their money’s worth, it really doesn’t matter, as the majority of deputies do not have a clue with ALADS spending.

      The bottom line is that ALADS Board make decisions based upon their own ideologies along with memberships money which makes one helluva combo.

  • Have you been to San Francisco lately. People shooting up meth and heroin in the streets. Business owners being assaulted while trying to prevent petty theft/shoplifting. People defecting on the street corners.

    NO THANK YOU.

    Gascón is a scum bag.

    • No the Sheriff is a scumbag. He told a bold faced lie. He Should fire all 8 deputies. He mumbled some shit out of his mouth. It almost felt like he was choking on the disconnect within LASD.

      Hence the result of unfit people running LASD.

  • Can we start with the heightened scrutiny and turbulence at LASD since Villanueva took office. How many misconduct cases, stemming from troubled Deputies has he underplayed or overlooked. No wonder ALADS wanted Villanueva. There is no progress being made. There is no “Reform and Rebuild”. There is only undo hard earned reforms and destroy.
    He’s making decisions as if the title doesn’t exist to make each day a better day and closer to the goals of compliance, transparency and community trust.

    • Yawn. Let’s start with the BOS, the OIG, the COC, and the Times all working in collusion to undermine a duly elected sheriff who is doing his job. Villanueva has fired 33 employees, including one in six days after his misconduct. There is a quarterly report on discipline imposed, look it up at LASD.org.

      What Villanueva promised was to reform the department and he has. He promised due process for all and he’s delivered. He dismantled the Teran termination first questions later machine, and has thoroughly debunked politically driven allegations such as yours. By repeating the same false claims over and over doesn’t improve their veracity.

      If you think denying procedural justice is a hard earned reform that’s pretty scary.

  • Why is everyone hating Gascon when he’s only adding to the landscape of a Sanctuary County and City of Los Angeles.

  • Deputy # 1. 15 Day Suspension Behaved in an inappropriate manner with an inmate while on-duty and failed to report this information to a supervisor.
    Deputy # 2. 15 Day Suspension Became intoxicated and disorderly in a public place and displayed a firearm.
    Custody Assistant # 1. 15 Day Suspension Arrested and charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol while driving his personal vehicle.
    Deputy # 3. 25 Day Suspension Arrested for driving while under the influence in his personal vehicle after being involved in a non-injury traffic collision.
    Deputy #4. 25 Day Suspension Arrested for driving while under the influence in his personal vehicle and behaved in an uncooperative, disrespectful manner to the arresting officers, medical personnel and, department members during the incident.

    WHY WERE THESE LASD EMPLOYEES NOT FIRED ?

    • # LASD Propaganda,

      Deputy #1 and CA #1 don’t sound like termination cases. Deputy #3 is a maybe, but Deputies #2 and #4 should have been terminated. Off duty while drunk and disorderly/uncoop w/police, especially with either a firearm or DUI involved, were supposed to be a firing offenses.

      Going back to a “boys will be boys” standard is not a good look for the department.

      • Dose of Reality, thank you for your perspective. What is hard to understand, under the leadership of the current Sheriff Villanueva is, rather than protecting citizens, he is protecting Deputies from something far more insidious than bad decision making.

        Being a Deputy Sheriff with LA County is a high-paying, high-power job that requires critical thinking, and sound decision making ( ON and OFF the job ). There are a lot of good Deputies on the job, who are upstanding folks attracted to the profession because they sincerely want to help people. But many are attracted by the power and careless mentality of being above the law.

        After the 8 Deputies shared the graphic pictures from Kobe Bryant’s crash site, you have to wonder how more pictures were shared by Deputies of Joe blow, who died on the streets of LA County. In their moronic little minds, they think it is cool to do so at a bar to get attention, or get into a girls pants. You know it’s true.

        I read every Deputy discipline since 2018, since Villanueva was elected Sheriff. He has shredded the discipline process, and muzzled good Deputies who speak up. The Deputies feel emboldened by him not disciplining them. Furthermore, how can we trust these Deputies on the witness stand in Courts, when they lie on simple things to protect their rear ends. These guys are scumbags putting a black stain on that badge. I can only imagine how many Deputies working the jails get blow jobs, especially at CRDF (Behaving in an inappropriate manner with an inmate).

        You know Villanueva has been Sheriff for a year, and it has been a year too long. His true colors are out. He will protect these Deputies, and yes perjure himself doing so.
        What is even more puzzling, and I am left to wonder, why don’t the vast majority of good, trustworthy, honest, ethical, moral, Deputies stand up against the ones who give LE a bad name? And if the code of honor between Deputies is so strong, why don’t they stand up against the system that gives these assholes a badge and a gun in the first place?

        • Hey Propaganda, the facts simply don’t support your claims. You say you’ve read every discipline since Villanueva became sheriff, I can only assume you are referring to the quarterly discipline reports which are now made public courtesy of Villanueva. That gives no basis to support your claim, quite the opposite. It shows the department holds its employees accountable, uses progressive discipline exactly the way it was intended.

          Now you claim he’s “muzzled good Deputies who speak up.” Pray tell, how? Who? Since you’re obsessed with discipline, did you read the fourteen cases that McDonnell looked the other way and rehired some really bad actors? Did you forget the infamous Mike “10-29V” Rothans case that was quietly buried?

          While you’re at it, look up the definition of perjury.

          • Keep Dreaming, I hope this helps your day:
            LA COUNTY MEASURE R results Yes Votes : 705,369
            No Votes : 285,685

            I bet this will make your day !!!

    • Probably because the guidelines for discipline and employee discipline history called for a lesser discipline than termination. This is nothing new, been in place for decades.

      • Not really delecting; however, lets see that rollie pollie is going to keep OIG Huntsman out of LASD to subpoena records from LASD. The people have spoken LOUD and CLEAR.
        You do not want to talk about discipline would you?
        I can name a few, that’s if you want to hear Sheriff Villanueva’s track record on Deputy discipline, starting with his campaign driver. Again, I know you will deflect those arguments.

      • Btw, McD fired Rothans when the Audi issue was discovered, and deservingly so. He did not say ” Oh my hands a tied” like your boss did.

        • You got caught lying. Rothans retired quietly and faced no criminal prosecution in spite of the fact anyone else would have. He was not fired either. The OIG prepared a secret report to document the incident, it was pretty embarrassing. No public denouncement to the COC or the BOS, no leaking of reports to the Times, nothing.

          • Rothans is gone. Yes it was an embarrassment. Have you seen the # of embarrassments at LASD since Villanueva took over, or is he sharing the Patron with you too (Órale pelón ).
            Btw, what is Villanueva going to do about the 8 Deputies, and while you are at it please answer the Question Apostle has asked you.

  • Measure R : Yes votes – 281,885
    No Votes – 126,753

    I think the people have spoken loud and clear: There needs an oversight on the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, and Alex Villanueva.

    Next step: kick him out of office.

    • Southern California Public Radio (www.scpr.org) is reporting 71.17% Yes & 28.83% No on Measure “R”, as of 6 A.M. this morning.

  • Keep Dreaming (Executive Aide JB?), you seem to have quite a bit of inside knowledge. Could you answer the below questions?:

    Can you ask AV for the Department memo he had on his campaign site and post it here on WLA? It was to the executives on the Department when he was a W/Cmdr pointing out all his qualifications for captain. It provides a unique insight into his thinking.

    If the executives who left right after AV was elected weren’t fired, did they resign voluntarily? If they weren’t fired, why did he, in front of all the Department’s brass, refer to the day they “left” as “Bloody Tuesday?”

    What is the role of the female deputy recently assigned to the Sheriff’s office who was responsible for the horrific deaths of two boys in ELA (and a MULTI million dollar payout to their mother)? What is her relationship to AV and the First Lady? Did she ever make it off training? Is she one of the Sheriff’s drivers? Is she one of the four Field Deputies?

    Thanks

    • Don’t know about quite a bit, but definitely far more accurate than your drivel. I remember that memo from his website, not what you’re trying to sell. I also remember a famous email that said ‘your services are no longer needed.” If I recall, that was before he took office. Did you just make up the bloody Tuesday thing?

  • You can’t make this up.

    At last nights town hall in Calabasas, Mr Villanueva was asked about the order to delete the Kobe pics. His explanation.

    In order to have evidence, there has to be a crime. Since the accident scene wasn’t a crime scene, there is no evidence.

    That’s our “get out of jail free card” for any IAB investigations that only break policy. We didn’t commit a crime, therefore there is no evidence.

    • Temple and Broadway: who is to say that it is not a crime scene. Until the N.T.S.B. determines the exact cause of the collision, it should be considered at least a possible crime scene, and last I checked the investigators are “Federal Investigators.” Sounds like AV is messing with the Feds, how did that work out for past administraions?

    • Temple & Broadway: You’ve got that right! And this was the best he could come up with after days to dredge up an explanation. Nothing about it being wrong and unprofessional conduct – just nonsense that again leaves people scratching their head as they leave and asking everyone else if they heard him correctly.

      You truly can’t make this up. One term Sheriff.

  • How do we know there was not a crime involved in this crash? The NTSB hasn’t finished their investigation. The probability of a crime is low but wouldn’t/shouldn’t photos of the scene be kept until their is definite proof that this was an accident?
    Measure R is great! All department records should be 100% open to review but let’s start with executives.
    I know Measure R doesn’t allow for that but it should.

  • Gotta love you geniuses and jailhouse lawyers thinking you have something on our sheriff. Too bad you pine for his failure, department be damned. Maybe you legal experts can explain what the sheriff should have done with a handful of deputies with pics on personal cellphones and no legal authority to seize them. Don’t bother with the department’s Mel Gibson policy, that gets you nowhere. I’m sure you will pretend there’s some sort of obvious protocol, policy, or practice that should have been followed but you can’t name it. Oh don’t forget you still have to ensure clandestine photos don’t get leaked.

    • Well…there are quite a few policy violations that could be investigated but maybe we should just leave it at this,,, AV’s reluctance to hold any of his employees accountable for their apparent abhorrent behavior (actions and decision making) and his reluctance to set a tone to discourage it from happening again oughta add a few zeros to a civil judgement.
      Oh, and let’s see how he performs when he is deposed and/or testifies in any proceedings about his decisions and actions relative to this nonsense. Like an attempt at an explanation as to the conflict between his statements and that of his SIB Captain.

    • Keep Dreaming, here is humble legal advice to Villanueva. He should fire all 8 Deputies. LE is about public trust, ethics, morals and sense of duty. These 8 Deputies have eroded that sacred public trust, and core tenants of LE. They should not have the privilege to work for the County of Los Angeles ( yes they are County employees ). Damn the lawsuits from these poor innocent Deputies.

      However, Villanueva will not terminate them. To the contrary, he encourages this behavior with his code of silence, distractions, policies, and actions.

  • I’m just a little curious. So let’s say the NTSB finish their investigation and find that the crash was an accident. What will you guys say then? Once again, just curious.

      • Nah, last time I checked OIG is not in the position to make any decisions for the sheriff, Measure R or not. How cute, you get so excited when you think AV is in some sort of trouble, LOL.

        • Keep Dreaming, I promise you one thing. It will not be cute in June of 2021.
          I assume you will be retiring March 2021. So is your job to blog on this site. I will assume you are one of the lackeys who, did not earn his rank at LASD after Villanueva took office. LOL

  • Anthony Brown – Agreed.

    How about 3-01/00.10 – Professional Conduct.
    Then there is 3-01/030.05 – General Behavior.
    Then there is 3-10/040.95 – Confidential Info (Sharing of the photos).
    And an argument could also be made for 5-04/000.00 – Property and Evidence.

    If I had more than five minutes to spare, I’d note a couple more but outta time.

  • I’m still waiting on the plan to keep the photos from being disseminated. Oh wait, I got it, let’s give them to the OIG for safekeeping! I mean they did such a whizzbang job in keeping the Mandoyan files under wraps, right? I’m sure the subjects attorneys will want copies of all “evidence,” and we know they would never sell anything to TMZ.

  • @Projustice

    Funny how you’d quote policy to screw another deputy over. You must have these policies embedded into your memory from all the years of screwing people over. You must be a real winner bro. You should be real proud of yourself kid.

  • Surprise Surprise – Let me correct your assumptions, because they could not be more wrong.
    First, I am not a Deputy but I have the utmost respect for the honest Deputies out there, as opposed to some of the people that claim to be that post here and defend nonsense and corruption.
    Second, The LASD Manual is public information. Right on the web site for all to see under transparency.
    Third, It took me five minutes to find possible applicable policy violations.
    Fourth, Get over the attitude that knowing the law and policy is a flaw – every Deputy should be well versed in both.

    • 10-4 Partner

      Translation… I’m one of the the fired execs who used to screw deputies over for a living just to promote. I got as as high as I can until that evil man AV came in and told me my services were no longer needed. Whaaaaaa Whaaaaaa… I know policy! I did what uncle Jim told me to do and that was to screw as many people over as I could, and i would promote. Damn you Villanueva, you just ruined my plans for promotion. Let me remind you, i know policy.

      • Surprise Surprise, you sound like one of the Deputies who was terminated when executives actually follow through with policy. Unlike Villanueva who lied and said ” no crime was committed”.

        • @Juan C

          I’m not fired, let alone ever been in trouble in my career. I’ve always bled tan and green and have always defended my department and our Sheriff. The sad thing about this blog is, all of you at some point or another pretended to be loyal Deputies while getting everything that was promised to you, until the day of reconnecting happened and our new Sheriff instituted merit based promotions and began holding people accountable. That’s where the wheels of your bus started coming off and that’s when you bozos started hiding behind your aliases and started throwing rocks from the bleachers not giving a shit who you would hurt just to get your way. At the end, you morons are making it all about you and only you. That’s where you all have lost your credibility. You’re all left to be known as the ones that are bitching and complaining because things didn’t workout for you the way you thought they would.

          If you read your own posts after you post them, it just reeks of someone who’s being a whiny, disgruntled and jealous current and former department member.

          • Surprise Surprise, so are the merit based promotions instituted by Villanueva tied to campaign donations too? Just curious.

          • @Juan C

            I can assure you that the vast majority of the people promoted by AV never contributed to his campaign. And if they did, so what? Should they be persecuted because of it? I know of 6 captains and 3 chiefs who never contributed. If you feel like you were passed up, do the noble thing and raise it with the man himself. Just a friendly suggestion.

    • @Projustice-Haha you are classic! I’m not a deputy. I looked up the policies on the website! Do you know how confusing that website can be? Plus you had to go through how many pages to find those policies? Shut up BumJustice…you are probably one of those crooked IAB investigators that fired as many people as you could to be a LT now on the department. Shit, you probably have those policies memorized more than your core values.

  • Keep Dreaming, I know you have a difficult job (Google “Baghdad Bob”), but you and AV could post the memo here on WLA and let everyone decide for themselves. I know when I read it, I was shocked at his audacity and bitterness (over not being promoted). The fact that he brought up being a Hispanic (as if THAT qualifies you for anything) was just one alarming “qualification” he mentioned in the rambling manifesto. The memo was a KEY reason I decided I couldn’t vote for him (even though I thought McDonnell was horrible).

    AV made the “Bloody Tuesday” comment in front of hundreds of the Department’s brass. I was shocked. Ray Leyva spoke immediately after the comment and tried to assure all of us that there wouldn’t be any more “Bloody Tuesdays.”

    So, you won’t even comment on the female deputy now working in the Sheriff’s Office? How wise do you think it is to have someone working in his office, in an unknown capacity, who was responsible for the horrible death of two boys and a multi-million dollar County payout? What message does it send to the thousands of deputies on the Department? That if they work hard and do their “hard time on the line,” they too can one day work in the Sheriff’s Office?

    One last question. I now hear that female deputy’s been given a take-home Charger. IF true, do you think it’s a good decision to have that person driving a county car? Let alone a take home county car? While the case is STILL being litigated? How much would the County pay out if she ran over a bum as she was leaving HOJ?

    Keep Dreaming……you’re quickly losing credibility.

    • Ah, now we’re getting somewhere. There were two groups at that famous meeting who took their brass off. Those who earned their rank the hard way, with humility and the understanding that service comes before ambition – they cheered because leadership was defined by actions, not symbols. Then there was the other group, in a car that no longer exists, earned their promotions the back door way, whose sole claim to fame was the flimsy symbol on their collars. They cried as if their guts have been wrenched out and ran over by a bus. You were one of the latter group, so sad.

      You have yet to answer the simple question already posed, how would YOU prevent the dissemination of clandestine photos of Kobe’s remains? You have no answer, so you’re left throwing rocks at the guy who made some tough decisions that turned out to be the right ones all along. Just like the Mandoyan case, easy to spin when you don’t have all the facts, and when you do you play base head.

      Apostle, you’ve never had credibility. Your part of the political establishment still incensed your gravy train was stolen from you, and you will do anything to cast dispersions on the man leading the LASD, facts be damned. Sad.

      • Keep Dreaming, answer the question Apostle is asking you. Are you scared you will be thrown out of the circle of trust? Hmmmm!!!!

  • Surprise, Surprise – Inflammatory rhetoric is a poor tactic to the truth. I never worked in any capacity on the LASD or with any LASD personnel matters but it’s a big County and many people are familiar with both law and policy and have Deputies that are friends/family. Before people that purport to be with LASD slam others here that disagree at times with the Sheriff, they may wish to be sure they have fact and honesty on their side; hence my original post.

    Attacking everyone with concerns about this Sheriff as a former or current disgruntled employee or as being anti law enforcement is unwise and inaccurate. We are all human and I don’t wish any draconian penalties on any of these Deputies but I think the Sheriff mishandled this situation; and on that, we will likely just have to disagree. Hopefully someone will address LASD Apostle’s posts – he raises some interesting issues…

  • Keep Dreaming, really? Deflecting, not addressing my questions, bringing up straw men. And your statement below was classic…of the two groups of people you describe, where do those who AV promoted several ranks within weeks belong?

    “Those who earned their rank the hard way, with humility and the understanding that service comes before ambition – they cheered because leadership was defined by actions, not symbols. Then there was the other group, in a car that no longer exists, earned their promotions the back door way, whose sole claim to fame was the flimsy symbol on their collars.”

    I’m still waiting for you to talk about the female deputy in the Sheriffs Office…what does she do and does she have a take-home county car?

    We’d also like to see AV’s “Mein Kampf” memo.

  • Keep Dreaming: Please identify those who “earned their rank the hard way”… Was it the Godfather of the Reapers, the one with multiple nonsense shootings at Century, the one hidden by the department for years because of multiple #Meetoo cases, the Baker to Vegas cheater or the donor/transition team member who was promoted and spent about a minute at Transit before becoming the Sheriffs Chief of Staff?

    Also, If the Sheriff really wanted to ensure that the photos were deleted and weren’t otherwise forwarded, couldn’t the “deal” with the deputies have included them temporarily surrendering their phones to FCCB for review in return for a written reprimand or some other minor discipline. I believe the Department makes settlement agreements all the time (PDSA?). Was that even considered as an option? Or would that have ruined the cover up?

  • @sidkrimm, crickets to your last questions. When this whole thing broke, I was wondering along the same line – before word leaked out about complaint announce fact that it happened/ that Dep(s) had written supp(s)/submitted the pics with supp/deleted pics from private phones/administrative investigative underway.

    Maybe Mrs AV never thought of it.

  • I don’t (and do) understand why so much criticism regarding the released photos. In the modern age of cell phone cameras, Face book, Instagram and selfies it’s all about taking photos and showing others. All of society, especially the generation that has grown up with this technology are “hooked” on it like a drug as it is the “new normal” and I societally acceptable.

    When a tragedy occurs, police activity or anything tragic what is the first thing many people do… try to help….no….pull out their cell phones and start recording.

    So who does law enforcement hire and where are they drawn from….Society. These same folks are no different and their inner core doesn’t magically change once they put on the uniform. Society wouldn’t want them to be any different than they are as they are constantly reminded of this fact everyday. They aren’t above the law or any better or worse than anyone else in society. So why criticize or expect any different behavior from them when police hating groups, media and politicians tear them down anyway.

    Distributing the photos….in bad taste yes, but if a news outlet or private citizen had the access and opportunity I guarantee they would have done the same thing.

    Stop with the fake moral outrage. This is the Brave New Dysfunctional World and society that has been orchestrated and engineered.

    • Wow, that’s really sad. So we can have no expectation that deputies will act professionally in a tragic situation? That some deputies can decide which policies they will follow and which they will ignore? That its ok to use grisly photos taken from a potential crime scene to try to impress women? I guess I was raised differently in the Department. I was always told that if I wanted to be seen as a professional I should probably act like one. Just like the majority of deputies who conducted themselves honorably at this incident. Beyond that, I guess we can have no expectation that the Sheriff will hold the involved deputies, his command staff and himself accountable? If its no big deal and that’s just what everybody does nowdays, why did Sheriff Villanueva’s administration try to cover it up?

      • sidkrimm – Well said above and amen. Thank you for noting the good Deputies at the scene that did not engage in such behavior. The current clown show is a slap to them and the many fine men and women of the LASD. As two bits noted below, this Sheriff is indeed one and done.

  • two bits will get you….nothing, you will not hear anything from Villanueva’s defenders. They will deflect and attack. They know too well in good conscience, there is nothing to defend. Currently, there is widespread failure to disclose facts, and portray integrity of LASD. There is not going to be an identification of, or tracking dishonest, or otherwise untrustworthy Deputies, who have proven histories of lying, and other serious misconduct, specifically disciplined for dishonesty on the job.

    We all know who puts a lid on it every time. You just called it.

  • @Juan. They (Mr and Mrs) are in over their heads. They compounded matters by bringing in (promoting) people who were likewise out of their element. Additionally, these people who comprise the inner circles are their pals who are nothing more than bobble heads who know better than disagree with the kitchen cabinet. I never had much love for Ray Leyva but he was someone who saw things from the position of experience and he was no crony. Unfortunately, his advice (and that of Bob Olmsted) was ignored (and ignored and ignored) and ultimately, Mr and Mrs got tired of his harping and dumped him. From that point forward the wagons have been circled.

    The fiasco over the Kobe pictures is a prime example of the blind leading the blind. This time with a national spotlight on it. Imagine if there had been a national or even a local spotlight on the Malibu fiasco that proceeded it by only a few weeks. Back-to-back clusters, neither of which I could remotely imagine taking place under a Block (the last decent Sheriff) administration.

    And, as you suggest, the AV supporters blame others for the overwhelming support for Prop R! We all know that is absurd. If AV would have played his cards right there would have never have been a Prop R. But Prop R is only one example of the damage that LASD has, is, and will suffer because of Mr and Mrs V’s reign over the LASD.

    My only concern is who may be next, because the AV’s are one and done.

    • two bits will get you….nothing, very well said. I always thought Ray and Bob were going to help stabilize the Department. You are right, too many bobble – heads around Villnueva. Although, he only listens to advise from 2 people. One of them is CM. Rumor is EP is testing the waters, and we cannot forget McD.

  • Two Bits, you hit the nail on the head. Additional proof of AV’s total incompetence and mismanagement is the fact that the LASD is again over budget by nearly $100 MILLION and we still have 3 1/2 months to go in the current fiscal year. This time he can’t try to blame any of HIS mismanagement on the previous administration. He OWNS this one.

    Attention BOS, you better get the current LASD overage on the public record tomorrow as I can assure you that the Clown Show is working on a scene to announce a possible COVID-19 exposure in the jails. This way they can blame any O.T. Overages on this sudden “unforeseen” emergency.

    • I’m sure most line LASD personell will gladly forgo the forced overtime if an emergency is declared by our political leaders so they can be at home safe with their families. A normal, routine 40 hour, “9 to 5” work week, get off on time with weekends and holidays off schedule would be great.

      Sheriff AV…..are you listening. The men and women of LASO will gladly not work overtime to help ensure the Department does not come in over budget and the BOS doesn’t get angry with you.

      • Here to Help …, these are tantrums. You want to distract away from the real issues at LASD.
        Sheriff V is running out of excuses.

        • Tantrums…no..reality…yes. Why continue to do a job in which the media, politicians and a vocal segment of society demonize, criticize, scapegoat and put up obstacles to carrying out your duties? Much of the state legislation enacted over the last ten years has been anti-law and order. To those who enforce the law, the writing is on the wall….power down. Hell, the very oath all law enforcement officers take includes the phrases to a obey all laws and enforce and defend the US Constitution. How crazy is it for a state to make laws that go counter to this and expect its law enforcement personnel to feel good about this?

          The message is loud and clear for most. Do the minimum, get home safe, stay out of the news and avoid being sued civilly.

          If the power players condone what the terrorist group, BLM did to DA Lacey, that gives you a clue regarding their mindset and agenda. What’s next, we degenerate to a state like Mexico where politicians are targeted and killed?

  • The AV administration is obviously inept to a degree unprecedented in modern LASD history. His contempt for ethics is a feature, not a bug. Worst of all, Mr & Mrs are advised by psychopaths and clingers, who work on one assumption: Get while the getting is good. Promote, self indulge, and snatch all the County largesse we can, for tomorrow we may be indicted.

  • Juan Carlos, you have summarized the current state of the LASD leadership PERFECTLY. What I find confusing is why Celeste has chosen to ignore the LASD leadership malfeasance? Celeste, what’s the deal?

  • Because the writer can not see the difference of the crimes between the two “Lucys” is proof she has a biased opinion, therefore no creditable . One is a property crime, the other is a violent crime against a person. It is settled law that mental illness does not excuse consequences for violent actions. If the second “Lucy” truly had a one-time psychotic episode (that was NOT cause drugs) then she can seek to have her conviction expunged.

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