Jail LA County Board of Supervisors LA County Jail LASD Sheriff Lee Baca

Sheriff Will Explain (Again) to the Supes Why He Needs $1 Billion for a New Jail and Another $22 Million to Be Able to Police LA County – UPDATED


Tuesday’s LA County Supervisor’s meeting is pretty much the Lee Baca/Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Show. Or so it would seem from glancing at the day’s agenda.

First up will be the recommendation by the County CEO, Bill Fujioka, and Sheriff Baca, that the board approve the first steps in building a $900 million new jail to replace the decrepit, dangerous, and hard to manage, Men’s Central Jail—a facility that everyone agrees has to go (although the sheriff wants to keep and repurpose at least part of the thing as a place to house his education based incarceration program).

Exactly what needs to be build or not built to best handle the county’s inmate population is where the disagareements begin.


Instead, the Board chose far more appropriately to discuss a motion (authored by Sups. Molina and Antonovich) hiring an independent consultant who will provide the Board with a “comprehensive report regarding the Jail Plan within 60 days.”

The motion specifies that the report would be required to delve into, at a minimum:

*A description of existing facilities, number and types of beds
*A profile of the existing inmate population by classification;
*A trend analysis that projects the need for beds by security classification type over the next ten, twenty and thirty years
*Jail Plan options and related assumptions which include
one-time and on-going funding needs; including State funding options
*A timeline/delivery schedule, which includes swing space during construction.

The motion passed unanimously. (Go, Supervisors!)

After that, the supervisors’ meeting will feature a bunch of reports and discussions about what goes on inside the jails, including another progress report on the implementation of the Jails Commission’s recommendations.

Also on the table is the $22 Million that the CEO and the sheriff think that the LASD should be given in order to pay for patrols in the unincorporated areas—which we learned were being given short shrift when an audit of the matter was presented in January. (One would think, as we mentioned last time this topic came up, that the cost of policing the unincorporated areas would be first place to which the sheriff’s would allocate resources, since that particular policing assignment is the department’s most basic reason for being. But….oh, never mind)

More after the meeting.


The main item on the agenda to watch, of course, is the outcome of that proposal for nearly $1 billion for new jail construction that the CEO has recommended be moved to the first steps, planning stages.

What is perplexing in the matter is the fact that, over a year ago, a very similar proposal was floated by the sheriff and the CEO, giving this proposal a Ground Hog Day-esque quality. At the time, the board asked for an analysis of the real need—or lack thereof—for such a massive expansion of the county’s custody facilities, an analysis that specifically took into consideration such existing pieces of research as the excellent and exhaustive Vera Institute report on the jails and jails population (which, incidentally, the the County commissioned), and the James Austin report, which at the time, was still a month or two away from delivery. The idea was that those reports and any other information of relevance, would be factored into any plans for facility renovation, closure, or building. [For text of Austin report go here.]

I could be wrong, but it does not, off hand, appear that Fujioka and the sheriff have, indeed really made much if any use of those reports—although Baca does talk about alternatives to incarceration for some inmates, which echoes Austin.

But stay tuned.

In the meantime, below you can read the common sense memo from the ACLU about what kind of course they think might best be followed in terms of handling the jails population. The memo outlines a plan (using real math) that Men’s Central Jail could be closed altogether and the jail population could be safely redistributed between existing facilities, without spending $933 million on a snazzy new custody complex.

Here’s the memo itself: Memo BOS re Jail Plan 02192013


The Sheriff already had a good day on Monday, in his half-hour or so press conference in which he introduced his new big hires—Terri McDonald and Ted Sexton. [See video above.]

The first up was Terri McDonald, the former undersecretary of the California Department of Corrections, who has come on to the department as the new Assistant Sheriff in charge of custody, to take over the long-troubled jails.

McDonald is extremely experienced in custody management, and appears to be a pleasantly no-nonsense person, who handled herself at the press conference with what seemed like the right mix of new-guy humility, and don’t-mess with me seasoned confidence.

Ted Sexton, the longtime sheriff of Tuscaloosa County, who will head the LASD’s Department of Homeland Security, which includes oversight of a number of areas, including the controversy-haunted Aero Bureau. Sexton has a good CV for the job, having served as assistant secretary for state and local law enforcement with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for a couple of years. Plus his oldest son, James Sexton, already works for the department, meaning that the new Chief likely has a better feel for the unstated currents in the department than would most people coming in from the outside.

Sexton didn’t have a chance to talk at the press conference as most reporters were asking questions only about the jails, which either Baca or McDonald fielded.

We hope and presume there will be plenty of time for Sexton to take the mic in the future.


  • Los Angeles County doesn’t need to spend $$$millions for new jail facilities.

    The Supervisors only need to send the County welding crew to retrofit iron bars on all the windows and doors of the courthouses placed under closure.

    Inside the shuttered courtrooms, tear out the jury box and the judges bench and set-up cots and bunks.

    Voila’. A half dozen or more new satellite jailhouses ready to accept the unwashed, illiterate, impoverished inmates of
    Los Angeles County.

  • ok ladies and gentleman, perhaps you can validate what i am seeing in the video. Does Yim ever exhale? He looks like he is holding his breath the entire 30 minutes. And a certain commander (did I qualify this month?) has a blank stare as if he is going to vomit and pass out at any moment. The A/S continously shifts his eyes back and forth as if he’s getting ready to make a run for it.

    But most importantly, where is Tanaka in the meet and greet? Was he ill that day? Does anyone know why he didn’t make it to such a momentous occassion?

  • Maybe Yim is not exhaling because he has other issues, like maybe not wanting to work for a woman?

  • Ok, so we are hiring a leader of the State’s self admitted failed prison system and putting her in charge of the largest county jail system in the US. And we expect good things? Additionally, every Chief and Commander on the Department is wondering “Why was I overlooked, and is there a future for me here?” regarding both hires.
    The Sheriff from Alabama being hired to oversee Homeland Security also has caused a good number of the brass to question their future with LASD. As he is replacing Chief Grossman, one has to assume that he has numerous DC and international connections that will get the Sheriff more free trips abroad.
    And then the Sheriff wants 900,000,000 to rebuild MCJ. I’d be careful of that, because the Department has a habit of diverting designated construction funds from one project to another, based on the Sheriff’s whim (witness all the funding diverted to the Hall of Justice rebuild). Interesting times indeed.

  • Food for thought: The Sheriff’s managerial incompetence has been on display for all to see for years. But, he has always been the Sheriff only rivaled by Tanaka, whose incompetence has been on full display since he was a sergeant. Unfortunately, no one, and I mean no one, not Myron, Stonich or Waldie could or would control either one, and that has been known to all. It appears Baca has thrown Tanaka under the bus and is attempting to rearrange the deck chairs of the Titanic. Do not underestimate his political will and abilities and ask yourself what is really behind the two outsiders.

    Bringing in McDonald (not to be confused with potential Sheriff McDonald from LAPD/LBPD, that may come down the road) in itself, may not be a bad thing. IF she is truly competent and has been empowered by Baca to fix any problems within Custody to include cleaning house AND bypassing Tanaka at all levels, then this could be a good thing. She is beholden only to Baca at this point and that is in her favor. But it also speaks volumes about the lack of confidence he has within the existing ranks of LASD. Or, this is political window dressing to appease the Jail Commission, the BOS and the Feds (not the FBI investigations) from demanding Federal over site. This all remains to be seen, it may be a little of both.

    Sexton, from an experience level, he is way over his head. The Captain at San Dimas has more operational experience and responsibility than Sheriff Sexton ever had. So what is behind Sexton coming to LASD? More than politics because Sexton has absolutely nothing to offer and yes, he may be responsible in one manner or the other for Leroy’s recent Sheriff of the World award. But that is not enough in itself to make him a Chief. I have to think there is a probability that Sexton is coming in as an ax-man, but armed with a chainsaw and blow torch. If Baca tells Sexton (who are personal friends) “I cannot trust anyone to unscrew what Tanaka has done. Clean my house for me and you will be my next Undersheriff. And if that all works out, I will pave the way for you to take the reigns.”

    So I would say, all eyes need to be on Sexton and watch what he does within his Division. Who is taken to the wall and given a blindfold, who finds themselves in the cornfields, who does he replace these individuals with? I’m sure Leroy has given him a list and he’s checking it twice. Don’t look for policy changes, he knows not, but look for personnel changes, dramatic ones. If none of that happens, then all of this has to be reanalyzed. But if it does, you Cigar Club coin holders have better stand by to stand by, ’cause every single one of you have been outed. Remember that Outlook Email List with your names on it, you know, the email list titled “Executive Staff Meeting,” starting with Bernice Abrams and ending with Paul Yoshinaga? Copies of that email list has been distributed long ago.

    This is all a last ditch effort by Baca to save his job. And we all know when politicians are faced with their own political mortality, there is nothing they won’t do, no one’s ass to be saved in order to save their own. So sit back and watch, it will be interesting. By the way, is it true “Deputy Sexton” (son of Chief Sexton) is one in the same who was back-stabbed by his lieutenant? I’ve heard or read the story, perhaps someone can clarify all of this. But if that is true, oh man, talk about “what goes around, comes around.”

  • This a far too little and too late for Baca to redeem himself! It’s SAD to see that the BOS now runs the LASD! Baca is nothing more than a figurehead and Baca is responsible for his own demise. True that Stonich and Waldie did NOTHING to stop Paul from his criminal behavior. Stonich and Waldie screwed the department, as hard as they could, and got out! Maybe one day they too will be brought back to answer for their own misdeeds. Sexton is totally beholding to Baca and will not bite the hand that doubled his pay! Recall when the BOS were looking for a new A/S for Custody? Baca came in and said he had received a resume already? Guess who had given Baca his resume already? You guessed right! Sexton was the guy. I too am wondering what is Baca going to do about Hemmold?

  • # 8 Star Chamber:

    Yes, Deputy Sexton is the same Deputy who was hung out to dry (along with his partner, Rathbun the younger) by Lt. Greg Thompson at Custody Investigative Services Unit. Celeste wrote a story on it here: http://witnessla.com/lasd/2012/admin/sheriffs-official-allegedly-undermined-probe-of-deputy-misconduct-and-is-still-on-the-job-does-he-have-a-protector/

    # 9 J. London

    It seems like you’ve got your opinion of Chief Sexton all hemmed up already. Why is that? Some previous experience you’d like to share here? Because as I’ve said before, while I don’t trust much that comes off the 4th floor, I’m going to wait to see what Sexton does with his division. I’m optimistic he can take units previously babied by Tanaka in the right direction. From what I’ve heard through the grapevine, he doesn’t tolerate BS.

    I can’t claim to know the man, just to be clear, but bringing someone from the outside is exactly what the doctor ordered when it comes to ripping out the Tanaka machine by the roots.

  • I want to know who at the range staff scores Baca’s targets for him to be wearing that DX badge. I’ll bet he can’t shoot expert on a regular basis, much less DX.


    At the wise suggestion of a commenter, I’ve taken down a few of the earlier comments. They were nothing of substance. And my trashing them isn’t meant in any way personally toward the commenters who posted them.

    They were of a joking nature, but not appropriate here.

    The matter is entirely my fault for not taking them down earlier.


  • O.K., folks, we’re all down-hearted by how bad things are in the LASD; a little schadenfreude is in order here. Let’s all go up to Lake County, way up in Northern California, where things are worse:
    1. The present Sheriff: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20130319/ARTICLES/130319478/1350?Title=Lake-County-supervisors-urge-sheriff-s-resignation

    2. The previous Sheriff: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/iteam&id=5832003

    See? Things aren’t all bad in the LASD.

  • cognistator Sheriff Rivero from lake County is being beat up by the board for nothing. He sounds like an aggrssive and no nonsense attitude. That’s whar we need in LASD, kinda the way it was 30 years ago. People feared deputies when they rolled up on parties or other disturbancesit with their. I got my ass hit from a straight stick mahogony baton, I was told to leave and I took my time. That’s why they were respected.

    As far a EBI, if we stop kissing the crook’s butts, they may not want to come back to jail. Sheriff Joe has the right concept, you come to jail, you get treated like a crook. Period. I don’t believe in EBI, it’s a waste of taxpayer money, shows no improvement in recidivism, so why try to change a mindset they learned growing up?

    BTW, anyone hear the new captain choice at lost hills might be pat davoren????????? ouch

  • 15: Is that the same person who became the first SEB Deputy to fail the quad annual physical agility test, angering many, especially those on his team?

  • Cigars, you got me. I don’t even know where lake county is. BTW, if you all watched the above vide, I missed something. Did you see a certain Commander who was wearing a sam browne or even a duty weapon? Only one. I did notice a huge square thing on his belt. Upon closer examination, it looks like a game boy. Do they still make those?

  • The above statement should have read, ” was the only one not wearing a sam browne or duty weapon”.

  • Just to confirm is this the Sexton that graduated the academy and went straight to a specialized unit in custody. OSJ. Looks like its still going to be who you know not what you know…

  • Ted Sexton’s son went straight to a OSJ after the academy? Ted Sexton is a personal friend of Baca? He was on that three man board of the NSA that voted Baca Sheriff of The Year? How many deputies go to that unit straight out of the academy?
    It appears, with all the hype that comes with the announcement of Chief Sexton’s hire, they left out the announcement that it’s the same old same old with Baca. Now he’s putting his personal friends from outside the LASD in high places within the LASD.
    It used to be he just gave them badges and guns as “Special Reserves”.
    Now he’s giving them high paying executive jobs within the department.


  • Ted Sexton will do an outstanding job. LASD is very lucky to have him. Losing Sheriff Sexton was a hard blow for Tuscaloosa county, but our loss is your gain. Give him time and you’ll be pleased with the results.

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