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Sheriff’s Candidates Wax Progressive at Debate….Tanaka’s a No-Show….Eric Previn Wants 2 be Supe…& More


Mercado La Paloma in South LA was jammed Thursday night as five of the seven candidates running for LA County Sheriff took their seats for the second public debate, and answered questions on such topics as alternative sentencing, building new jails, immigration enforcement, data gathering on stop & frisk, and more—all topics to which the five men gave consistently progressive-leaning answers that featured more agreement than difference.

For instance, the candidates were asked if they were in favor of solving the jail overcrowding problem by building new jails?

By and large they are not. They’d rather manage the jail population by finding appropriate therapeutic housing for the mentally ill who routinely turn up in the jails, and most favored some kind of alternate sentencing and pretrial release.

Bob Olmsted wants to create a special court for the mentally ill.

“We need to free the bed space for those who really need to be locked up,” he said.

“We need community based mental health clinics,” agreed Jim McDonnell.

Jim Hellmold and Lou Vince said no to any kind of jail expansion. “Once we do that, those beds are always going to be filled,” said Vince.

“Community based alternatives can reduce recidivism by ten or twenty percent,” said Todd Rogers and then proceeded to expand enthusiastically on the topic.

The candidates also favored a more appropriate, family-friendly environment for women who are locked up.

“Right now our women are housed in facilities that are intended for men in complete lockdown,” said Hellmold.

All the candidates were roundly in favor of a robust citizen oversight body for the LASD

And so it went on topic after topic. While there were degrees of difference, there was more often agreement that leaned in a distinctly reformist direction.

“They were more progressive in many cases than the majority of the board of supervisors,” said So Cal ACLU legal director, Peter Eliasberg, after the questioning was over. (The ACLU was one of the event’s sponsors.) “For example, there was a real unanimity in the suggestion that LA is incarcerating way too many people. Whereas what appears to be the board’s response, which is to build more jail beds, that’s clearly not what these candidates want to be doing.”


Two candidates in the field, however, were not available for comment.

Pat Gomez had another event he felt he had to attend so wasn’t able to take part in the debate, but according to Eliasberg, Gomez notified the debate staff a week or two in advance.

Paul Tanaka, in contrast, cancelled “because of a conflict” at exactly 12:37 pm on the day of the event, said Eliasberg.


Eric Previn, our favorite ad hoc LA County watchdog, would now like to join the ranks of those he has previously enjoyed hectoring mightily on regular basis.

Hillel Aron (whom we’re happy to note will now be writing full time for the LA Weekly) has the story. Here’s a clip:

Eric Preven isn’t like other gadflies, those full-time roustabouts who skulk the halls of L.A. government making public comment after comment until every bureaucrat is ready to put a gun to his or her head. Preven is different; he’s… well, he’s cleaner. And more normal looking. And: Preven digs up good dirt.

Inspired by something weird that was done to Preven’s mom’s beloved labrador a few years ago (by L.A. County Animal Control), he’s acquired a compulsion to appear each Tuesday to castigate the five powerful members of the County Board of Supervisors, who oversee government programs affecting 10 million people*, control a budget of about $25 billion – and enjoy power and authority virtually unrivaled in California.

They meet Preven with a bitter indifference or, more often, open disdain. But now, the biggest thorn in the Supervisors’ sides is running to replace Zev Yaroslavsky, so he can join the bunch he taunts with surprisingly well-informed criticisms and news scoops.

Here’s Previn in high theatrical form.


Californians for Safety and Justice, a non-profit that gives voice to crime victims and brings them together with community leaders, policymakers, law enforcement and more, has created a wish list of 2014 bills and budget priorities to keep an eye on.

Here is a representative sampling of the items on their list:


AB 1919 (V.M. Perez) – Increase the Use of Risk Assessments: Research shows that we reduce repeat offenses when people in the justice system are matched with programming and supervision determined by an individual risk and needs assessment. This bill will encourage counties to use a validated risk and needs assessment for people in their local justice system.

AB 2612 (Dababneh) – Increase Access to Drug Treatment Programs: Nearly two-thirds of all jail inmates suffer from a substance abuse disorder, and, if unaddressed, such disorders drive criminal behavior. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, California has an opportunity to increase the use of federal Medi-Cal dollars to fund drug treatment programs as an effective alternative to warehousing people in jails. This bill would address existing barriers to increased placement in residential programs.

SB 466 (DeSaulnier) – Creating the California Institute for Criminal Justice Policy: This bill would create a nonpartisan, independent institute to conduct timely research on criminal justice and public safety issues. Its primary responsibility will be creating a Master Plan for California Public Safety based on research and evidence-based practices in the field, and the Institute will also analyze any criminal justice bill to determine its effectiveness, cost-benefit and suitability within the Master Plan.


Help Crime Victims Recover, Avoid Repeat Victimization by Expanding Trauma Recovery: Victims often experience long-term effects, including trauma and mental health conditions. Left unaddressed, these conditions can impact victims’ ability to recover and may lead to financial problems, mental health issues, substance abuse, depression and further victimization. The existing system can be confusing to access and often only offers short-term support. The Trauma Recovery Center model takes a holistic approach to healing the person in a welcoming and safe environment that provides long-term support.

Improve the Outcomes for Women and Families via Alternative Custody Programs: Research has shown that women in the justice system who maintain a relationship with their children are less likely to reoffend, and their children are less likely to suffer trauma and to be incarcerated as adults. By implementing programs that allow women who have committed nonviolent, non-serious to serve their time in alternative custody programs, we can reduce crime and population pressures on prisons and jails.

Ensure Structured Reentry to Reduce Recidivism by Expanding Split Sentences: The first few weeks an individual is released from prison or jail is a crucial time. Structured reentry, through the use of reentry services and supervision, can reduce the likelihood of reoffending and increase public safety. Under Public Safety Realignment, some people are serving their entire sentence in jail and have no support or supervision upon release. By making split sentences the default (unless a judge rules otherwise out of the interest of public safety), we can ensure individuals have a more effective reintegration into the community.

Reduce Jail Pressures, Costs by Incentivizing the Use of Pretrial Programs: Using jail space to house low-risk people awaiting trial is expensive and paid for public safety. For low-risk people not yet convicted of a crime, evidence-based pretrial programs can increase court appearances, reduce recidivism and save valuable public safety dollars.

Click here for the rest..


Dr. Corazon Navarro has been treating pregnant state prison inmates since 1987. She is the OB/GYN at the California Institute for Women in Chino.

In KPCC’s First Person project, Navarro tells about her work and what she loves about it.


  • I’m sure PT sent his scouts out and they probably told him this venue and crowd would not be good to him. I’m surprised he even considered going. “ACLU” and “League of Women Voters.” His contempt for both would not shock anyone who knows him. Someone needs to ask him how many times he has used the “N” word for Blacks, “M” word for Hispanics and “B” word for women! You thought you have seen him stutter, watch what happens if one of those questions is asked!

    PT is a “one trick pony.” He rules by fear and he and his boys will try to crush you, if you don’t follow his way. That would not have gone well with a crowd of liberal minded fighters.

  • Thank God the candidates were spared the presence of Tanaka and his traveling circus. Watching his followers in those ridiculous t-shirts is hard to stomach. A clear indication his war chest is running on fumes. I’m sure the candidates were glad not to hear his number of years on the department speech and his “No Recall” response to all the tough questions he never seems to answer. By the way, if your going to let a prize fighter wear your t-shirt make sure he is a winner and not getting knocked down twice and losing Paul. Also the fight was in Puerto Rico not Los Angeles County. Whose your political advisor regarding your campaign Paul? Was this a cheap attempt to get votes?

  • Ya but PT still has his moles! KG and DB pulled their retirements. Guess they pulled one over on the Sheriff, or they have become double agents. And of course JL some how skated too.

    I guess change isn’t in the air.

  • And just to think,…….. PT.thought he could run into the sunset with money bags and endorsements from ALAD$ and POPA.

  • #2-

    “Thank God the candidates were spared the presence of Tanaka and his traveling circus. Watching his followers in those ridiculous t-shirts is hard to stomach. A clear indication his war chest is running on fumes.”

    You haven’t seen anything yet… His camp is growing each day. It’s actually very impressive to see the amount of support Tanaka truly has.

    Stand by…

  • ALADS ain’t supporting him and the sales of the t-shirts won’t raise enough. Deputies are to cheap, and most voters are suspicious of a candidate when deputies who don’t live in Los Angeles push for a candidate named Tanaka. Probably because he made them promises. Did Tanaka pay for Lt. Thompson’s attorney fees since he was the one responsible for his indictment. Voters beware of Mr. Tanaka, he is bad for Los Angeles County.

  • Hey nancy Drew. KG. Is that the captain from the lennox past? The same captain that allowed a high roller reserve to pass the level 1 training because he supposedly passed all the hours to meet patrol training? Here’s a hint. pull the T/O’s logs (if any) and audit all the rest of the patrol training.

    My guys were pissed over that, now this yehoo is a reserve commander or higher. Signed letter of patrol completion is on file.

  • I’m surprised he was a no show. I thought he had this in the bag. Does this have something to do with someone in his camp discovered wearing a wire ?

  • In my 33 years of law enforcement, I have always held myself accountable for my actions and had the back bone to face conflicts/opposing points of view…..

    There are a lot of people setting at home suffering because of your name and actions. I don’t recalls and no shows are pretty sad for LA’s greatest cop.

    Seriously, what do you guys think the court room is going to look like when he and other LASD VIPs have to test-i-lie? Is a federal court room sketch and a weeks worth of press really the persepction of reality this campaign wants at the height of the race?? What are you going to do when those guys can talk on camera?

  • When the CCJV was created (October 2011),the Board of Supervisors “CHOSE” McDonnell to be the next Sheriff. Anyone ever wonder why he was the only sworn law enforcement member on the commission? Fast forward 2 1/2 years- Every one of the Supervisors along with a slew of other bureaucrats will endorse him to be Sheriff. Where were they when he was “DISCARDED” by LA City officials who chose Charlie Beck to run the LAPD. Listen carefully to McDonnell and you’ll see he has no charisma, innovation, enthusiasm, or motivation to lead LASD. I even question his ability. He is a straight up puppet for the establishment to control. Anybody who can’t see that had better remove their rose-colored goggles and take control of the reigns. The truth is both Antonio V. and Bratton washed their hands clean of McDonnell when the time came to pick a leader. And even though the Long Beach Police Department is being looked at for Civil Rights violations (arresting male blacks 4-1), the LA Times and other liberal rags won’t touch it. Why? Because they were the driving force to begin with, assigning a reporter full time to hammer LASD. If LASD had the same patterns and practices of Long Beach PD we all know what the Times would be writing. Wake up fellas, stop the personal attacks, lay down articulate thoughts, and vote “NO” on LAPD’s second choice! The guy comes across as weak to me!!! Boomer.

  • I’m speechless. I agree with an overwhelming majority of what boomer just said.

    I have met Mr. Long Beach several times. He really thinks this has been gift wrapped for him. It’s why there is nothing to him. He is protecting his true colors.

    Then again, our LASD candidates are making bedfellows with former baca guys. Bob has friends in Burbank I thought he knew better than to make nice with…..

  • Jack, as long as the Baca empire is broken and no one proposes reassembling it, I wouldn’t worry too much about the pieces that are legal.

  • Saying all over is ANYONE BUT A SHERIFF. Both BRATTON and BECK have endorsed McDonnell along with the top law enforcment person Kamala Harris and many other top law enforcement agencies. Tanaka and his gang of thugs attending the debates is disgraceful. You would think he had the brain to know it shows his deputies still have that “gang culture” mindset. At the debates they behave like bullies at anyone who applauds for any other candidate. McDonnell has many Sheriff’s who are supporting and have endorsed him. Deputies have great officers who want a fresh and new blood to lead them.

  • Oh well. Que sara sara. If the LASD ends up with a LAPD reject as it’s sheriff, one needs to look no further than POPA and ALADS to place blame. Both unions “representing” LASD personell stood by silently for years while Baca ran amok. Thru all of Baca’s scandalous, preposterous and flagrant bs neither union spoke up. One can pontificate, speculate and commiserate why this was the case. The bottom line is that for at least the last 12 years LASD supervisors and deputies went 10-8 everyday knowing their “leader” was not only out of touch but also scandalous. Both unions buried their heads in the sand and went along with business as usual. Thru it all, never did either union have the stones to step up and propose a no confidence vote. The “leadership” of both unions went along in denial while the sheriff became a bigger embarassment, a sad joke, day by day, year by year. Now we are where we are. Now some of the old guard union “leaders” are upset that an outsider is the apparent front runner in the race for sheriff. We all know what happens when you don’t police your own. Welcome to Realityville.

  • 16.) Oh Well…you hit it square in the head. Just look exactly who was running the union then…..especially ALADS! None other than hayhurst & remige. Trying to pull a rabbit out of the hat. He will need more than a rabbit, to try and get back to ALADS as executive director. The time is far spent. Add up all the costs,spending members money as if it were their own. Using “raging water” as hush noney. Members have invested millions and millions yearly. Where is it all at or where did it go. The old regime knows…..The Feds will find out. Stay tuned. The biggest joke now is that they are still backing tanka behind the scenes. Smoking mirrors and scapegoats. Look at the ever changing line-up@ ALADS and read between the LIES.

  • Baca was an also ran in 1992 and 1997 for the Chief of Police for Los Angeles. The eventual selections were Willie Williams and Bernard Parks. So Baca was an LAPD reject and look at who he lost too! Amazing.

    McDonnell is a fine candidate and so are two of the LASD contenders. I am not a fan of COMSTAT but LAPD is doing a better job because of it. LASD has lived on its reputation for the last 10 yrs. Baca and Tanaka failed to innovate or develop effective data driven accountability methods. LASD is currently lagging behind LAPD in many areas. Don’t get me wrong the Sheriff’s Department is still a fine organization and LAPD spent 10 years playing catch up, however the Sheriff’s Dept needs solid leadership and McDonnell is one of the better candidates.

  • http://maps.latimes.com/neighborhoods/violent-crime/neighborhood/list/

    #18 I don’t disagree that J-mc is a fine candidate and leader. But I call bullshit to say LASD is lagging behind LAPD in many areas. LMFAO!! You have got to be kidding. LASD has had COMPSTAT for over a decade. Take a look at the Part 1 crime stats in the link above. With the exception of Compton, looks like the numbers are pretty even. Now factor in the famous LAPD kiss off and exorbatant response times that prevent victims from reporting crimes in the city. Most of the city is a shiit hole. I also call bullshit on the City’s P1 crime stats. The numbers reflect only reported crimes.

  • Ditto #12 and #19.

    McDonnell is probably an okay guy. But he shouldn’t be the next sheriff of Los Angeles County.

    When he had the opportunity to do the right thing and run against Baca when Baca was going to seek re-election, he chose instead to cower in his office in LB. As soon as Baca quit, then McDonnell threw his hat in the ring. That shows his level of dedication to the LASD and the quality of his character.

  • Actually I thought McDonnell made the right decision. Baca was the odds on favorite even with the scandals. It was shaping up to be a nasty campaign with Tanaka and Baca slinging mud at each other. He would have had to raise a couple million to prevail. His odds of success were small. Is that cowardice or rational thinking! Once Baca dropped out donors and high profile endorsements were looking for a candidate they believed in and he fits the bill.

    No matter how you slice it, he is the outsider and he will get a lot of support because he is the outsider. There are some outstanding LASD candidates but they will all suffer from the Baca and Tanaka scandals and that includes Olmsted! Even with his whistleblower status he will take a hit.

  • Mcdonnells cowardice may get him to a runoff but he will lose to Olmsted in November. It’s easy to hide among seven candidates but in a field of two McDonnell does not match up. He’s a terrible public speaker with zero charisma and most importantly, not a clue of what to do. Not a single candidate has raised the mega bucks for a media blitz so more important things will decide the race.

  • Now if Mr. Previn would simply stop spamming everybody in California who has any kind of news site… that would be wonderful.
    And maybe learn to use BCC vs CC in emails?

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