Jail LASD Sheriff Lee Baca The LA Justice Report

The Friends of Paul Tanaka Campaign Donations List: 2008

We have received quite a number of requests from people working for (or retired from) the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department asking us to post
The Friends of Paul Tanaka campaign contributions lists that WitnessLA/the LA Justice Report acquired through public records act requests.

Although we expect to be posting more of the lists in Dangerous Jails: Part 5, you can find the 2008 campaign donations list here: Tanaka 2008 campaign donations

The names of contributors from the LASD begin on Page 10.

As reported in Part 3 of Matt Fleischer’s Dangerous Jails series, various department insiders have suggested that there are correlations between LASD promotions and donations to Undersheriff Tanaka’s mayoral campaigns. (The undersheriff also serves as the mayor of the city of Gardena.)

(Individuals’ addresses are redacted in the interest of privacy.)


  • I see a $1000 contribution from a Rochelle Goran who is listed as a Custody Asst.
    This is more than actual ranking employees (Sgt., Lt., Capt.) I wonder if she was ‘bundling’ for co-workers or what.
    I also note that all the contributions I saw as I scrolled down were received on the 10th of the month…hmmm, funny co-incidence.
    Reminds me of the mass of contributions made by LDS members when instructed by their bishops to do so against gay marriage.
    This will certainly make me remember this man’s name and do what I can to keep him from County public office. What people want to support is their business but something like this reeks of compulsion, not free will.
    Good luck with your continuing research!

  • Celeste, here is a question for you. All of these stories you and Matt have compiled are absolutely outstanding. The comments (for the most part) are equalling informative, especially with additional allegations of criminal and administrative misconduct.

    To my knowledge, Tanaka has NEVER had to answer to anyone for his misconduct, he has always been protected. Now that he is the Undersheriff, will you and Matt be able to request a formal media, in writing to SHB and to the Sheriff himself? This will give you an opportunity to facilitate a professional but hardball interview on all of these issues?

    Assuming he will dodge you, will you be able to do the same with Sheriff Baca and say, “Sheriff, we have a series of questions and concerns regarding Pay for Play, Cigar Club etc, etc. We have made formal attempts to ask YOUR UNDERSHERIFF for his response and he refuses to comment, what say you and will you facilitate this interview? When he says, “My staff told me nothing about these allegations,” then you can say, “Well now you know and what say you?”

    We don’t need a response by the spokeshole Whitmore who will spin (as he does on everything) “The Sheriff welcomes an investigation.” “We are conducting our own inquiry.” “Your stories are based on misinformation from disgruntled employees, the Sheriff knows there is nothing to these allegations. He has the utmost of confidence in Mr. Tanaka.” “We look forward to telling the full story at a later date. ” Bla, bla bla.

    I just think it would be great for Tanaka, for once in his career, to have to answer to the media for what he has done. And if both of them refuse, I can see your headlines now.

  • Absolutely outstanding! —one captain has a questionable relationship with an alleged drug kingpin. Then another captain lets that captain play in her sandbox, and all the assistant sheriff knows is that the kingpin had a “big” boat. Welcome to “Modern Family” Baca/Tanaka style. Where the heck is Leroy this week? And Tanaka has been hiding in an undisclosed location since this comedy of errors started. His campaign contribution list reads like a bad promotional teletype. Forget about connecting the dots; let’s all just wipe away the butt mud the kool-aid kids are slinging. First of all, stop calling for the Feds. They’re already here, and it sounds like they’ve been here for a good while. Secondly, it’s no longer a matter of if they intervene, but when. I doubt if they’ll have enough handcuffs. Lastly, LASD will never be the same as we know it. Out of more than 60 captains, all but 6 or 7 of them have been promoted since 2008, and at least four of them are under investigation. This isn’t a sheriff’s department, it’s an insane asylum.

    Leroy’s exit is inevitable. Instead of pining for the past and praying for better days, the 90% who are getting the job done, need to show the top four and their minions the door, sooner rather than later. By the way, where’s ALADS? If there were ever a time to stand up to management, this is it. Or are they already in the tank? Speaking of unions, how about some succession planning? When the feds run the puppeteer and his donkey out of Dodge, who ya gonna call, P.O.S.T. – busters? It’s about time all those employment lawyers and union officers earn their keep and come up with a game plan to help hold this department together after the fall. Oh yeah, the sky is falling, Sweetpea. This stuff hasn’t blown over yet, has it? Matter of fact, it’s growing. Don’t look now, but the Department is running out faster than the Mayan calendar. It’s time to occupy Leroy’s office and demand some real answers. Maybe it’s time for folks to appoint a sheriff instead of electing one.

    Elected sheriffs expose the county to politicized campaigns and fundraising, which means promoting political cronies; interfering with investigations that are politically damaging or favorable; scapegoating groups for rising crime; or sending more resources into politically powerful neighborhoods. Sound familiar? Most effective police administrators are selected through a competitive process where their skills, talents and experience can be judged objectively. Ask yourself, how do we elect our sheriffs? We don’t. We select from within and grandfather them in when the incumbent steps down. Then how do we enforce rules, changes, and discipline? How do we discipline the folks who were our equals before? We don’t. Semper fi.

  • This Sheriff is a mirror image of the Mayor of Los Angeles. He cares more about the people outside his department than the people within. The problem is not appointing or electing a Sheriff, the problem is what type of Sheriff you get. A greedy selfish political egoistic tyrant or a Sheriff that gets his own hen house in line and stops all the, “not who you know, its who you blow” practices. Baca should retire and go have a pina colada with Bratton in the Bahamas.

  • Re: Menudo’s comments –

    All spot-on, insightful and eloquently written! I’d only take issue with the elected vs. apppointed suggestion. Charlie Beck has manifested as Antonio’s puppet on all matters near and dear to the mayor. There are other constituent LA residents aside from Tony’s power base that Antonio’s priorities don’t serve well. Charlie is beholden to Tony for his job, so you have issues like this “selective impound” controversy on the table when Charlie should just enforce state law. Instead, he’s wobbling all over looking foolish trying to position himself with the boss who appointed him. In a sense, I know Leroy is doing the same. But with an appointed sheriff, political influence would be further concentrated into the appointer rather than giving the voters a chance to hire and fire. Just my initial thoughts.

  • Dude, Rufus is gone. Waldie is history, except for all the depo’s he’s gotta do. Yeah, it’s hard to deal with the here and now when the way back when was just as bad, but we need to make a stand right now. Paul is gonna pull a Baca and walk away from his Tanakabots by claiming he had no idea they were running a “pay for play” to raise campaign funds. Everybody on his election committe will be headed for the slammer but him. He’ll bail out faster than a crackhead with a $10 rock. And what about the dumb slobs who got jacked and didn’t get anything in return? Can u imagine getting hit up for 200 bucks? ur bud walks you into the “smoking palace” says the secret password, u lose your gas money, and there’s no stripper or sex in the champagne room, just a bunch a horny guys smoking cigars? Talk about oral fixation. Even worse, u can’t talk to anyone unless they talk to u first. Not exactly a chat over the hood of a radio car, is it? The “stuporvisors” at the Board haven’t said squat ‘cuz they’re all running the same game. They can’t jump Leroy or Paul without exposing themselves A 1.8 billion dollar budget buys a lotta cheese. Folks are grinning all the way to the bank. And the clowns at the Times keep piddling in the water and call it journalism. The silence is deafening. Oh wow, where’s the luv?

  • #5 Gabrielle. Mrs Goran is related to Commander Goran. Ya think there’s a connection??
    Speaking of connections, the Treasurer of the Friends of Paul fund was a Sergeant, and is now the Operations Lieutenant at Century Station. Should be a Captain or Commander soon.
    Many of the names on the list of contributers are now promoted or moved into coveted positions.
    The Aero Bureau has some interesting paths to follow. How about when a Sergeant discovered that folks on overtime were actually playing golf, or just submitting time slips with no proof of being at work? He got bounced around and threatened with firing. There is theft on a grand scale going on, and they are getting away with it. Your tax dollars at work.
    Why oh why is this not being covered in the mainstream media?

  • Interesting comment about manipulating time records and humbug overtime. There is a very specific government code that deals with false time records of any Califonia government (state county or city) that is a non-negotiable Felony. Should be easy to prove and easy to convict as you are talking about non-mega flex employees. Write the 49 and I will approve it.

    Folks, this corruption cannot just sit on this website. Someone outside the Department has to take action on all of this. Cooley, State AG or FBI. Thank you Witness LA. I would love to see 60 Minutes fry these clowns.

  • The comments about overtime are continuing to this day. How many spots of overtime have I worked and never seen a partner who submits for the time worked, but never shows? All the time. Who is being ripped off are the contract cities who are paying the bills. They need to take a hard look at what they are paying for. Monitor people and see if they are getting their monies worth. But with the executives being as corrupt as they are, its no surprise that lower level employees are falling right into their footsteps. Remember, all these executives were at one point line personnel. They learned how to cheat the system a long time ago. Personnally, I am embarrassed to admit who I work for. It’s no longer an honor. It’s no longer a Department that people look up to. It’s now turned into a job, not a career. The corruption is nothing new. It has been around for a long time. Do the research! The murders. The drug deals. Nothing new. Your just now finding out about some of the recent cases. Dig deep into the past of the LASD.

  • Geo, you are not kidding about the lower level employees following the same road as those above them. We are currently staffing are academy classes with C.A.’s and S.O.’s that have shown issuesin performance in those positions. How do we correct the problems with them? Let’s reward them with a promotion. Not all of are CA’s and S.O’s a bad, but we do currently have a S.O. In jail charged with murder. Let us hope the B.I.’s do a better backround check on the CA’s and S.O.’s they want to sent onto deputy, but from what I see that’s not happening.

  • Looking at the list of contributors, I notice a gaggle of sergeants who are now relatively new lieutennats who have already moved into coveted positions and specialized units. Wow! not much time in custody or patrol! Even more interesting, I’ve seen these young turks flying around in unmarked Crown Vics like they’re junior executives or heirs to the throne. This is exactly how the current crew of morons running the department got started. Even worse, the guys who cheated on the lieutenants exam then have taught their kids well. The same thing keeps happening over and over every generation are they still passing the same floppy disk around? . . . new blood in old bureaus and stations making hostile takeovers like they’re the only ones who know how to work. Unbelievable. what the hell did these folks promise these kids? do they have any idea what they’re getting into?

  • You would have thought that these contributions would be a conflict of interest.i Why even test for positions.Just keep those checks coming . Not only get rid of Baca and his lapdogs, but the Board of Supervisors who allow this to happen. It’s time for a recall!

  • The whole thing sucks and it isn’t fair. However, what is fair in life? Block and his cronies had a car full of people. Baca and his cronies have a car full of people. People are bought, unions are bought. Same thing different day.

  • Everybody knows about D.V. issue don’t smoke cigars. Including the Board of Supervisors. The department is a total mess.

  • The Way I See It – I don’t think anyone would argue the point politics is evident in any organization humans populate; and no one would question your belief some of it was present in prior LASD regimes. But to this insidious degree? To morally equivocate to attempt to dilute Baca and Tanaka’s atrocities on the department’s workforce and the residents of LA County is to offer comfort and support to these creeps.


  • Speaking of money laundering, I hear retired commander John Franklin was known as a shakedown and bag man for Baca and Tanaka. I think the FBI has number over at the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office. Now there is a real snake for you.

  • Please publish all the contribution lists. I’m sure there will be many additional names including people currently hate Tanaka but were previously on his team until they fell out of favor for one reason or another.

  • Rodney King

    People don’t fall out of favor with Paul Tanaka for one reason or another. He just uses them up and keeps moving. Exhibit A: Bernice Abram, she’s been twisting in the wind for 10 months. Not a peep out of Tanaka, but his surrogates: Rhambo and Compton’s captain can’t be far behind. What about Cruz, Hebert, and Nee? Crickets. And it gets better — How long did it take to throw Dennis Burns under the bus. Poor Cavanaugh’s hanging by a thread and one nitro tablet. Then wasn’t Impellizeri the captain at Aero Bureau before Duran? Wasn’t Ornelas at Narco? Here’s a trio for you: Waters, Fennell, and Stephen…how’d all those MCJ gangsters get hired in the first place? What about Hellmold? Paul throws him out front — a potential contender for sheriff down the road, he looks good, says the right stuff, then gets owned. He’s done, and still no word from the puppet master. This is a law enforcement soap opera — no it’s a game show, ”The Biggest Losers.”

  • What about the fact that Tanaka is the Mayor for Gardena, but doesn’t even live in the city. Oh yeah, he has a condo there for a mailing address. This has been going on for years, but the corruption keeps piling on. Think the feds will ever do anything? Don’t think so, seems like the last time the Feds tried to investigate the corruption in the Dept and the Unions they were ordered to back off. Leroy and Paul have ruined more lives and careers in order to protect and promote themselves.

  • Dear Mr. Baca (since you are no longer deserving of the title Sheriff) when retirement season rolls around in March, are you going to get the last group of sycophants on the promotional lists, or will you succumb to the pressure of this virtual mutiny, and promote the rest the department members who are poised to be left behind? Will you grab ahold of the wheel and steer this Department back on course, or will you allow the current crew of Young Jerks, I mean Turks, to risk the Department’s reputation for your own re-election? Or, will you hand the keys to the Heir Apparent and ride off into the sunset? What are you going to do Mr. Baca? Better make a statement soon, we are buying tents, generators, non-perishable goods, and lots of advertising space. Question: Is there an armed guard at the entrance of LASD Hq or a valet? We are coming en masse, and we plan to stay a long time. You told me to uphold the Core Values, so that is what I intend to do. Here they are in case you forgot them:

    As a LEADER in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, I commit myself to HONORABLY perform my duties with RESPPECT for the DIGNITY of all people (including Department members), INTEGRITY TO DO RIGHT and FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT wrongs, wisdom to apply COMMON SENSE and FAIRNESS in all I do and courage to stand against racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, NEPOTISM, CRONYISM, homophobia, and bigotry in all its forms, especially when it comes to MY CHOSEN PROFESSION, MY CAREER and the protection of MY DEPARTMENT. So help me GOD!

    OCCUPY LASD 2012

  • Got Milk

    What do you expect Tanaka to do with Abrams? Save her? Would you? Also, are you implying that Rhambo and Walker are involved in this Abrams thing? Don’t you think if they were they would have been relieved as wel or is tanaka keeping them safe from the Feds which in that case contridicts your entire post.

  • The Feds have Capt. Abrams on a wire. They have a former Deputy pleading guilty to bribery and cooperating with them. It’s only a matter of time that the people in Monterey Park will have to answer some serious questions.

  • #17 Fed Up
    I will write the 49 , when can I get you to sign it off? I take reports for citizens of the County of Los Angeles on a daily basis. If you truly believe that there is corruption, then stand behind your statement and report it. I am mandated to report allegations of chid abuse, elder abuse, POE’s …..etc. Who is mandated to report these allegations. I wish those with a higher rank would set the example for the line.

  • Fed Up,#17, you have no guts. You are just as bad as the guy screwing the system. Step up and do your job. Whistle blowers are protected, no one will screw you. I’m wondering if you can even fill out a 49. I even heard that you were a coward. Do the right thing.

  • I am retired and am reading about a bunch of complaining
    deputies. I am not concerned so much about promotions and
    who did what and to who..I am just looking for the core values we received upon becoming deputies. Dont know Tanaka
    and dont care to know him. Promotions are only for people to extend their power and pay scale within the department.I am concerned about deputys thinking as if they are some kind of a street gang organization. I use to hear about these incidences with LAPD officers, and was always proud that deputies were more professional in their dutys. Now I can not understand what happend. We heard scandals about brass and their drunk driving and their affairs with their secretaries, but we never lost track of our responsibilities as line deputies. When I worked the county jail there were some deputies who tried to form clicks but no one wanted to join them because we wanted to do the right thing. on one ocassion there were about 75 inmates in a hot jail cell I went over and turn on the fan for the inmates to breath. These bully deputies call me a inmate lover and I just told them to refer to title 15 in the custody manual. Most of the deputies respected me and turned against the bullys. If the good christian deputies would just stand up against law breakers inside the jails the bullys will lose their power.. You can blame Tanaka if you want,but only a lunatic would like to see a scull busted. only a psychopath gets pleaure out of inflicting pain on a inmate who is already arrested and at his lowest state in life. (Lord, please help us see the light of God..)

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