Month: March 2018

Don’t Give Up The LASD Ship! Your Chance To Hear From Sheriff Candidates Next Friday

The three candidates for sheriff (including the LAPD officer) are being given an opportunity to speak to the ALADS board next week. This is a huge opportunity for you to hear from the candidates yourself–and hold their feet to the fire. Deputies are all very opinionated and good at complaining, but when it comes to actually showing up when it counts our record isn’t so hot. This time it really matters.

As the English statesman Edmund Burke said nearly 300 years ago, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Every single one of us knows multiple deputy sheriffs who have been fired of political, unfair or vendetta-driven reasons. Every single one of us knows of instances where department leaders–particularly senior leaders–have lied or destroyed subordinates’ careers to advance their own. Every single one of us knows LASD is going in the wrong direction and the only people who don’t seem to know it are the ones drunk on power, steering us into the rocks.

As of today, neither ALADS nor PPOA have endorsed anyone for sheriff. While we believe this is pretty weak sauce, they argue they’re in the middle of contract negotiations with the county and taking leadership positions as their members elected them to do might be controversial. It’s important your unions–and particularly ALADS–hear from you.

The union representing Riverside County deputy sheriffs recently took a strong leadership position in endorsing their sheriff’s main opponent, including throwing over a half million dollars of support toward his way. ALADS and PPOA could do this but, for now, have decided not to.

The forum will be next Friday, April 6 at 3:30 p.m. at the ALADS office conveniently located on many of your way’s home: 2 Cupania Circle, Monterey Park 91755.

If we learn that ALADS or any of the candidates will be live-streaming the remarks (as we’d hope they would for the benefit of all those deputies 10-8 or unable to make it), we will absolutely let you know.

The election for sheriff will be held on June 5.

Holy Smokes… 31 Guns Missing from Compton City Vault

You’ve gotta check out this story from the Los Angeles Times questioning how it came to be that the City of Compton had squirreled away (at least) 31 guns in a vault…and how it came to be that (at least) 31 were stolen?

“Sheriff’s and Compton city officials notified the ATF and an investigation began In September. The guns were last inventoried in March 2017, [an ATF agent said], so there is a considerable window when they could have been stolen.”

Whats even more puzzling is how, if the weapons were last inventoried and noticed missing a year ago, why an investigation didn’t begin until September?  And if only a limited number of people should have known the combination, why are the agencies speaking publicly about it nearly eight months later?

What a mess.

 

Deputy Injured in Palmdale Crash; Should Be OK!

A deputy sheriff in Palmdale was injured this evening when they were responding to a medical emergency and someone cut them off.

As anyone who has driven Code 3 can relate to, this happens all the time and it can be scary as hell.  We’re glad to hear the deputy should be okay.

Per KTLA, “The deputy was responding to a medical emergency when he crashed, a Honda attempted to make a left turn in front of him and collided with the sheriff’s SUV, according to investigators. The deputy’s vehicle then ran into a tree and hit a fire hydrant before coming to rest on its side against a light pole with its windshield completely shattered.”

 

Should the DA Be Fundraising For The Sheriff?

“In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups. The police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.”

<dun dun>

So, actually, let’s set a few things straight right at the beginning.  Cops and deputy district attorneys don’t actually get along all that well–at least not in Los Angeles County.  The cops spend all this time and energy putting their lives on the line to chase down gangsters and and criminals and wife-beaters, etc.  And like two-thirds of the time, the DDAs reject the cases because they aren’t 100% total slam dunks, or they offer ridiculous plea deals, etc.  (In my career, I’ve made many hundreds of arrests…and maybe two have gone to trial?)  Or they don’t have their cases in order and they subpoena people to court on their day off or vacation unnecessarily.  So, there’s a ton of frustration from the cops toward the DDAs.

And on the flip side, the DDAs are frustrated with the cops because the cops maybe wrote a sloppy report or didn’t do something that would have made the case tighter, or didn’t know their case law, or whatever.  Or they really needed to be in court but blew it off (because the last 20 subpoenas were a waste of time).

All of this sucks–but it goes to show that the cops and DA’s aren’t in each other’s pockets.  They don’t even really like each other.

AT THE SHERIFF-DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEVEL, however, they’re–as a blog focused on corruption within Jim McDonnell’s Sheriff’s Department’s noted this week–totally (but not literally) in bed.  They endorse each other, throw fundraisers for each other, and bring big donors to each other’s events.  But as much as cops want the DDAs to be on their side, it’s a problem when the community begins to believe the relationship between the Sheriff and the DA is corrupted.  As it now appears to be in Los Angeles.

It’s a problem because each agency investigates the other.  When a deputy involved shooting occurs, the public is reassured by knowing impartial investigations are occurring.  That helps the cops.  And they probably are occurring.  But, when the District Attorney is fundraising for the Sheriff…does it look good?  Does the likely public reaction to that help us?  We don’t think so.

After all, it was wrong when Attorney General Eric Holder called himself Barack Obama’s “wingman”.  It’s wrong when Jackie Lacey throws fundraisers for the sheriff.

Justice can’t be blind when she’s got a fat stack of bennies in her hand.

As the Los Angeles Times editorial board recently observed, “The justice system depends on public trust. The perception that district attorneys are too close to police to properly proceed against officers may be just as dangerous whether or not it is true.”

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Former District Attorney Steve Cooley, Sheriff McDonnell, Current District Attorney Jackie Lacey at a Campaign Fundraiser

Sheriff McDonnell Reportedly Spends At Least $1.4 Million Per Year on Chauffeurs

Today in corruption news, a new report from within the Sheriff’s Department indicates that Sheriff McDonnell spent at least $1.4 million of taxpayer dollars on his personal chauffeurs in the last year alone.

While prior sheriffs (such as the community-beloved Sheriff Baca) made do traveling the county with a single driver in a Mercury Marquis, Sheriff McDonnell’s “detail” (cuz he’s like a president) now numbers as many as ten deputies and sergeants.  A blog covering corruption within the Sheriff’s Department, Surruo.com, reports that all-told the costs for this extravagance total at least $1.4 million and probably more.

By Surruo’s reasonable (and frankly low-ball) estimate the costs include:

  • $100,000 for the sheriff’s personal GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate Black Edition SUV.  The hundreds of Ford Explorers the Department already owns weren’t good enough …because Charlie Beck has a Denali, so McDonnell needed one, too.lapdsheriffs.jpg
  • $960,000 dollars per year for the sheriff’s personal drivers.  These are deputies doing zero police work–they’re just driving Sheriff Miss Daisy and doing his laundry, making sure his chair is where he wants it, that his bottled water is good-to-go, working below the media radar, etc.
    • In fact, the total spent on salary is likely significantly more than $1 million, since one of the sheriff’s drivers *alone* made $532,849 in total compensation during 2015-2016.  Other sergeants on the sheriff’s detail rated similar salaries.  Nice work, if you can get it!  Real world, the figure is probably $2-3 million for staff alone, all-in.
    • Meanwhile, patrol stations can’t even get enough units for deputies to answer calls for service or back each other up and deputies are being drafted for mandatory extra shifts 6-8 times per month.
  • Add to this an additional $320,000 for Dodger Charger Pursuit vehicles personally assigned to each driver, replaced annually.  (What’s wrong with one of the 170,000 mile Crown Vics the deputies doing police work drive?)  Which is to say, they don’t pay for their commute.  Must be nice–especially when you’re making over a quarter million dollars per year.
  • Then factor in at least $9,000 in annual operating costs at 54 cents per mile, oil changes, tires, etc, bearing in mind few of these drivers live anywhere near the office.
  • Finally, assume $2,500 in key fobs for the Sheriff’s personal Ultimate Denali and $8,500 in other expenses (guns, gun racks, emergency equipment, air fresheners, tic-tacs, illegally tinted windows, etc.).

Anyhow, when it’s all said and done, it’s probably near $2 million wasted on Sheriff McDonnell’s vanity.

Nevermind that the Sheriff is tens of millions of dollars over his $3.2 BILLION budget and is reportedly releasing inmates (or has he already released them?) to demonstrate to the Board of Supervisors how he needs even more money!

After the Sheriff admitted to spending $300,000 on belt buckles to national humiliation (even though the real total was closer to $1 million), Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger stated, “With a $3 billion budget, the sheriff is entrusted by the voters of Los Angeles County with the flexibility to allocate department resources where he feels necessary — and I trust his judgement as to administrative matters under his authority.”

We wonder how she feels now…at least four million (?) dollars later…?

“The other four county supervisors declined to comment.”

I’m getting sick just writing about it.  For the full story–including allegations that the Sheriff’s personal Ultimate Denali was purchased illegally–see the original article from the gumshoes over at Surruo.

 

Orange County Sheriff Shows Leadership on Sanctuary Cities; LASD Waiting To See Where Winds Will Blow (As Usual)

From today’s Los Angeles Times:

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department on Monday made the release dates of jail inmates — including those in the country illegally — publicly available online, marking the latest local revolt against California’s so-called sanctuary laws.

Undersheriff Don Barnes said the action is in response to the harms done to the community under Senate Bill 54, which became law on Jan 1. and restricts local law enforcement’s cooperation with federal immigration authorities. Barnes and Sheriff Sandra Hutchens [formerly of LASD] vocally fought against it.

“We have an obligation to safeguard our community, and we will use every tool available to help hold criminals accountable,” Barnes said Monday. “Our inability to relinquish these individuals to the custody of (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) causes them to be returned to the communities which they prey upon.”

For the full story, click here.