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.
- $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.