NPR Posts Interviews With McDonnell, Lindsey and Villanueva

Sheriff McDonnell was interviewed today on the National Public Radio program AirTalk today, the last of the three candidates for sheriff to appear on the show. Bob Lindsey and Alex Villanueva were already interviewed.

You can listen to McDonnell’s roughly 15 minute interview by clicking here.

NPR has also put together a helpful summary of all three candidates’ interviews, which is available here.


“I’m Not Going To Read Any More Of This Shit.”

Over 100 people turned out on Saturday for the second ACLU-sponsored debate between the candidates to be your next Los Angeles County Sheriff. But you know who didn’t? Jim McDonnell.

While, for the second time in two months Bob Lindsey and Alex Villanueva debated the future of criminal justice in Los Angeles County, the current occupant of the sheriff’s office didn’t have time for those assembled at Ward AME Church in South Los Angeles.

McDonnell’s disrespect for the community and to those who did find time to discuss LASD’s future did not go over well.

Frank Stoltze–a reporter covering law enforcement and political issues for 89.3 KPCC radio–moderated the debate and read McDonnell’s prepared responses to the booing crowd before stopping and declaring:

“I’m not going to read any more of this shit.”

Click For Video; 42 Min In


The ACLU has a two-part recording of the debate up. The links are below.

ACLU Sheriff Debate – Part I

ACLU Sheriff Debate – Part II


Alex Villanueva Gets On The Radio

Retired Lieutenant Alex Villanueva, who is also running for sheriff, appeared on the Southern California Public Radio show AirTalk today (89.3 KPCC FM). Bob Lindsey appeared two days ago and a recording will be provided in a subsequent post. Host Larry Mantle was vague as to whether McDonnell had committed to appear–which is noteworthy since McDonnell blew off a debate co-hosted by KPCC last month and it’s unclear if he will be appearing at another debate next weekend.

After a strong opening highlighting McDonnell’s ineffectiveness as sheriff, the focus turned to Villanueva’s lack of management experience, which he spun as a positive. He and Mantle discussed a number of policy issues, including Villanueva’s restrictive attitude toward CCW issuance.

To hear the full 15 minute interview, click here.

ACLU and NPR Spotlight McDonnell’s Blowing Off Saturday Debate

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California launched a website Monday to call public attention to the fact that the Sheriff of Los Angeles is an elected position and that Jim McDonnell, by refusing to participate in a debate this past Saturday, thinks he’s above making a case for the public trust he holds.

“Did you know that the Los Angeles County Sheriff is an elected official?” the ACLU asks. “The sheriff holds a tremendous amount of power with responsibilities… LA voters, it is up to YOU to decide who YOU think is the right sheriff for Los Angeles County.”

The site then lists bios for the candidates, explicitly noting that McDonnell refused to provide one.

Bob Lindsey
“I spent 32 years with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, serving in 24 different assignments, and obtained the rank of Commander. In this time of complex law enforcement issues, the community deserves transparency, can handle truth, and doesn’t need a politically motivated solution packages to mislead the residents of the county. I will give unending and unparalleled attention to the communities of Los Angeles County and to our beloved sworn and professional staff of the Sheriff’s Department.”

Mr. McDonnell did not provide a photo, bio, or website.

Alex Villanueva
“Villanueva has over 30 years experience with the LASD and was founding president of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Professional Association. A recognized reformer in the organization, Villanueva led the drive to ban smoking in the jail system and fought against corruption within the Baca administration. A military veteran, Villanueva holds a Doctorate in Public Administration and is a published author and educator in the field of criminal justice.”


The ACLU will be holding a second debate on Saturday, May 19 at 6 p.m, though it’s unknown if McDonnell will show up at that one either.  Click here if you’d like to attend.

Also out Monday, National Public Radio reporter Frank Stoltze summarized the ACLU debate, highlighting McDonnell’s refusal to participate and some of the unrefuted arguments against him.

“We do not value serving the community,” Alex Villanueva is quoted as saying of LASD’s recent culture, particularly under McDonnell. “We value self-service.”

Click here to read/hear Stoltze’s story.


Lindsey and Villanueva Debate in East LA but McDonnell Blows Off the ACLU & NPR Hosted Forum

It takes a special kind of hubris to blow off the people on which you are the most dependent.  To ditch the one that brung ya.  Yet that’s exactly what Sheriff McDonnell did on Saturday when he UTH’d a debate of sheriff candidates hosted by the ACLU of Southern California, moderated by Frank Stoltze, who covers both politics and the Sheriff’s Department for National Public Radio station 89.3 KPCC.  The event was held at East LA Community College.

Candidates Bob Lindsey and Alex Villanueva did show up, however, and debated serious issues for over an hour.  The ACLU live streamed the debate (a common courtesy ALADS failed to extend to members or the public when candidates addressed it two week ago) and their recording is copied below.  However, Bob Lindsey’s live stream had better audio and picture, so we are also including that.

You should definitely listen to the debate during your drive to work or something because important questions were asked, serious issues were discussed and real positions were taken.  But, to us, the MAIN STORY is that McDonnell failed not just to show up, but to even complete the written questionnaire the ACLU sent him.

McDonnell not showing up is a really big deal because McDonnell ran four years ago on a platform of transparency and of improving relationships with the community, and he was heavily dependent on the support from LA’s more liberal, NPR-listening, ACLU-aligned community.  And yet here he was showing absolute contempt for them (a feeling deputy sheriffs and many other constituencies already know far too well).

This is really bizarre behavior by McDonnell.  He seems to assume voter apathy gives him a lock on reelection.  That’s pretty shameful, undemocratic and pathetic behavior on its own.  But beyond that, it’s mistaken.

Between Villanueva’s Democratic Party endorsements and (to be honest) Hispanic last name, and Lindsey’s strong electoral, financial and social media support from many communities (Hispanic, African American, faith, deputies and their families, pro 2A, the cannabis community, and many others), it’s hard to understand how McDonnell thinks he gets over 50% of the vote on June 5.  It’s hard to understand how McDonnell thinks he gets over 30%.  He isn’t Sherman Block, Leroy Baca, Peter Pitchess or Eugene Biscailuz.  He’s been in the sheriff job for a minute, hasn’t gotten much of anything done, and people like him less than they used to.  So, his actions here are telling.

McDonnell won three years ago competing against a felon with one foot aboard the bus to Englewood Federal Prison, he hasn’t been around long enough to have much name recognition, and his relations with key community groups have only worsened since then.  In our analysis, it’s mainly just the LA establishment and the ACLU/KPCC left–the very folks he snubbed today.  The folks already upset with him over aggressively failing to deliver the transparency he promised (note KPCC’s Repeat podcast and the LA Times lawsuit).

As the moderator Frank Stoltze put it, the Sheriff of Los Angeles County is a very important position.  Far more important than the Los Angeles Chief of Police.  The issues should be debated and the candidates should show up.  Refusing to show up sends a message stronger than words.

Well, enough of our analysis.  Listen for yourself.  Here are the links.

From the ACLU


From Bob Lindsey’s Campaign

Part I

Part II


KPCC Reports Breakthroughs In Holding McDonnell Accountable

Southern California Public Radio reporter Annie Gilbertson posted an update to her recent six-part series on the mismanagement and lack of transparency by Sheriff McDonnell, who was elected four years ago on a platform of delivering precisely the opposite.  In today’s update, Gilbertson reports:

  • The Sheriff’s Department’s independent Office of Inspector General is looking into systemic issues around several questionable deputy involved shootings as well as in how the department mistreats its employees–and particularly those stupid enough to do proactive police work in this environment
  • She reports that Bob Lindsey is mounting a strong campaign to replace McDonnell as sheriff

The Sheriff’s Department, you’ll be surprised to learn, declined to comment (with anything of substance).  To hear the update, click below; to hear the full series, click here.


NPR’s Repeat Podcast Focuses on Secrecy and Politics Around Deputy Involved Shootings

Southern California Public Radio recently released a six-part podcast called “Repeat” which focused on the secrecy and politics around the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s deputy involved shootings.  KPCC reporter Annie Gilbertson examines a few sketchy LASD shootings–including by one deputy who was involved in three shootings in a seven month period.  From an LASD perspective, though, the most important episodes are #5 and the second half of #6, which focus on how Sheriff McDonnell either has very little idea what is happening inside the agency or he does know and is just lying about it. Definitely worth your listen.  Here’s the a link to the full series.