I recently read that Mayor Nancy Walsh of Sierra Madre endorsed Paul Tanaka for Sheriff of L. A. County. I have the following questions for her:
1. Does she know that an independent commission in the County of L. A. stated that Tanaka was responsible for the jails and he encouraged a culture of brutality and it urged his firing? ( Per L. A. Times)
2. Does she know that Tanaka has stated that Baca told him to run the jails and that Baca was responsible for the abuse and corruption; and that Tanaka stated that "If your boss tells you to do something, you do it." ? What about ethical behavior and not doing something that is unethical, Mayor?
3. Does she realize that as Mayor of a city which has its own Police Department, she has no reason to offer her opinion on Tanaka, unlike the Mayors of Temple City and Rosemead who employ the Sheriff to patrol their cities, who have endorsed Tanaka?
4. Does she realize that the citizens of Sierra Madre may not feel the same as she does about endorsing Tanaka or any other candidate and that she should keep her endorsement on a personal level and not in an official capacity as Mayor?
5. Finally, does she realize that the position that Tanaka is seeking as Sheriff is significantly different from being mayor/city council member of the City of Gardena? There is no comparison! However, both are political!
Sierra Madre, CA
(Mod: To highlight what Pat is saying, I'm including a portion of an article that appeared in the L. A. Times on January 10. Link here.)
Problems at the Sheriff's Department will outlive Baca's tenure - The shock of Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca's resignation is fading and the jockeying among his would-be successors is ramping up.
Two of Baca's assistant sheriffs, a trio of high-ranking retirees and several current and former LAPD officers are considering throwing their hats in the ring; some have already launched their campaigns.
But it's naive to think that electing a new sheriff will remedy problems that have been building for decades.
The institutionalized thuggery in the department began before Baca's tenure and will persist beyond his departure unless something fundamentally changes. Top-ranking insiders who accommodated that culture share responsibility for the department's failures and shortcomings.
The county jail has been considered a cesspool since many of its current deputies were toddlers. A 1992 investigation found rampant abuse of inmates by guards and lax discipline by their commanders — the same problems found by a citizens' commission studying the jail in 2012.
Beyond the lockups, tattooed, gang-like cliques of deputies — like the bunch that embarrassed the sheriff by brawling at a Christmas party a few years ago — have been part of the department's culture for more than 40 years, and cost the county millions of dollars in brutality claims.
One of the men who'd like to succeed Baca, former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka, belonged to the most notorious clique when he was a sergeant in the 1980s at the scandal-plagued Lynwood station. That group, the Vikings, was labeled a "neo-Nazi white supremacist gang" by a federal judge.
Last year, Tanaka retired from the department after the commission investigating the jails blamed him for promoting a culture of favoritism, aggression and misconduct.
Last month, a federal probe led to brutality charges against 18 current and former deputies. The accusations include trying to intimidate an FBI agent and beating up not only inmates but jail visitors.
Now Tanaka, Baca's right-hand man for years, is trashing his former boss and promising "new direction and leadership" if we elect him.
(Mod: Embarrassed yet, Sierra Madre?)
Governor Brown Declares Drought State Of Emergency (link) - With California facing water shortfalls in the driest year in recorded state history, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today proclaimed a State of Emergency and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for these drought conditions.
“We can’t make it rain, but we can be much better prepared for the terrible consequences that California’s drought now threatens, including dramatically less water for our farms and communities and increased fires in both urban and rural areas,” said Governor Brown. “I’ve declared this emergency and I’m calling all Californians to conserve water in every way possible.”
In the State of Emergency declaration, Governor Brown directed state officials to assist farmers and communities that are economically impacted by dry conditions and to ensure the state can respond if Californians face drinking water shortages. The Governor also directed state agencies to use less water and hire more firefighters and initiated a greatly expanded water conservation public awareness campaign (details at http://www.saveourh2o.org).
In addition, the proclamation gives state water officials more flexibility to manage supply throughout California under drought conditions.
State water officials say that California’s river and reservoirs are below their record lows. Manual and electronic readings record the snowpack’s statewide water content at about 20 percent of normal average for this time of year.
(Mod: Water Wise Jerry is now talking about statewide 20% reductions in water usage. This could get interesting.)
Blogger protected by 1st Amendment, appeals court says (L. A. Times link) - A federal appeals court unanimously overturned a defamation award against a blogger Friday, ruling that 1st Amendment protections for traditional news media extend to individuals posting on the Web.
“The protections of the 1st Amendment do not turn on whether the defendant was a trained journalist, formally affiliated with traditional news entities,” Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz wrote for a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The panel said its holding was the first of its kind within the 9th Circuit but that other circuit courts already have extended protections for journalists to individual speakers.
The case was brought by Obsidian Finance Group and one of its principals, Kevin D. Padrick. Writing on several websites she created, blogger Crystal Cox accused them of fraud, corruption and other misconduct.
(Mod: Someone call Diane Feinstein - link - and give her this exciting news.)