Share this on:
 E-mail
88
VIEWS
1
COMMENTS
 
SHARES
About this iReport
  • Not verified by CNN

  • Posted October 3, 2012 by
    TheTruth53
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Sound off

    More from TheTruth53

    I'll Ask County Executives What the Board of Supervisors Needs to Do?? Read the LA County Charter Mark Ridley Thomas, Because You are the Chief Executive Officer of the 2nd Los Angeles County Supervisorial District!

     

    A mountain of Thanks to the initial whistleblowers.......

    http://www.aclu.org/files/assets/78162_aclu_jails_r2_lr.pdf

    If not for the initial whistle blowers, one or more ACLU lawyers, or other individuals who had the courage and duty to be truthful, slim chance exists that these atrocities would have ever been exposed or corrected.

    *****************************************************

    L.A. County jail violence sheriff's fault, panel says, Commission cites a 'failure of leadership' by Sheriff Lee Baca, proposes long list of fixes to halt abuse in L.A. County lockups.

    by Robert Faturechi and Jack Leonard, Los Angeles Times, 6:53 PM PDT, September 28, 2012

    A blue-ribbon commission blamed Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca on Friday for a pattern of excessive force by his deputies in the county jails, warning that Baca is running out of time to fix the problems.

    The commission, which includes several former judges and a police chief, said Baca did not listen to repeated warnings from the department's civilian watchdogs and inmates-rights advocates about conditions in the jail.

    The panel's scathing findings are expected to put pressure on the sheriff to more aggressively deal with problems in the nation's largest jail system, which is the subject of a wide-ranging FBI criminal investigation.

    Commissioners held Baca responsible for the scandal, which they attributed to a "failure of leadership." The panel's members said they considered calling for Baca to resign but decided against doing so, hoping that he would prove willing to carry out their recommendations.

    Commissioner Jim McDonnell, chief of the Long Beach Police Department, said he was concerned that federal authorities would ask a judge to order reforms if Baca does not immediately implement the long list of proposed fixes. Such a move by the federal government would limit Baca's ability to manage his own department and prove costly for the county.

    McDonnell and other commissioners said they were disappointed with Baca's testimony at a commission hearing earlier this year when the sheriff was asked how he could be held accountable and responded, "Don't elect me."

    "His statement seemingly reflects a lack of genuine concern," said Alex Busansky, a commissioner who is the president of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, an Oakland-based nonprofit. "Real leaders do not need an election to teach them the difference between right and wrong."

    Robert C. Bonner, a former federal court judge who headed the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in the early 1990s, said Baca "seems to have had his head in the sand." Still, Bonner said, he cautiously believed Baca would do what is right. "I hope I'm not proven wrong," he said.

    In his defense, Baca has said his senior managers never told him about jailer brutality but insists he has since taken dramatic steps to address the problems, such as creating an internal task force devoted to reforming his jails.

    Baca's spokesman, Steve Whitmore, rejected the commission's criticism of the sheriff.

    We believe that there is no failure of leadership," Whitmore said. "The sheriff believes that his… loudest critics can be his best teachers."

    Whitmore said Baca needed time to review the commission's recommendations before he could determine whether he would carry them all out.

    The commission, which was created by the Board of Supervisors last year to examine allegations of jail abuse, released a 194-page report recommending more than 60 reforms that included a management shake up, harsher penalties for excessive force and dishonesty and the formation of a new civilian watchdog.

    "If a chief executive officer in private business had remained in the dark or ignored problems plaguing one of the company's primary services for years, that company's board of directors likely would not have hesitated to replace the CEO," the report said.

    As an elected official, Baca cannot be forced to implement any of the commission's recommendations, but Supervisor Gloria Molina has said she would call for his resignation if he refuses to embrace the reforms. The commission's general counsel, Richard E. Drooyan, said it would be up to voters to hold Baca accountable if the sheriff fails to act decisively.

    "If he doesn't fix the jails," Drooyan said, "he should not be reelected."

    The release of the report is a major milestone in a jail abuse scandal that erupted more than a year ago when The Times revealed the FBI was secretly investigating the jails. Federal agents went so far as to smuggle a cellphone through a corrupt jailer to an inmate working as a confidential informant. Other allegations of abuse and mismanagement followed in subsequent months.

    The commission based its report on interviews with current and former sheriff's officials, other jailhouse witnesses, testimony from experts and internal department records. Its investigation painted a grim image of Baca's jails over the years. Among the findings were that top supervisors made jokes about inmate abuse, encouraged deputies to push ethical boundaries and ignored alarming signs of problems with excessive force.

    Deputies "have used force against inmates when the force was disproportionate to the threat posed or there was no threat at all," the commission concluded. It also addressed Baca's contention that his underlings kept him in the dark: "A leader who does not want to hear about problems will not be told of them by those who work under him, and this appears to be the case here."

    The report criticized the sheriff for not disciplining senior managers who failed to address the jail problems, which commissioners wrote sent "a troubling message to a department in need of a clear directive that accountability is expected and will be enforced at all levels."

    The commission acknowledged that Baca has taken some steps to deal with the problems but said far more needed to be done.

    The panel called on Baca to become "personally engaged in oversight of the jails" and to "hold his high level managers accountable for failing to address use of force problems." Undersheriff Paul Tanaka, Baca's top assistant, should have no responsibility for the department's custody operations, the commission said. The commission accused Tanaka of exacerbating the jail's problems by encouraging deputies to push the legal boundaries and discouraging supervisors from disciplining deputies involved in misconduct.

    The commission called for the creation of an Office of Inspector General that would report to the Board of Supervisors and provide independent oversight of the sheriff's department, conducting its own investigations, monitoring jail conditions and reviewing the department's audits and inspections.

    Such a move would represent an historic transformation of the department's civilian monitoring and would echo reforms made by the city two decades ago in the wake of the 1991 videotaped beating of Rodney G. King. But any similar office at the county would have at least one significant difference. The city's inspector general reports to an independent civilian police commission that has the authority to fire the police chief, who is not elected.

    Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said he would ask county executives to investigate what the Board of Supervisors would need to do to create a civilian commission and an inspector general to oversee the sheriff's department.

    "We can be sure of one thing," he said in a statement, referring to the commission's findings, "the Sheriff's Department cannot police itself."

    Among the commission's other recommendations were:

    *Appointing a new head of custody with experience managing a large correctional facility who would answer directly to the sheriff.

    *Revamping investigations and discipline of deputy misconduct and ending the practice of allowing sergeants to probe force incidents involving deputies they directly supervise.

    *Establishing a firm zero-tolerance policy for acts of dishonesty.

    *Creating a separate custody division with a professional workforce who would spend their careers in the jails.

    *Adding more supervisors to monitor deputies in the jails.

    *Creating a new internal audit and inspections division.

    robert.faturechi@latimes.com, jack.leonard@latimes.com

    Copyright © 2012,  Los Angeles Times

    *******************************************

    L.A. County using cameras to combat wrongful jailings

    Incidents expose flaws in civilian oversight of Sheriff's Dept.

    *****************************************************************

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_kNc4dabPA

    YouTube: "120108 antonovich oath of office" Uploaded by joycemediainc on Dec 1, 2008

    Oath of Office, LA County Board of Supervisors: "I, (Name of Supervisor), during such times as I hold the office of Supervisor (District of Office) of the County of Los Angeles, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California, against all enemies foreign (terrorist enemies of the U.S., illegal immigrants, un-American or un-Constitutional anything and everything, etc.and domestic (treasonous individuals or organizations, any Police Chief who condones this and the Police Chief's rogue police officers, unethical or criminal elected officials or public servants, illegal aliens or his or her advocates, un-American anything and everything), and that I will bear true faith and allegiance, to the Constitution of the United States , the Constitution of the State of California, and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter."

    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-182700

    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-838475

    An oath of office must be signed and sworn to by each Board Member and Alternate Board Member, prior to commencement of service. The oath of office form, including instructions for completing and filing, are included with notification from the Executive Officer upon appointment by the Board of Supervisors.

    http://file.lacounty.gov/lac/charter.pdf

    "Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said he would ask county executives to investigate what the Board of Supervisors would need to do to create a civilian commission and an inspector general to oversee the sheriff's department."

    http://bos.co.la.ca.us/AboutUs/ExecutiveOfficeoftheBoard.aspx

    I'll, (meaning Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas) ask County Executives what the Board of Supervisors needs to do??

    "ARTICLE I, Name and Rights of the County , Section 1. The County of Los Angeles, as it now exists, is a body corporate and politic, and as such has all the powers specified by the constitution and laws of the State of California, and by this Charter, and such other powers as are necessarily implied.

    Section 2. The powers mentioned in the preceding Section can be exercised only by a Board of Supervisors, or by agents and officers acting under their authority or by authority of law of this Charter.

    Section 3. The corporate name shall be "County of Los Angeles," which must be thus designated in all actions and proceedings touching its corporate rights, properties and duties. Its boundaries and County seat shall remain the same as they now are, until otherwise changed by law.

    ARTICLE II. Board of Supervisors

    Section 9. The Board of Supervisors shall elect a Chairman, who shall preside at all meetings. In case of his absence or inability to act, the members present must, by an order entered of record, select one of their number to act as Chairman pro tem. Any member of the Board may administer oaths, when

    necessary in the performance of his official duties. A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum, and no act of the Board shall be valid or binding unless a majority of the members concur.

    ARTICLE III. General Powers of the Board of Supervisors

    Section 10. The Board of Supervisors shall have all the jurisdiction and power which are now or which may hereafter be granted by the constitution and laws of the State of California or by this Charter.

    Section 11. It shall be the duty of the Board of Supervisors: (1) To appoint all County officers other than elective officers, and all officers, assistants, deputies, clerks, attaches and employees whose appointment is not provided for by this Charter.

    http://bos.co.la.ca.us/BoardMeeting/LiveBroadcast.aspx

    http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=16274

    http://bos.co.la.ca.us/AboutUs/BoardofSupervisors.aspx

    Read the LA County Charter, 2nd District LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, because you are the Chief Executive Officer of the 2nd Los Angeles County Supervisorial District!

    "CHARTER- We, the people of the County of Los Angeles, do ordain and establish for its government this Charter."

    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-844004

    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-96615

    The people, namely U.S. born or legal immigrant status taxpaying residents of the 2nd Los Angeles County District are your boss. You are the Chief Executive Officer who has the power to oversee the Sheriff's Department (Chief Baca) or any other County Agency in the 2nd Los Angeles County District.

    The only member of the Board of Supervisors who has more authority over all the LA County Supervisorial Districts than you, is the Chairperson of the Board of Supervisors and not any agent and officer acting under the Authority of the LA County Board of Supervisors. Although the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors has this authority, you are still the CEO of the 2nd Los Angeles County District, who is held accountable for concerns, issues, matters that involve residents of the 2nd Los Angeles County Supervisorial District.

    *****************************************************

    A mountain of Kudos to the initial whistleblowers.......

    http://www.aclu.org/files/assets/78162_aclu_jails_r2_lr.pdf

    If not for the initial whistle blowers, one or more ACLU lawyers, or other individuals who had the courage and duty to be truthful, slim chance exists that these atrocities would have ever been exposed or corrected.

    Oath of Office, LA County Board of Supervisors: "I, (Name of Supervisor), during such times as I hold the office of Supervisor (District of Office) of the County of Los Angeles, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California, against all enemies foreign (terrorist enemies of the U.S., illegal immigrants, un-American or un-Constitutional anything and everything, etc.) and domestic (treasonous individuals or organizations, any Police Chief who condones this and the Police Chief's rogue police officers, unethical or criminal elected officials or public servants, illegal aliens or his or her advocates, un-American anything and everything), and that I will bear true faith and allegiance, to the Constitution of the United States , the Constitution of the State of California, and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter."

    Lies Don't Keep Us Safe. Keeping Us Safe Requires Respect for the Rule of Law and the Constitution. The government's argument is untenable. “The government cannot, under any circumstance, affirmatively mislead the court” by U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney

    "Insisting on honesty as the only policy, the supreme ruled Wednesday that public employees can be punished for lying, even when they merely deny an accusation that later turns out to be true”.

    “ …….Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. 'An employee who is asked about possible wrongdoing has only two legal choices: Tell the truth or say nothing”. (LA Times, January 22, 1998.)

    ........"Tell the Truth or Say Nothing" also applies to any U.S. President, Congressional office holder, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, U.S. Attorney General, court official, court clerk, Deputy City Attorney, Judge, elected official, lawyer, journalist, etc.

    Note: All hypertext are a link to actual court documents, signed affidavits, official correspondence, and other reputable sources.

    What do you think of this story?

    Select one of the options below. Your feedback will help tell CNN producers what to do with this iReport. If you'd like, you can explain your choice in the comments below.
    Be and editor! Choose an option below:
      Awesome! Put this on TV! Almost! Needs work. This submission violates iReport's community guidelines.

    Comments

    Log in to comment

    iReport welcomes a lively discussion, so comments on iReports are not pre-screened before they post. See the iReport community guidelines for details about content that is not welcome on iReport.

    Add your Story Add your Story