What next ?
I spent much of the morning at Sheriff's headquarters in Monterey Park listening to Sheriff Lee Baca patiently acknowledge that yes, the Department could've done a much better job in hiring former Office of Public Safety personnel as Sheriff's deputies. Yes they'll look into it. Yes this is a problem, and yes the Sheriff is used to dealing with problems.
For him, and apparently for the public that elects him, that's ok . The latest ‘'scandal'' if you want to call it that, revealed in a detailed LA Times investigation that revealed dozens of people hired as Deputies after the county's little known Office of Public Safety was disbanded about four years ago do not meet Sheriff's Dept hiring standards.
The Times says problems included having sex on duty, firing your gun at your spouse, lying on polygraph exams, falsifying police records, and so on. The former Undersheriff claims the County Board of Supervisors put ‘'significant pressure'' on the Sheriff's Dept to hire as many of the OPS people as possible, something Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky told me point blank was not true when I interviewed him this morning.
He said the Board made it quite clear they wanted any new hires to meet stringent Sheriff's dept standards. Apparently that didn't happen. Zev has long had issues with the way the Sheriff runs his department, as have other Supervisors, yet the Sheriff seems to have the proverbial Teflon coating, while dealing with a huge Dept populated, as he likes to say "By human beings." I do have to commend the Sheriff and his media relations people (who are quite professional, always available, and very friendly) for standing up and answering questions, even if he doesn't give much detail or information. We'll follow up.