Los Angeles County Sheriff

By Sarah Favot, Pasadena Star-News
Posted: 01/23/14, 7:45 PM PST |

COMMERCE >> An annual review of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which was issued Thursday, detailed instances of sex, lies and innovative uses of videotape.

The 86-page report by the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review, outlined eight cases of alleged sexual misconduct, two instances of false police reports, lies about a use-of-force incident, but also detailed the success of the implementation of surveillance video cameras in the downtown jails.

The OIR, a civilian oversight body created by the county Board of Supervisors, is responsible for making sure internal affairs investigations are thorough and effective and the recommended discipline for deputies is fair.

“LASD’s way of doing business in the jails with regard to its attitude towards force has undergone a sea change,” the report noted. “The most significant change agent that has been introduced into the equation is the installation of video cameras. The Department  … is no longer completely reliant on ‘observations’ of inmates and jail deputies to try to figure out what has occurred.”

The Sheriff’s Department has come under increased scrutiny in recent months after the FBI indicted 18 current and former sheriff’s deputies accused of corruption and civil rights violations in county jails, investigations into the excessive use of force in the Men’s Central Jail, the hiring of officers who had committed serious misconduct and Sheriff Lee Baca’s decision to retire at the end of the month.

OIR’s Chief Attorney Michael J. Gennaco said he would give Baca a grade of “Improvement” based on the review, above a “Needs Improvement.”

“I’m not saying he’s all the way, there’s a lot more that needs to be done,” Gennaco said.

The report was the OIR’s 11th annual review.

“I don’t think the department is a mess,” Gennaco said. “I think the department is large. It has a lot of improvement to make, and every day I’m either heartened or disheartened by things I learn that deputies are doing.”

To read entire story, click here.