Los Angeles County Sheriff

By Christina Villacorte, Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 04/24/14, 10:19 PM PDT | Updated: 33 secs ago

SANTA MONICA>> All seven candidates for Los Angeles County Sheriff talked about transparency and accountability, jail construction and disciplining wayward deputies at their latest debate Thursday.

Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell, retired Undersheriff Paul Tanaka and Sheriff’s Lt. Patrick Gomez, Assistant Sheriffs Todd Rogers and James Hellmold, former Sheriff’s Cmdr. Bob Olmsted and Los Angeles Police Detective Supervisor Lou Vince faced off in the debate hosted by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups in Santa Monica.

Patrisse Cullors, executive director of Dignity and Power Now, one of the groups that organized the debate, was encouraged by their answers about increasing transparency and accountability through both the newly created Office of Inspector General and proposed civilian oversight body.

“I’m hearing largely that every candidate agrees with some sort of civilian oversight commission and I think that’s a huge sign,” she said. “That looks like we can work with the one who comes into office.”

Even while the candidates discussed a range of topics, the themes of fairness and justice were common in many answers, a reflection of a department that has faced substantial criticism for alleged violence and abuse by deputies in the jails.

So, for example, when discussing disciplining wayward deputies, Tanaka stressed, “I’ve never condoned, tolerated and certainly never encouraged the use of excessive force or misconduct.”

And on a recently released $2.7-billion construction proposal for the jail system, McDonnell said, “It’s not just about infrastructure but … how we run the jail, treat people with respect and dignity.”

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