Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sheriff Baca: Expect “No Apologies” on Retirement.

On Wednesday, January 29, 2014 Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca will give a “keynote” farewell speech at his retirement party. Those who have watched the sad demise of the four-term Sheriff might have expected Baca to make a speech consistent with his stated reasons for retirement; a desire to end the rancor and avoid any further tarnishing the image of the Sheriff’s Department with the scandals that have plagued Baca’s reelection bid.

Sheriff Baca has chosen Carmen Trutanich to be "Guest Speaker" at his retirement celebration. 
But Baca’s choice of failed former City Attorney and onetime District Attorney wannabe, Carmen “the Clown” Trutanich as his “Guest Speaker” at the farewell event, suggests that Baca is planning to deliver the same kind of blame-shifting no apologies “I’ve done nothing wrong” exit strategy that was the hallmark of each and every one of Trutanich’s many monumental failures.

This is not a joke. Trutanich is indeed slated to be "Guest Speaker" as Baca's retirement.
In June 2012, when Trutanich suffered a humiliating defeat in the District Attorney primary election, Baca was one of the last men standing at the San Pedro “Victory Party” when the LA Weekly reported that the self-anointed front-runner wasted no time in blaming the media for a "major league onslaught" against his candidacy. "Barack Obama is getting hammered right now," Trutanich said. "I think the negative campaign against me is worse."

Baca’s choice of guest speaker probably means we are in for more of the same, with the media to blame. It is truly a pity that Baca has chosen to mark the end of his career on such a low note with such a shabby guest speaker.

Sheriff Baca was to have delivered a keynote victory speech at Trutanich's
San Pedro Victory Party. It was not to be.
The specter of Trutanich has already cast a dark shadow over the event; many are opting to “be somewhere else” rather than be publicly associated with the kind of flawed morality and failed leadership that defined Trutanich’s brief tenure as City Attorney. And while many political and law enforcement leaders were willing to risk their reputations by attending a farewell event for Baca, the Trutanich factor pushes the envelope of acceptable political sacrifice too far. “I was stunned to see Trutanich named as guest speaker on the invitation,” one longtime Baca supporter said. “I love Lee, but Trutanich was a self-promoting piece of crap from the get go and I never understood why Lee allowed himself to be used by him.” he said, adding that he will send Baca a card rather than attend the event. Others have cited the “short notice” (invitations went out on Friday, 5 days before the event) as the reason they will be unable to change their schedules to attend.

Baca’s choice of Trutanich to herald his departure from the Department is also seen by many as yet another sign of the 48-year law enforcement veteran’s failing judgment. “Why would you want someone publicly branded as a liar by the LA Times, someone who shamelessly broke his promise to voters, and someone who spectacularly lost two elections, to be the guest speaker at your retirement?” an observer commented. “It undermines all the good that Sheriff Baca has done, and suggests he is the same as Trutanich.” he said.

Guest Speaker at Baca's retirement will forever be remembered by the LA Times headline
"Carmen 'I am a Liar' Trutanich"
As poorly advised as Baca must be to have someone like Trutanich as his retirement speaker, Baca cannot claim to be entirely unaware of the many reasons why he could not have picked a more unworthy and unpopular guest speaker. Baca was fully involved in many of the political scandals that torpedoed Trutanich’s DA campaign.

It started with Baca making an illegal “in uniform” endorsement for Trutanich.

That caused the Trutanich campaign to have to pull and edit their lavishly produced “True Stories” campaign video to remove the illegal endorsement. The added expense of removing the illegal endorsement was for naught, when days later, the reedited video was pulled altogether for violating YouTube’s “deceptive content policy” when the LA Times reported that Trutanich had paid for some 724,000 YouTube views, falsely claiming the video had “gone viral.”

Sheriff Baca must have been aware of moves by Trutanich to unlawfully divert a $2M
settlement check from the DA's Office to Baca, a 'political ploy' according to the DA
Baca also became embroiled in Trutanich’s failed attempt to divert a $2M consumer fraud settlement check to Baca. Trutanich tried to justify the diversion on the grounds that the money could be used to pay for processing rape kits. The diversion was not only illegal, but at the time there was no longer any backlog of rape kits. Tellingly, then District Attorney Steve Cooley described Trutanich's actions as a "political ploy."

Sheriff Baca was not involved in Trutanich's lie about being "surrounded and shot at by gangmembers"
but even he must have realized Trutanich's tale was sheer fantasy and utterly false.
Although Baca was not involved in the scandalous allegation that Trutanich had lied about being surrounded and shot at by gang members, as a law enforcement expert, even Baca must have realized that Trutanich’s tall tale of bravado in the face of death, was completely implausible.

An investigation by the FBI into fundraising activities on behalf
of Trutanich's failed DA campaign is said to be ongoing.
More recently, Baca was linked to the FBI’s investigation into improper fundraising activities in support of Trutanich’s failed DA campaign. That investigation is understood to be separate from the FBI’s inmate abuse investigation and is believed to be on going.

If Baca’s unwise association and involvement in many of Trutanich’s failings was not reason enough for many to shun the retirement event, there is another; the awful prospect of having to listen to another one of Trutanich’s overly long, often rambling and largely incomprehensible speeches. Some time ago, former Daily News Editor, Ron Kaye, published An Hour With Carmen Trutanich. It was, perhaps, intended to be a puff piece for Trutanich hailing his so-called accomplishments in the face of growing criticism. Kaye himself must have been surprised by the 24 comments he rapidly received, all of which likened the prospect of spending an hour with Trutanich to something akin to Chinese water torture or running fingernails down a chalkboard.

There is, of course, another reason why Baca may be stuck with Trutanich as guest speaker; perhaps nobody else wants the job. If that’s true, it’s a sad endnote to a career that despite a rocky ending, has some highlights. Baca has made huge progress in the jails with his Education By Incarceration program, offering inmates a chance to learn life skills to help them upon release. He has also saved the futures of many young people with his Youth Foundation. But to have those achievements, and many others, hailed by someone who will forever be remembered by the LA Times headline “Carmen ‘I am a Liar’ Trutanich,” is an insult to the Sheriff. For all his flaws, he deserves better than Trutanich.


Anonymous said...

How low can you go Sheriff Baca? Like many in LA, I supported you and would have voted for you if you hadn't decided to retire. But having a louse like Trutanich as your keynote speaker? You need to change your meds.

Anonymous said...

FYI Joe, there's a Facebook page devoted to Baca's retirement reception

2,000+ invited, 63 accepted, 10 maybes. No big names.

Anonymous said...

Great picture. Love to see the pair of them on the other side of the bars.

Anonymous said...

For your information, Carmen Trutanich was Sheriff Baca's first choice as guest of honor for his retirement party. In spite of all the lies you spread about Trutanich, he is an honorable man and a life long friend of the Sheriff. Wednesday night will be a sell out because two of the finest men in Los Angeles will be there, Carmen and Lee.

Anonymous said...

Uncle Fenster, get back on your meds!!

Anonymous said...

Pair of losers.

Anonymous said...

You really seem to relish in kicking a man when he's down. Sure Baca's had some bad luck recently, and being stuck with Nuch or nobody to speak at his retirement is humiliating, but come on, can't we get past all this negative stuff? Baca and Nuch are long time friends, I think Nuch said they met during his military service in the Coast Guard. Let them bow out gracefully and with the respect they deserve.

Anonymous said...

Long list of reasons why Baca should disinvite TruLIEtich. They are not lies, Mort aka 7:08 anon, but facts. Baca, like the rest of LA, should realize that Nouche the Douche is the kiss of death to anyone's career. He was fired because he was unfit for public office and Baca is gaga to have him in the same room on his retirement, never mind as guest speaker.

Anonymous said...

The one thing I think we can all glean from from Tanaka's meltdown on Jon and Ken is that this election for sheriff will be very revealing. I think we will all soon learn that even as loathsome as Trutanich is; his level of douchebaggery is nothing compared to the evil festering pit of contempt and slime that has guided the sheriff's department under the Baca/Tanaka regime. I think we are all in for an education