Statement by ALADS President Ron Hernandez
Regarding Baca Corruption Conviction
Los Angeles, March 15, 2017 - ALADS President Ron Hernandez issued the following statement regarding the conviction of former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca on three federal charges for orchestrating a scheme to thwart an FBI investigation into inmate mistreatment in the jails he ran and of lying to the FBI.
  
Ron Hernandez
ALADS President
After hearing nine days of testimony, the jury clearly understood that the department suffered a failure in leadership under the Baca/Tanaka regime. As we have said over and over again, today's hardworking deputies should not be judged (or pre-judged) based on the past actions of others just as our current sheriff and executive staff would not want to have those evaluating their actions automatically assume they are continuing the misdeeds of Baca and Tanaka. However, we are still apprehensive that some people in the leadership of the department today were also in leadership under Baca/Tanaka and should have been minding the store.
 
ALADS continues to be concerned about the deputy sheriffs who became mired in the Baca/Tanaka scandal. We were disappointed by the sentences that were handed down to deputies in the past year for crimes relating to the scandal. While we will not suggest the number of years Mr. Baca should serve, justice requires that those who directed criminal conduct should not be the least punished. As we understand it, the disgraced sheriff faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
 
Our focus will now turn to working with the department in support of hiring the best candidates possible to be deputy sheriffs and district attorney investigators. History has taught us that hiring standards for law enforcement should not be relaxed. The opportunity for employment in a rewarding profession where you serve and protect others, with competitive pay and benefits, promotional opportunities and a secure retirement after a career of service, is the true path to attracting a diverse group of qualified candidates for the police force.
 
The verdict today is a sign that jurors will hold senior management accountable for the actions, decisions, and policies implemented by others. It is more important than ever that the sheriff be involved and aware of what administrators are doing in his name.
 
Finally, it is important to remind the people we serve that rank-and-file deputies are determined by their daily actions on the job, to show the public that the crimes committed by former department executives reflect only upon those executives and their leadership failures. We are not going to let the sins of former managers define our deputies, as that would not be an accurate representation of the honesty, hard work and integrity ALADS members and their co-workers exemplify every day. 

Ron Hernandez is the president of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs and can be reached at rhernandez@alads.org. The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS) is the collective bargaining agent representing more than 7,900 deputy sheriffs and district attorney investigators working in Los Angeles County.  

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