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Federal authorities have indicted 18 deputies and arrested 17. They're accused of corruption and civil rights abuses at downtown jails. One training officer is accused of overseeing beatings and showing trainees how to write false reports. Even visitors allegedly were abused — including the Austrian consul general. Also, two-thirds of LA County social workers stayed off the job last week, and protests continue today. We hear about child safety and other issues from a union member and a department head.

Image-for-WWLA.jpgOn our rebroadcast of To the Point, from Rhode Island to Illinois to California, state and local governments may be breaking their long-standing promise to public workers.  Guaranteed pension plans are said to be too expensive. How did they get that way? Is it the fault of people who took moderate wages for sometimes dangerous jobs in exchange for security in their old age?


Banner image: US Attorney André Birotte, Jr. (2nd R) stands next to Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office Bill Lewis (R) while speaking at a news conference in Los Angeles, California, December 9, 2013. Photo: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Making News FBI Arrests 17, Indicts 18 from LA County Sheriff's Department 22 MIN, 20 SEC

Illegal behavior has become institutionalized in the LA County Sheriff's Department, where some deputies "consider themselves to be above the law." That's according to US Attorney André Birotte, Jr. Today, he unsealed indictments alleging unjustified beatings of both jail inmates and visitors and conspiracies to cover up those actions. Eighteen deputies have been indicted and 16 are under arrest. Late this afternoon, Sheriff Lee Baca held a news conference to respond to the charges. Baca denied that abuse has become "institutionalized" but said he sadly accepted the US Attorney's investigation "whatever the findings are."

(Both Sheriff Baca and former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka declined our invitation to participate in this discussion.)

Andre Birotte, Jr., United States Attorney's Office
Max Huntsman, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Peter Eliasberg, ACLU of Southern California (@ACLU_SoCal)
Bob Olmsted, candidate for LA Sheriff
Celeste Fremon, WitnessLA.com (@witnessla)

Main Topic Social Workers Strike LA County 14 MIN, 49 SEC

The recent beatings and even deaths of children in county care have cast a negative spotlight on LA County's Department of Family and Children's Services. Last week, more than 2000 unionized social workers and supervisors stayed off the job — two-thirds of the workforce — as contract negotiations drag on. 

David Green, Service Employees International Union
Philip Browning, LA County Department of Children and Family Services


Warren Olney

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