Mixer: County lockup and Clippers lockout

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Douglas Morino reports for the newly-created Los Angeles Register, and  Ben Bolch covers the NBA for the LA Times. They both joined us for this week’s Mixer.

The LA County Board of Supervisors, who voted this week to approve a nearly $2 billion plan to tear down and then rebuild Men’s Central Jail and build a campus-like women’s jail at the former Mira Loma Detention Center.

Central Jail, located in downtown LA, is 50 years old, and there have been calls for it to be replaced for years.

Supervisors in support of the proposal say they believe a new facility will bring the jail system up to date and mitigate the problems of suicides, inhumane treatment and use of excessive force among sheriff’s deputies.

But there’s also a large, black cloud that continues to hang over the LA County Sheriff’s Department, with nearly two dozen federal indictments stemming from abuse and corruption. There’s also the US Justice Department probe into the treatment of mentally ill inmates that is ongoing.

The feds could step in to operate county jails anyway.

Shifting from hard time to hardwood, Donald Sterling’s estranged wife, Los Angeles Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling, says she thinks she’s legally entitled to retain ownership of the team and will try to do so even as the NBA moves to force a sale of the Clippers.

The Los Angeles Times quotes Shelley Sterling saying that she believes NBA sanctions against Mr. Sterling do not apply to her or her family. Which could jeopardize the league’s efforts to sell the team from under the Sterling name.

It’s certainly curious that the league wasn’t aware of (or misjudged) the ownership structure of the Clippers organization.

Whatever happens, lawsuits will outlast the shot clock.

Meanwhile, the Clippers are playing on in the Western Conference Semifinals, with their Oklahoma City Thunder series tied so far going into tonight’s game at Staples Center.