Mixer: Sheriff’s office chicanery and shysters

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MixerBannerLA County Sheriff Lee Baca admits that mistakes were made in the hiring of dozens of officers with histories of misconduct. And a convicted sex offender has sued hundreds of Southland businesses under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

LA Times reporter Robert Faturechi, and Hillel Aron, who writes for the LA Weekly, join us for this week’s Mixer.

An LA Times investigation reports the LA County Sheriff’s Department gave jobs to officers who accidentally fired their weapons, had sex at work and solicited prostitutes.

These were officers and supervisors from the Office of Public Safety who applied to the County Sheriff’s Department in 2010.

At first, Sheriff Lee Baca said he was unaware of what was going on. And then, when pressed at an event this week, Baca said his undersheriff, Larry Waldie, was responsible for the hiring. In essence, throwing Waldie under, over and on top of the bus. For his part, Waldie said he was under pressure to hire as many county officers as possible.

Baca said maybe there should’ve been more than one person in charge of the process.

The Sheriff’s department says it has completed its initial review of the hirings. County supervisors are demanding a full investigation.

And this is all happening just as the department’s newly selected inspector general, Max Huntsman, starts his watchdog role, and as Baca runs for his fourth term as Sheriff.

There’s another story out this week, about a convicted sex offender who has sued hundreds of businesses under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Jon Carpenter – a convicted child molester, now quadriplegic – has sued companies and small business for everything from counter heights to ramps and accessibility to those who are wheelchair-bound.

Ensuring access, of course, isn’t a bad thing, but those lawsuits cost businesses money. Big corporations, which have lawyers on retainer, may be able to fight the suits, but small businesses by and large usually settle. In California, there’s a minimum payout of $4,000 in these types of suits.