LAT Editorial: An insider bashes Baca

Via LA Times

Paul Tanaka was once a trusted aide to Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and, in the view of many department critics, the real power behind the badge. But earlier this year, Tanaka was forced out of his job, and now, in a jaw-dropping interview with The Times' Robert Faturechi, he has accused Baca of a variety of misdeeds, including nepotism, fostering a culture of abuse and putting politics (and foreign travel) ahead of public safety.

Whether those charges are accurate or merely the angry allegations of your typical disgruntled former employee is not yet clear. After all, Tanaka himself has been repeatedly accused of encouraging misconduct and abuse; he's got plenty of incentive to try to shift the blame.

But for this: The picture Tanaka painted of Baca is not an unfamiliar one. Erratic, confused — these are recognizable traits to those who have met with the mild-mannered sheriff. So is his apparent failure to effectively manage the people who work for him or to adequately control the vast department he is supposed to oversee.

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