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Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca announces his unexpected retirement on January 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Baca has decided to leave the beleaguered sheriff's department at the end of January rather than fight for a fifth term.
Writer Celeste Fremon details the fall of Lee Baca in the latest issue of Los Angeles magazine. The story also focuses heavily on Paul Tanaka, a candidate for Los Angeles County Sheriff, and the work culture Baca and Tanaka created.
"Sheriff Lee Baca fancied himself a visionary. His number two, Paul Tanaka, considered himself a force to be reckoned with. Together they allowed one of the nation’s most powerful law enforcement agencies to drift into a morass of scandal that compelled both to retire," Fremon writes.
Statement from Campaign Spokesman Reed Galen:
"We fundamentally disagree with the story and how it portrays Paul Tanaka’s character and his record with the Sheriff’s Department. We cooperated with Ms. Fremon on multiple occasions, providing insight and clarity to some of her attacks and little to nothing was used of those conversations. Ms. Fremon’s story is a one-sided hit piece that explores old and tired attacks on an individual who has dedicated over 30 years of his life to public safety in Los Angeles County. She has built her career by tearing down public safety officials and it is clear this story is no different.”
Statement from Paul Tanaka:
Celeste Fremon, creator and editor of WitnessLA.com and an award-winning journalist specializing in gangs, law enforcement and criminal justice. She is the author of “Downfall,” which details the fall of Lee Baca, in the March issue of Los Angeles magazine.