L.A. NOW

Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Baca asks Sheriff’s Department watchdog to examine his handling of donor’s case

Beverly Hills business magnate Ezat Delijani, left, and Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca attend a ceremony formally dedicating the corner of 7th Street and Broadway as Ezat Delijani Square.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca asked his department’s watchdog Tuesday to review his handling of a case in which he was accused of giving preferential treatment to a long-time supporter who has donated to the sheriff’s political campaigns and given him expensive gifts.

Baca wants the Office of Independent Review to consider guidelines that would help him decide how to handle requests for investigations brought directly to his attention, including pleas from donors, celebrities and friends.

The request comes in response to a Times investigation showing that Baca personally directed detectives to go outside his agency’s jurisdiction to open a criminal investigation on behalf of Ezat Delijani, a Beverly Hills businessman.

Michael Gennaco, who heads up the Office of Independent Review, said his agency would use the Delijani case as a platform for considering new guidelines that could limit the perception of favoritism in cases brought to Baca.

On Monday, Gennaco said he did not intend to investigate the case, adding that he thought setting guidelines for launching criminal investigations on behalf of political donors might be impractical.

“I’m still saying that,” Gennaco said Tuesday about such guidelines. “It may end up just too difficult trying to draw these lines. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look at it and try.”

Gennaco said that there are some situations where favors for high-profile individuals can be violations of department policy, including expunging a ticket and unfairly reducing jail time.

Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said Baca, who is on a trip to the Middle East, called him with the request because “he has nothing to hide.” “He’s accountable to the public,” Whitmore said. “He doesn’t want even the perception of impropriety.”

Whitmore said that Baca does not believe he did anything improper. Department policy is to be “responsive to victims,” Whitmore said, and if Baca was asked to launch the Delijani case again, “he would do it again.”

In that case, sheriff's detectives investigated lease-forgery allegations against a tenant of Delijani’s. The case was assigned “rush” status and was initiated after the Beverly Hill Police Department had concluded it was a civil matter.

-- Robert Faturechi

Photo: Beverly Hills business magnate Ezat Delijani, left, and Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca attend a ceremony formally dedicating the corner of 7th Street and Broadway in L.A. as Ezat Delijani Square.

 
Comments () | Archives (10)

Baca asked his supporters to investigate him. I'm certain there will be no bias in his favor.

Said the wolf to the fox, "Would you mind looking into my handiling of the Chicken Coop Lease Case?"

I'll scratch your back, you scratch mine...

Nothing should prevent the Sheriff from re-investigating cases that a municipal police department has closed. The Sheriff can then be used as a "fresh pair of eyes" to determine if the first investigation was thorough and complete. There could also be circumstances wherein the first investigation was tainted by local pressure and the Sheriff may re-investigate the case on an unbiased basis.

The difficult thing about this situation is the presence of undue influence ab initio as the basis for a second look at Beverly Hills' PD's investigation.

WHY NOT HAVE THE ACLU OR ANOTHER UNBIASED SOURCE INVESTIGATE THIS MATTER. JUST TO BE FAIR. OR ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE OUTCOME SHERIFF BACA. PHONE # FOR ACLU IS (213)977-5252

Just unbelievable. Nothing to hide, right. Just did a favor for a contributor.

You did not contribute so I won't do you, Joe Public, any favors.

Watch Latimes censor this.

"Ab initio", Rob? Plain English is always preferred on these posts. In any event (in any eventio), I think Baca is not grasping what is causing this anger, why there is outrage about this matter. While it may be technically true that the investigation itself showed no preferential treatment (Baca seems to be saying that he would have done it for anybody who presented to him the same set of facts), knowing that a rich donor can get Baca on the phone to present such a set of facts WHEN YOU OR I COULD NOT GET WITHIN THREE OR FOUR LEVELS OF BACA NO MATTER HOW MUCH WE BEGGED OR PLEADED, is indeed preferential treatment. Let's look at that again--the investigation may not have been improper. The fact that a rich donor was able to ask him when most of us can't -- that is what's wrong. And putting a "Rush" on this investigation takes the whole affair to the level of ridiculousness. If he cannot understand all of this, or see the unfairness of it, then he is out of touch with the vast majority of his constituents.

Baca asked the Office of Independent Review which is on his Department payroll to investigate him and they found no wrong doing. How stupid does Baca this we are lol.


If wrongdoing is found the investigator gets fired lol

baca is a crook and needs to be removed from office

"The request comes in response to a Times investigation showing that Baca personally directed detectives to go outside his agency’s jurisdiction to open a criminal investigation on behalf of Ezat Delijani, a Beverly Hills businessman".

fOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF DEPARTMENTS JURISDICTION COVERS EVERY SQUARE INCH OF THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES. The last time I looked Beverly Hills is a part of Los Angeles county.


Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video

About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.

Categories




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: