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Sheriff names Tanaka as second-in-command

June 20, 2011 |  6:02 pm

Tanaka Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca named his new second-in-command Monday, promoting current Assistant Sheriff Paul Tanaka to the post.

The selection comes after last week’s retirement announcement by Undersheriff Larry Waldie, who officials said opted to leave his post after several surgeries during the last year.

Tanaka, who also serves as the mayor of Gardena, has long been considered a powerful voice within the department. His promotion is the latest in more than three decades in law enforcement, during which Tanaka has developed a reputation as a stern, no-nonsense manager.

Baca had indicated last week that Tanaka and the other assistant sheriff, Marvin Cavanaugh, were in the running for the post. While Waldie was out in recent months, Tanaka filled in.

Baca has called the position one of “widespread power and widespread authority.” The undersheriff oversees much of the department’s day-to-day affairs, including addressing legislative and operational concerns, and monitoring budgetary and personnel matters.

Chief Cecil Rhambo will be promoted as well, to fill the Tanaka vacancy, said sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore.


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-- Robert Faturechi

On Twitter: @RobertFaturechi

Photo: Paul Tanaka. Credit: L.A. County Sheriff's Department