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EDITORIAL WHO'S IN CHARGE? CORRUPTION IN COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT?



STEALING hundreds of dollars can, in Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. , land you in the county jail. So what, then, is the penalty for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the county jail itself?

Apparently nothing.

According to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 county Auditor-Controller Tyler McCauley, the corporation that runs the inmate INMATE. One who dwells in a part of another's house, the latter dwelling, at the same time, in the said house. Kitch. 45, b; Com. Dig. Justices of the Peace, B 85; 1 B. & Cr. 578; 8 E. C. L. R. 153; 2 Dowl. & Ry. 743; 8 B. & Cr. 71; 15 E. C. L. R. 154; 2 Man. & Ry. 227; 9 B. & Cr.  stores in county jails, Compass Group The British company Compass Group LSE: CPG is one of the largest food service businesses in the world. It provides catering services to many types of institutions, for example schools, hospitals, companies and nursing homes.  USA Inc., ripped off inmates and the public to the tune of $640,213.

The money, a portion of Compass' jail profits, was supposed to go to inmate services, but never did.

How could the Sheriff's Department, which is charged not only with overseeing the jails but also ensuring law and order in L.A. County, have failed to stop this abuse? How could no one have noticed during the six years this kind of improper spending went on?

Good questions.

Unfortunately, there's no good answer -- although there are plenty of bad ones, such as:

The $169,465 Compass spent on "client hospitality" -- wining and dining Sheriff's Department employees.

The $304,291 Compass gave to the sheriff's Youth Foundation.

The $147,211 Compass paid for Sheriff's Department retirement parties and the Baker-to-Vegas relay, the annual long-distance run involving Sheriff Lee Baca Leroy David Baca (b. May 27 1942, East Los Angeles, California) is the Sheriff of Los Angeles County, California.

After graduating from Benjamin Franklin High School (Los Angeles) in 1960, Baca worked his way through East Los Angeles College before starting with the L.A.
 and other law- enforcement officials.

Could it be that Compass was able to shortchange short·change  
tr.v. short·changed, short·chang·ing, short·chang·es
1. To give (someone) less change than is due in a transaction.

2.
 inmate services because it was lavishing its generosity on Sheriff's Department officials instead?

And isn't it illegal for county employees to get all these goodies good·y 1   Informal
interj.
Used to express delight.

n. also good·ie pl. good·ies
Something attractive or delectable, especially something sweet to eat.
 from a contractor?

Well, yes, it is, but here's the hitch: The records don't show us which department employees benefited from Compass' good will, so it's impossible to tell who, if anyone, broke the law.

That answer isn't good enough. Law enforcement has a lot of tools to get at the truth in matters such as these, starting with the county grand jury.

Since Baca is the man in charge, responsible for what goes on in his department, it's up to the district attorney to live up to his promise to get tough on public corruption.

Taxpayers have a right to know the whole truth.
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Title Annotation:Editorial
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:May 2, 2007
Words:337
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