Re "In Baca's parallel universe," Column, Dec. 11
Recently, The Times has cast both Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca in a negative light.
Both have excellent records of inclusiveness of all ethnic groups in their service to the people of Los Angeles County. Their tenures have been marked by significant cultural shifts that forced them to make many changes.
It is true that tiny minorities of those in their respective vast organizations committed reprehensible acts. Both men inherited cultures of secrecy and cover-up, in which public image and avoidance of scandal were of paramount importance. Under Mahony's leadership as archbishop, the L.A. Roman Catholic Archdiocese implemented strict policies for the protection of children.
In my opinion, L.A. County has been enriched by Mahony's and Baca's leadership.
Anyone who thinks that the jail abuse scandal will persuade only voters who care about inmates to oppose Baca in 2014 must not be a taxpayer.
During fiscal year 2011-12, lawsuits against the Sheriff's Department cost county taxpayers about $37 million. In October, a jury awarded punitive damages to be paid by Baca personally, and that was before the federal government indicted 18 current and former members of his department.
It is hard to imagine that jurors are not going to have these indictments in the backs of their minds when they consider future lawsuits. At this rate, Baca and his department might bankrupt the county.
I do not want to keep paying for Baca's mismanagement.
Cheryll Dudley Roberts
Columnist Steve Lopez is spot on. The measure of a man is how he treats those with the least power over him. Baca has clearly failed that test with his department's treatment of inmates.
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