Sheriff's candidates disclose fundraising progress

Sheriff's candidates disclose fundraising progress
Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell near the scene of an officer-involved shooting last year. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell came out strong in his first few months of campaigning for Los Angeles County sheriff, raising more than $307,000, but he's already spent almost $433,000, according to recently filed fundraising disclosure forms.

His donor list included names of many of his high-profile backers, including max contributions from current and former district attorneys Jackie Lacey and Steve Cooley.


Retired sheriff's commander Bob Olmsted showed little progress with his fundraising. His filing showed just under $46,000 in contributions. His campaign, however, has spent more than $226,000.

Before retiring, Olmsted oversaw the department's most troubled jails. He has described himself as a whistle-blower who tried to alert top brass, the media and the FBI to misconduct within the department.

Among the problems he most commonly spoke out about was sheriff's officials accepting campaign contributions from subordinate deputies, and how that creates a potential conflict of interest in promotions and assignments.

However, his records show he accepted money from many current Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies.

His campaign's spokesman, Dave Jacobson, said "it's not hypocritical."

"What it reflects is a lot of the deputies are looking for a transformational overhaul," Jacobson said.

Assistant Sheriff Todd Rogers raised more than $121,000 and has spent more than $113,000.

LAPD Det. Lou Vince reported raising $12,709 and spending just over $7,629. He said his campaign is "people-powered."

Some of the candidates' filings were not immediately available.

But recent fundraising records filed by Assistant Sheriff James Hellmold show his campaign has poached one of former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka's more notable supporters.

Hellmold's records show thousands of dollars of contributions coming in from Hollywood studio head Ryan Kavanaugh, his relatives and business associates. The campaign had to return multiple contributions from companies linked to Kavanaugh because it's unlawful for one person to donate more than $1,500.

A spokesman for Kavanaugh cited Hellmold's "deep commitment to public safety" in explaining the switch, and said that the Relativity Media head will be working to get Hellmold more entertainment industry supporters.

[Updated, 8:09 p.m. PDT, Monday, March 24, 2014: The spokesman added that "we initially believed we could contribute from each of Ryan's entities."]

Kavanaugh, a longtime sheriff's volunteer, became the focus of a sheriff's criminal investigation last year after landing his helicopter on a department helipad during the manhunt for ex-LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner. Kavanaugh's camp denied he impeded any law enforcement actions, and accused then-Sheriff Lee Baca of going after him as payback because he was supporting Tanaka. Prosecutors declined to file charges.