Oakland, California, officer killed while answering burglary call; shooter being sought, police say

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — An Oakland, California, police officer was shot and killed Friday while answering a report of a burglary at a marijuana dispensary, authorities said.

Tuan Le, 36, was one of several who responded to a report of a burglary in progress at the cannabis business near Jack London Square at about 4:30 a.m., about 3 1/2 hours after an earlier burglary was reported at the same business, authorities said.

The arriving uniformed and plainclothes officers saw several people leaving the business and one opened fire several times, hitting the officer, who was in plainclothes and driving an unmarked car, interim Police Chief Darren Allison said at a news conference.

Other officers took the wounded officer to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead about four hours after the shooting.

“Officer Le was surrounded by his wife, mother, and members of his OPD family when he died,” a statement from the city said.

No officers returned fire, the chief said.

No arrests were immediately made, but Allison said investigators were following up on a lot of “actionable” evidence. He didn’t provide details.

“The dangers and demands of this profession are real, and come with significant sacrifice,” the chief said. “Sadly, today, one of our officers paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

Le was born in Saigon in Vietnam and later moved to Oakland, becoming a naturalized citizen in 2001, the city’s statement said.

He graduated from the police academy in 2020 and for the past two years served as community resource officer in West Oakland, the statement said.

“He will be remembered for his kindness, his smile, and the positive change he brought to the lives of those around him,” the statement said. “He is a true hero who dedicated his life to making our community safer.”

Mayor Sheng Thao called the killing a senseless act of violence and said she was devastated by the officer’s death.

“I know the entire Oakland community feels the profound impact of this loss,” she said in a statement.

“I am proud of the officers who responded this morning and carried their brother to the hospital on their shoulders,” Barry Donelan, president of the Oakland Police Officers’ Association, said in a statement. “Their actions personified what it means to be an Oakland police officer. As we mourn, rest assured that we are also determined to bring this cop killer to justice.”

Click here to read the full article in AP News

California homeless man found not guilty in attack with pipe on former San Francisco fire commissioner

Garret Doty’s public defender said he was acting in self-defense after Donald Carmignani sprayed him with bear spray

A homeless man who brutally attacked the former San Francisco fire commissioner was found not guilty on all charges Friday.

Garret Doty, the now 25-year-old homeless man who was accused of beating 54-year-old Donald Carmignani repeatedly over the head with a metal pipe on April 5, faced two counts of assault and one count of battery.

Deputy Public Defender Kleigh Hathaway argued that Doty acted out of “fear for his life and fought back to protect himself.”

In a press release, the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office said that Carmignani’s attorneys previously shared only “select video footage” from the incident-leaving out how the altercation began.

Doty’s defense attorneys argued that Carmignani instigated the altercation and sprayed the homeless man with bear spray and threatened to stab and kill him if he did not move his belongings. 

Carmignani previously said that three homeless people had set up an encampment near his mother’s front door, and she was afraid to leave her house in Marina District.

The San Francisco Public Defender’s Office said that after Carmignani allegedly threatened Doty, he decided to arm himself with a metal rod he found in a garbage bin.

FORMER SAN FRANCISCO FIRE COMMISSIONER SLASHED AND BEATEN WITH PIPE DAYS AFTER BOB LEE STABBING

The public defender’s said that 15 minutes later, Carmignai, “stood against a building and baited Doty to come closer” before spraying him with bear spray and ensuring the violent altercation.

A previous video released by Carmignani show Doty marching towards him with the metal rod and repeatedly hitting him.

Following the violent attack, Carmignani had 51 stitches, a fractured skull and a broken jaw.

Deputy Public Defenders Kleigh Hathaway said that it was “clear to her” that Doty was acting in self-defense against Carmignani.

CALIFORNIA AG DECLINES CRIMINAL CHARGES FOR OFFIER IN FATAL 2020 SHOOTING OF SAN FRANCISCO MAN
“From the beginning, it was clear to me that Mr. Doty was acting in self-defense against Mr. Carmignani, who not only had the audacity to attack Mr. Doty with bear spray and then threatened to stab and kill Mr. Doty, but also presented himself as unwilling to back down from a fight that he had started,” said Hathaway. “Self-defense can be fierce because the brain goes into survival mode, and that fear response is sadly heightened for unhoused people, like Mr. Doty, who live in constant exposure.”

Click here to read the full article in FoxNews

Nonprofit leader and L.A. political fundraiser sentenced to prison in embezzlement case

The former head of a prominent nonprofit in Los Angeles who pleaded guilty to embezzlement was sentenced Tuesday to six months in federal prison and six months’ home detention, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Dixon Slingerland, the former chief executive of the nonprofit Youth Policy Institute, was also ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee to pay restitution of $750,470 and a $10,000 fine, and perform 200 hours of community service.

Slingerland’s attorney, Vicki Podberesky, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In addition to his professional career, Slingerland was a campaign fundraiser and donor for Democratic candidates. He was also a frequent visitor to the White House during President Obama’s administration.

He admitted in a plea agreement earlier this year that he embezzled more than $71,000 from the anti-poverty nonprofit that he led, including buying his family a $6,131 dinner at Momofuku Ko, a high-end New York City restaurant.

Slingerland also admitted that he did not report nearly $450,000 in total income from the nonprofit on his personal tax returns from 2016 to 2019, according to the plea agreement.

Slingerland, who earned about $400,000 annually leading the nonprofit, also said in his plea agreement that he misspent more than $600,000 of the group’s funds and put personal expenses on the organization’s American Express card.

Youth Policy Institute, a nonprofit focused on education and poverty programs, received tens of millions of dollars in federal funding during the Obama administration and was promoted frequently by then-Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The group shuttered in 2019 following an audit that found a lack of oversight and inaccurate financial reports. Slingerland was also fired from the nonprofit that year.

Click here to read the full article in the LA Times

L.A. con man who posed as attorney, rubbed elbows with Gov. Newsom is sentenced to 6 months

An admitted L.A. con artist who rubbed elbows with powerful politicians and presented himself as the right hand of a powerful Armenian crime figure was sentenced to six months in prison Monday, after spending years testifying against his former mentor and several corrupt law enforcement officials.

Edgar Sargsyan, 42, will serve the short prison sentence and then spend an additional six months confined to his home after his 2020 plea to four counts of bank fraud, bribery and lying to federal agents, according to his attorney, Robert Dugdale.

The public was barred from Sargsyan’s sentencing hearing in federal court on Monday, after Dugdale was heard expressing concerns about his client’s safety.

Sargsyan rose from humble beginnings to become a regular at the members-only Grand Havana cigar club in Beverly Hills, where he regularly socialized with celebrities. Penniless when he immigrated to the United States from Armenia in 2004, Sargsyan settled in Glendale, home to a large Armenian diaspora.

There, he scratched out a living collecting finder’s fees for bringing clients to attorneys — and also committing bank fraud. Court records show Sargsyan admitted he was part of an identity theft ring that racked up phony charges in the names of foreign exchange students who were no longer living in the United States.

Sargsyan went from small-time fraud artist to prolific criminal after meeting Levon Termendzhyan in 2010 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel’s BLVD restaurant, court records show. Termendzhyan put forward a public facade of a wildly successful entrepreneur in the oil and gas industry, but within the Armenian community, Sargsyan testified, he had “the reputation of a mafia figure.”

Sargsyan became something of an advisor, confidant and younger brother to Termendzhyan, who is now serving a 40-year sentence for fraud and money laundering. Through Termendzhyan, Sargsyan met two corrupt law enforcement officers: John Saro Balian, a narcotics detective for the Glendale Police Department, and Felix Cisneros Jr., an agent of Homeland Security Investigations.

Sargsyan also cultivated relationships with public officials by donating lavishly to their campaigns. At his office in Beverly Hills, where he held himself out as a lawyer, Sargsyan posed for a photograph with Gov. Gavin Newsom before heading to a fundraiser for the governor at a members-only cigar lounge. Newsom and his political aides previously declined to discuss his relationship with Sargsyan, though a campaign official said all of his donations were rerouted to a charity.

Like much of Sargsyan’s life, the lawyer facade was a lie. After failing the California bar exam several times, Sargsyan paid an attorney $140,000 to take the test for him. Sargsyan didn’t admit to the scheme for years, failing to tell federal prosecutors about it until the eve of a trial in which he was set to testify.

There, he scratched out a living collecting finder’s fees for bringing clients to attorneys — and also committing bank fraud. Court records show Sargsyan admitted he was part of an identity theft ring that racked up phony charges in the names of foreign exchange students who were no longer living in the United States.

Sargsyan went from small-time fraud artist to prolific criminal after meeting Levon Termendzhyan in 2010 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel’s BLVD restaurant, court records show. Termendzhyan put forward a public facade of a wildly successful entrepreneur in the oil and gas industry, but within the Armenian community, Sargsyan testified, he had “the reputation of a mafia figure.”

Sargsyan became something of an advisor, confidant and younger brother to Termendzhyan, who is now serving a 40-year sentence for fraud and money laundering. Through Termendzhyan, Sargsyan met two corrupt law enforcement officers: John Saro Balian, a narcotics detective for the Glendale Police Department, and Felix Cisneros Jr., an agent of Homeland Security Investigations.

Sargsyan also cultivated relationships with public officials by donating lavishly to their campaigns. At his office in Beverly Hills, where he held himself out as a lawyer, Sargsyan posed for a photograph with Gov. Gavin Newsom before heading to a fundraiser for the governor at a members-only cigar lounge. Newsom and his political aides previously declined to discuss his relationship with Sargsyan, though a campaign official said all of his donations were rerouted to a charity.

Like much of Sargsyan’s life, the lawyer facade was a lie. After failing the California bar exam several times, Sargsyan paid an attorney $140,000 to take the test for him. Sargsyan didn’t admit to the scheme for years, failing to tell federal prosecutors about it until the eve of a trial in which he was set to testify.

CLick here to read the full article at LA Times

Newsom’s plan to crack down on flesh-eating ‘zombie drug’ known as ‘tranq’

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that he will sponsor a bill to increase penalties for trafficking the deadly, flesh-eating animal tranquilizer, xylazine, more commonly known as “tranq.”

Although Newsom rarely sponsors bills, he said that this action was necessary in combating the increasing overdose deaths across the state caused by the drug.

“Tranq poses a unique and devastating challenge in our fight against the overdose epidemic,” said Newsom in a statement. “Although California is not yet seeing tranq at the same rates as other parts of the country, this legislation will help the state stay ahead and curb dealers and traffickers, while we work to provide treatment and resources for those struggling with addiction and substance abuse.”

Xylazine is not approved for human consumption, according to the FDA. It can cause dangerously low blood pressure, a decrease in breathing rate and heart rate, and damage to tissue that can lead to skin wounds, large sores and ulcers when consumed by people, authorities say.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

Additionally, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) says xylazine is increasingly being mixed with fentanyl, making it even more dangerous.

Click here to read the full article in Fox 11

This is the worst week for car break-ins in San Francisco at these hot spots

The scene unfolded in seconds, as Keith Paulsen watched — anger rising — from a car parked near San Francisco’s Alamo Square Park.

He saw a dark BMW roll up Steiner Street, a block north of the famed Painted Lady Victorians. A passenger jumped out and began casing the sidewalk, cupping his gloved hands to peer into car windows. After glancing into three cars the thief found his target: a backpack tossed enticingly on a seat. In one motion, he broke a window and grabbed it.

Paulsen twisted around to snap a cellphone photo when the BMW sped off, his shock curdling into revulsion. The theft seemed so brazen, carried out on a warm winter afternoon last year, on a hill packed with selfie-snapping tourists.

“He was so quick, in and out of that car with the backpack,” Paulsen recalled. “It only took 15 seconds.”

Like other sightseeing destinations in San Francisco, Alamo Square is a hot spot for car break-ins that spike around the week of Thanksgiving, according to a Chronicle analysis of San Francisco Police Department records from 2021 and 2022. During that week the average number of reports exceeds three a day, commensurate with nearby Hayes Valley.

“A lot of crimes have a seasonal aspect,” said Ernesto Lopez, a research specialist at the Council on Criminal Justice, a think tank in Washington D.C. “Seasonal,” in this case, means a temporal shift — like a holiday that brings tourists and out-of-town relatives, and more opportunities for perpetrators. The value of fenced goods might also increase at certain times of year, Lopez said, providing more incentive for burglaries.

Absent a clear explanation for fluctuations in crime, residents tend to draw their own conclusion from anecdotes and folk wisdom. Paulsen and others believe thieves look for obvious signs of a rental car, scoping for new SUVs or stickers on the windshield. Others say perpetrators seek out motorists who forget to curb their wheels — the telltale sign of a visitor, since San Franciscans are usually careful to avoid an expensive parking ticket.

All of these theories are plausible, Lopez said, though he cautioned that car burglaries happen quickly, and generally aren’t that strategic. Maybe the perpetrators look for “one or two indicators” that a car is likely to have luggage, he said, but they don’t run through a checklist.

Police had few answers during a September Board of Supervisors committee hearing on the auto break-in epidemic, at which residents of Alamo Square lined up to vent their frustrations. Some said they’re left to console victims and sweep glass from the sidewalk.

“It’s really disturbing,” Taylor Lapeyre told the Chronicle. His living room window overlooks Alamo Square Park, providing a front row seat to the picturesque hillside — and the aftermath of many burglaries. Often, Lapeyre peers out to see a family in tears after all their possessions are stolen. He’s provided bandages for people who fall and scrape themselves, trying to chase down a car as it speeds off.

For years, officials tried to stave off car break-ins by discouraging residents and visitors from leaving things in their cars. Police and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency staff doled out “public awareness” pamphlets with a “Park smart” slogan — messaging that gave people the sense they were being gaslit, said Jason Jervis, media and communications chair of the Alamo Square Neighborhood Association.

Holding people personally responsible to prevent burglaries amounts to “tacit acceptance,” Jervis said, as though city leaders had deemed the problem intractable and given up on enforcement. 

In Lapeyre’s observation, the theft prevention campaigns haven’t been that effective. Authorities posted signs that are “25 feet up on poles,” with faded lettering, he said, so tourists are oblivious to them. Desperate neighbors tried making their own versions, printing theft advisories that they laminated with saran wrap.

Recently, however, the city government became more proactive. In October Mayor London Breed met with the neighborhood association and “took the time to listen to members’ concerns about car break-ins and crime,” Jervis said. She told the association that city engineers are contemplating street design changes that could restrict vehicle access, and impede thieves from driving into — or quickly peeling out of — the neighborhood.

Capt. Jason Sawyer of San Francisco Police Department’s Northern Station also attended association meetings, and Jervis said he’s noticed more beat officers around Alamo Square Park during “high priority times,” including holidays. Jervis believes these measures have helped, and noted that police have also caught suspected burglars.

Last week, District Attorney Brooke Jenkins charged two people for allegedly playing critical roles in an auto burglary operation. Prosecutors linked one defendant to a smash-and-grab near Alamo Square, and say he later fenced items in the Mission District. He has pled not guilty.

But the coordinated response happened too late for Paulsen, who said that by the end of last year, he’d grown disenchanted with screeching getaway cars and the sight of broken glass. In January, he moved to Redwood City, saying he wanted to live somewhere safer.

He drove up to San Francisco for dinner six months later, at a restaurant near Fisherman’s Wharf. It had a sign in the window warning patrons not to leave valuables in their cars — a statement that immediately put Paulsen on edge.

Click here to read the full article in the SF Chronicle

Sacramento County sheriff accuses major retail stores of stymieing efforts to stop theft

Sacramento County Sheriff Jim Cooper criticized stores and a business trade group this week on social media for stymieing efforts by deputies to stop retail theft and failing to address what he believes are lenient penalties for property crimes.

Cooper said his office created operations at both Target and Walgreens locations to arrest people experiencing homelessness who are reportedly shoplifting. At both stores, deputies’ plans were halted, he said in social media posts Thursday, while adding it’s a reminder that big retailers “DON’T CARE about retail theft or consumer.”

“We don’t tell big retail how to do their jobs, they shouldn’t tell us how to do ours,” Cooper said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Target, which Cooper says is seeking to avoid negative press, didn’t want deputies arresting people inside the store and only behind the establishment, the sheriff wrote in one of his posts. Walgreens’ corporate office abruptly stopped deputies from carrying out an operation they planned with store employees, Sgt. Amar Gandhi, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, said in a phone interview.

“We were told they didn’t want to create a scene inside the store and have people film it and put it on social media,” Cooper wrote of Target. “They didn’t want negative press. Unbelievable.”

Target did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

“Theft continues to be one of the top challenges facing retailers nationwide including Walgreens, and that’s why we partner with law enforcement, elected officials and community leaders to address this issue,” Walgreens spokesperson Marty Maloney said in an emailed statement.

“We frequently work with law enforcement agencies on sting operations across California and the rest of the county as part of a multifaceted approach to combat organized retail crime and theft, and invite future and additional collaborations, including with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.”

Gandhi declined to talk about deputies’ specific operations in these instances and their efforts to stop retail theft. But he noted the Sheriff’s Office works with businesses to tailor a specific response to each situation.

At Walgreens, deputies brought homeless outreach teams because many of the alleged suspects were unhoused residents, Gandhi said. Cooper added on X that many suspects slept outside the store at night.

“Small businesses, grocery stores, and the ‘mom and pop’ shops are the businesses who truly suffer,” Cooper wrote. “They are the ones operating on razor thin margins and cannot afford to absorb these losses and simply pass the cost on to you. Think about this the next time you choose where to shop.”

California Retailers Association

Cooper also criticized the California Retailers Association, which represents the interests of retailers before the state Legislature.

He said his talks with the group’s CEO Rachel Michelin to address Proposition 47 have failed.

Prop 47, passed by voters in 2014, has drawn increased scrutiny by law enforcement for being too lenient. The referendum recategorized some nonviolent property crimes causing less than $950 in losses as misdemeanors. Criticism of Prop 47 has mounted as videos of so-called “smash and grab” robberies go viral on social media.

Gandhi accused the California Retailers Association of fighting against Proposition 20, which aimed to increase penalties for shoplifters. It failed with 62% of voters rejecting the referendum in 2020.

“They could care less about consumer safety or rising costs,” Gandhi said.

A spokeswoman for the California Retailers Association did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Experts have mixed reactions about the effect of Prop 47 on property crime.

Charis Kubrin, a professor of criminology, law and society at UC Irvine, recently told The Sacramento Bee that crime isn’t the only factor causing problems at retail stores — it’s part of a puzzle.

“These organized criminal rings, the smash-and-grabs that are making the news, the commercial robberies that we’re seeing, the commercial burglaries, none of those particular forms of retail theft have anything to do with Prop 47, by definition,” Kubrin has said.

Click here to read the full article in the Sacramento Bee Via Yahoo News

California cities are among top 10 for car theft in US. These models are common targets

California is one of the top 10 states for vehicle theft in the country, according to data collected by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, a not-for-profit organization that fights insurance fraud and crime.

The NICB’s October report shows data from the National Crime Information Center for metro areas and states with the highest rates of vehicle theft during 2022, according to the website.

For every 100,000 residents, NICB data shows that California had about 520 car thefts in 2022, which is an approximate 13% increase from 2021.

WHERE DID CALIFORNIA RANK ON THE LIST? Here’s where California ranked on NICB’s top 10 states by car theft rates list, according to an Oct. 25 news release: Colorado District of Columbia Washington Oregon New Mexico California Missouri Nevada Texas Tennessee While California was not No. 1 per capita, the report states California led the country in total vehicle thefts with 203,018 thefts in 2022.

CALIFORNIA’S CITIES WITH HIGHEST CAR THEFT RATES

Bakersfield ranked No. 2 on the NICB top 10 metropolitan areas in the country with high theft rates.

The area’s car theft rate was about 1,072 per 100,000 residents in 2022. This is an approximate 11% increase from the previous year. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley ranked No. 8 on the NICB top 10 metropolitan areas in the U.S. with high theft rates. The area’s car theft rate was about 699 per 100,000 residents in 2022, an increase of about 17% from 2021.

WHAT CARS ARE MOST COMMONLY STOLEN? According to a previous report from the NICB, these vehicles are most commonly stolen in California:

2001 Chevrolet Pickup (full size)

2000 Honda Civic 2006 Ford Pickup (full size)

1997 Honda Accord 2013 Hyundai Sonata

Click here to read the full article in the Sacramento Bee

Federal authorities close stores owned by Sacramento city councilmember during raid

Federal authorities closed supermarkets owned by Sacramento City Councilman Sean Loloee — who has been accused by prosecutors of withholding wages for employees — following a raid Thursday.

“The Homeland Security Investigations and the IRS criminal investigations have conducted an ‘authorized criminal enforcement activity’ at the Viva Supermarket locations,” said John A. Pearl, a spokesman for the IRS. “To protect all parties involved, including the agents and subjects of the investigation, that’s all I can share with you at this moment.”

Loloee, who owns the Viva Supermarket in Del Paso Heights, 3845 Marysville Blvd., and two other locations in the capital region, has been scrutinized three times by federal prosecutors since 2009. Investigators said he violated federal minimum wage, overtime compensation, record keeping and child labor laws, according to The Sacramento Bee’s previous reporting. A follow-up investigation in 2020 found that he allegedly violated these laws again, and then a third investigation alleged he coerced employees.

Jennifer Cho, a special agent with the IRS’ Criminal Investigation unit, declined to say if the raids were connected to any investigation into Loloee or whether any arrests had been made. She also declined to say if each Viva Supermarket had been searched or if authorities conducted their operations at any residences.

A video uploaded to Facebook by a resident showed Homeland Security agents inside the store and a sign on the store saying it was closed. Viva Supermarkets at 4211 Norwood Ave. in Sacramento’s Glenwood Meadows neighborhood, and at 10385 Folsom Blvd. in Rancho Cordova, each had signs outside saying, “Sorry Temporarily Closed” on Thursday afternoon.

The signs at the Rancho Cordova location were affixed with red tape reading, “U.S. Customs and Border Protection” and “Evidence — Do not open.” Agents with Homeland Security Investigations, part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, were spotted inside the closed store.

Homeland Security Investigations confirmed in a statement its involvement in the raids with the IRS and the California Department of Justice. The agencies conducted a “court authorized criminal law enforcement activity” at several locations in the Sacramento-area, an emailed statement said.

The state Department of Justice wrote in an email it was unable to comment on, even to confirm or deny, a potential or ongoing investigation.

Agents on Thursday afternoon were beginning to remove “temporarily closed” signs at the Rancho Cordova supermarket. Some law enforcement officials were taking electronics and boxes.

Loloee did not immediately respond to requests for comment. There was no activity at his home in Hagginwood, and the councilman could not be found at his Natomas office early Thursday afternoon.

“The issue you’re emailing about is personal matter related to the Councilmember’s businesses and is not connected to his work at City Hall,” Loloee’s office said in an emailed response. “We would encourage you to reach out to Viva Supermarkets for questions or comments regarding the matter.”

A spokesperson for Viva could not immediately be reached for comment.

Loloee, who sits on the governing board of the Sacramento Public Library system, was not present at the beginning of a 3 p.m. board meeting.

Reached around 2:15 p.m., Denicia Valdez-Jones, a staffer in Loloee’s office, said she believed Loloee was touring potential sites for temporary housing in his district, which spans most of North Sacramento.

Margo Santana, who posted a video of one of the morning raids to Facebook, speculated he may be at his wife’s home in Granite Bay. The city commissioned an investigation last year into claims that Loloee lived there rather than the Sacramento home he purchased in 2019; a local attorney who conducted that investigation concluded last October that Loloee does live in the council district he represents.

The residency controversy continues to draw skepticism from some residents.

“He’s probably in Granite Bay where he lives,” Santana said. “Why would he be here?”

Click here to read the full article in the Sacramento Bee via Yahoo News

George Gascon – Corruption by Any Other Name

Anything or anyone can be sacrificed for the ideology, for the gang, for the greater good, or, in this case, the greater evil

We’ve all heard of tales of corrupt district attorneys.

Leander Perez ruled Plaquemines Parish (a parish is what they call a county in Louisiana) with an iron fist and even by Louisiana standards his level of corruption was eye watering.

The fiercely segregationist Democrat raked in enough cash from the other politicians he owned to be able to buy even more politicians.  His vote fixing was blatant, he stole somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million dollars – between 1940 and 1965 or thereabouts, so about $1 billion dollars today –  in oil lease royalties, and he stayed in office for nearly 40 years before switching over to leading the parish commission and putting his son in as DA.

Every aspect of life in the parish – it surrounds the mouth of the Mississippi River and goes north toward New Orleans – was controlled by Perez; he was the kind of pol who would fix a ticket for you and then stop by eight years later and dump toxic waste on your property and you wouldn’t say boo.

And the bayous and marshlands trailing to and from the Mississippi had more than alligators floating in them.  

He was so bad he was actually ex-communicated by the Archbishop of New Orleans; he was the archetypal power sleaze elected official that movies are made about.

He even smoked cigars.

Click here for his photo – it has to be viewed on the Smithsonian’s website.

As to fictional DAs, there is Ellis Loew from the fantastic film noir L.A. Confidential. While exuding a certain amount of panache Perez never did and actually getting his comeuppance – you may remember his character being dangled out a window by Russell Crowe – Loew is the picture of the smooth dismissive big city dirty politician who thinks he is untouchable.

A little more recently – and much more real – is Democrat Mike Nifong of Durham County, North Carolina.  Nifong slandered a group of Duke University lacrosse players and charged them with rape for political reasons.  He had been appointed DA in 2005 and faced a tough election in November, 2006. 

It was in March of that year he brought the charges against the students and he squeaked through the November vote only about a month before it was revealed he knew of and purposefully hid DNA evidence that would have cleared the students.

Nifong was shortly thereafter removed from office, disbarred, jailed for a time, lost $180 million dollars’ worth of student lawsuits, and went bankrupt.

So he, too, got his comeuppance.

Will George Gascon?

Granted, there have been no reports of bodies found in the LaBrea tar pits or even of personal enrichment.  But – like other dirty DAs – he serves only to specifically further himself and the interests of a set gang of groups and people as opposed to serving the interests of the community at large.

His gang, his cronies, his enforcers are not bag men and sleazy cops and underworld overlords (kinda,) but progressive activists wedded to a farcical and dangerous ideology and – like Loew, Nifong, and Perez – he will stop at nothing to advance those interests, that ideology.

The list of his gang members is a litany of organizations that have played and are actively playing leading roles in the decline of the city and the state in general.

Big labor, the Democratic Socialists of America, the decarceration mob, the homeless-industrial complex, community “nonprofits” that are actually get out the vote operations, and certain “burn it all down” moneyed interests that infest the west side and act that way out of a feeling of guilt about being rich (these are typically not the people who made the money, just the people who use the money other people made for them.)

Gascon has purposefully helped create an environment in which his compatriots can thrive – more homeless means more money for the complex, more social anxiety about saying “the wrong thing” leads to more self-censorship, more misplaced guilt means more donations, more problems mean the need for more people to solve them, and more hesitant cops means more intentional chaos on the streets.

Until a society has had enough and pulls up people like Gascon and Perez by the roots, that chaotic gray area created is a very convenient place from which to pull strings. While Perez stayed in power for 40 years by being personally ruthlessly detailed, Gascon merely creates the atmosphere in which others can take care of the ruthless details.

For most in power, the goal is permanence.  For those involved in a fetid corruption of society like Loew and Gascon and Perez, permanance is not just a goal but an absolute necessity and anything can be justified in that pursuit.  For when the power finally ends, there is hell to pay and the repucussions go far behind merely not being in office anymore.

But the cabal goes beyond Gascon and may be beginning to see him as expendable, hence “George-lite” DA candidate Jeff Chemerinsky who, if elected, will keep the odious social justice campaign alive but occasionally convict a criminal and treat his employees better.

Gascon is personally less important than the hive and if he has to go, so be it.  His two “allied” county supervisors who are up for election next year – Holly Mitchell and Janice Hahn – have a choice:  endorse him or blame him.  One expects it will be discovered by Hahn and Mitchell that Gascon – if his re-election is looking as bleak as it is now, is the reason for everything wrong with Los Angeles County, from crime to homelessness to the bus being late to that crack in the sidewalk you almost tripped over.

In other words, while he is in fact to blame to much of the recent disaster he will be blamed for everything else, too (the other supervisor up, Kathryn Barger, may follow suit but she won’t go as far and she has been properly opposing Gascon and his policies from day one so, unlike, Mitchell and Hahn, she will not be a hypocrite when she criticizes him) to allow the wokeblob to stay in power.

He can be sacrificed, if need be.

Fitting, as Gascon has sacrificed the safety of the people of Los Angeles County on the altar of his – and his mob’s –  twisted ideology.  He has done so as dismissively as Loew dismissed Russel Crowe’s character:  

“So what if some homo actor is dead?  Boys, girls, ten of them get off the bus every day.”

Re-writes of that line for Gascon could run along these line:  

“So what if some rich guy is inconvenienced by getting his watch ripped off his wrist?  He can just get another one.”

“So what if some guy goes free without bail and rapes someone the next day?  Keeping people out of jail is more important than some unfortunate incident.”

“So what if they’re not really a non-profit?  They are part of the movement.”

“So what if the so-called ‘regular’ people in the community suffer?  They’ve been privileged too long.”

“So what if stores get robbed?  They’ve got insurance.”

“So what if hundreds of homeless people die every year?  They make my friends money.”

Anything or anyone can be sacrificed for the ideology, for the gang, for the greater good, or, in this case, the greater evil.

Click here to read the full article in California Globe