Happy to see today that the LA Justice Report, of which yours truly is the lead reporter, and its series “Dangerous Jails” is starting to have a big impact on LA County policy. LA County Supervisor Gloria Molina told Witness LA (where the LA Justice Report is published) and the LA Times that her recent initiative to stop county managers from soliciting campaign donations from their employees was a direct result of The LA Justice Report’s investigation into LA Sheriff’s Department number 2 Paul Tanaka and donations made to his Gardena mayoral campaign.
“It was a cause for great concern,” Molina’s spokeswoman Roxane Marquez told WitnessLA. “Sup. Molina is well aware that she can’t stop people from simply giving contributions – that would be a violation of federal free speech rights. But she’s concerned about higher-ups soliciting campaign donations from employees whom they manage. That’s exactly what prompted her motion.”
And from the LA Times:
In an interview, Molina said she has been concerned about the practice for years, most recently after allegations were made in the news blog WitnessLA that donations to Tanaka were affecting promotions.
Reporting for the fifth installment of the “Dangerous Jails” series is in full swing. The piece should be out sometime in the next few weeks.
*Update: We were just told by a Sheriff’s Department source that WitnessLA has been officially blocked on the LASD computer network. A little too late for damage control, as there aren’t too many LASD personnel who aren’t familiar with the site at this point.