July 7, 2007

The Baca Hilton transcript

On June 26, 2007 Sheriff Baca was questioned by the Board of Supervisors. The complete transcript of the hearing can be found here. We have highlighted relevant portions and added our own comments.

From reading the transcript it is quite apparent the Baca is very hostile about the whole Hilton debacle and of course refuses to admit that he made the wrong decision, arguing that he did not want anyone "Monday Morning Quarterbacking" him. Quite frankly reading this makes me think that he and "The Decider" Bush may be long lost brothers. Most of the transcript is just rambling BS as he uses the hearing as a platform for overcrowded jails and other totally non responsive material and to pat himself on the back. Yeah Yeah old story. The point is that Hilton WAS NOT RELEASED DUE TO OVERCROWDING. Baca admits this.

Baca was in a tough position but as usual he made the wrong call. We all know that Hilton ended up serving more time than MOST BUT NOT ALL "mortals" for the "crime" (as Baca's claimed figures presented at the hearing supposedly prove). But as she was a celebrity and the criminal justice system was under the scrutiny of the world wide press, the way this was handled had to hold up to scruitiny.

In this case if he wanted to let her out under an "early release program" he should have approached the court and followed the procedure for early medical releases. Instead he apparently "cooked up" a deal with Hilton's menagerie of attorneys, doctors and "handlers" that she needed to be released for "medical reasons" to act as cover for what was an otherwise perfectly legitimate early release. Just not for THIS case. This medical reason was never explained, nor was the judge ever formally petitioned to address the early release for medical reasons. Baca claims that Judge "Saugus" was asked on the phone about the early release but this was not the judge that made the original sentencing order! (original judge was Sauer) Also Baca did not make this call but one of his aids did. The judge apparently disputed all this and it is apparent from the transcript that Baca and his people did not understand that the judge plainly said leave her in! The judge also requested all the "medical reports" and apparently never received them. I doubt they exist.

The point being that Hilton was out partying all night before she went into prison the first time and is out doing the same now. None of her team of high priced lawyers EVER brought this so called "medical" condition to the attention of the judge in the context of petitioning for an early release. Instead they figured that it would be easier to approach Baca who has a history of favorable star treatment as apparently he is star struck and considers himself a celebrity as well.

At one point in the transcript Baca claims: "SHE HERSELF WAS UNABLE TO TELL US THE TYPE OF MEDICATION OR DOSAGE THAT WAS NECESSARY" So that is a reason to let her out early? Give me a break! Has Baca and his team of crack doctors ever heard of a label on a prescription bottle? Helloooo?

He later goes on to say that they have social workers, clergy, and psychologists all on staff at the jail. So these people were not able to help? Apparently they were, in the second half of her stay.

No matter. We all know now that her "medical condition" was "treated" at the second facility and she served all her sentence. So Baca's own department made a liar out of him. I think all of this was pretty transparent and obvious to the supervisors (well at least two of them from the questions they asked.)

Bottom line: There was a procedure in place to deal with Hilton's "medical condition" and it was not used but rather circumvented. This in turn has led to claims and suits alleging favorable treatment by others who need medical treatment in prison and claim not to be getting near the level of treatment Hilton recived. This was handled very poorly and Baca cannot see that, or at least stubbornly refuses to admit it (Like Bush). For that reason alone Baca is incompetent and head and shoulders BELOW "Broadway Bill" over at LAPD. Point is he was elected by voters who dont even know who he is, and as all the articles in this section aptly demonstrate, he will weather this storm and hopefully retire in two years thank God (on a King's pension). Hopefully his successor will be a better manager and a little more savvy of the media.

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