Former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka Announces Candidacy For LA Co. Sheriff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A former Los Angeles County undersheriff has entered the race to oust Sheriff Lee Baca in 2014.

Paul Tanaka, who is a 30-year LASD veteran, announced his candidacy for sheriff Thursday morning during a news conference in Griffith Park.

“Getting the department’s house in order is a top priority. The result will be improved crime-fighting efforts and public safety services to every community across the county,” he said.

Tanaka is accused of fostering a culture of abuse in county jails, according to a blue-ribbon panel report. Several current and former sheriff’s officials have singled him out for creating a climate in which aggression was prized.

“Those quotes are pretty harsh. I’m 55 years old. I think I’ve established myself as who I am, and what the commission wrote is contrary to everything I stood for and everything I’ve ever done,” said Tanaka.

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Commander Bob Olmsted announced his candidacy Wednesday.

The 62-year-old claims Baca is to blame for corruption and dysfunction within the department.

Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said Baca welcomes challengers in the race.

“He believes in democracy and is convinced it will crystallize his record,” he said.

Baca has been in office for the past 15 years.

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