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Bob Olmsted Doesn’t Miss A Punch in Campaign against Baca, Tanaka for LA County Sheriff

Bob Olmsted, a candidate for Los Angeles County Sheriff visits Off Street Café in Cerritos to talk openly with Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper about his the campaign against incumbent Lee Baca.  Joining Olmstead for breakfast was Brian Hews, Publisher of HMG-CN.   Randy Economy Photo

Bob Olmsted, a candidate for Los Angeles County Sheriff visits Off Street Café in Cerritos to talk openly with Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper about his the campaign against incumbent Lee Baca. Joining Olmstead for breakfast was Brian Hews, Publisher of HMG-CN. Randy Economy Photo

By Brian Hews

Ex-LASD Commander Takes Political Swipe at Challenger Paul Tanaka’s ‘Character Issues,’ alleged ‘Vikings Gang affiliation.’

The campaign for Los Angeles County Sheriff is six months away, and for candidate retired Commander Bob Olmstead, he hasn’t missed an opportunity on the election trail to take some serious swipes at incumbent Lee Baca as well as challenger Paul Tanaka.

Olmsted is one of around a half dozen challengers who are mounting the most aggressive campaign ever to unseat Baca who has been in office for the past 16 years.

The department has been consumed with a massive criminal investigation by members of the United States Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the past year and a half.

Earlier this month, 18 different Sheriff officials were arrested on corruption and Civil Rights Abuses, mostly for alleged activities that took place in the LA County Jail’s that are located in Downtown.  Olmstead worked as the Commander at Men’s Central Jail during the final years of his career in the department that lasted more than three decades.

Now retired, Olmstead told Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper in an interview at a Cerritos diner that he moved from his longtime home in Orange County into the Naples section of Long Beach in 2013 in order to establish residency inside the county of Los Angeles in order to run for Sheriff in 2014.

Olmstead, who is tall, fit, athletic and sports a “trademark moustache” said he was willing to take on Baca, his former boss, “without hesitation.”

“Look, I am willing to talk openly about the widespread dysfunction and corruption inside Sheriff’s Baca’s department,” Olmstead said.

“I have the integrity and moral conviction to expose this corruption, not hide it,
Olmsted said.

“This campaign is about ethics, integrity and leadership values and what we all deserve in the next Sheriff of Los Angeles County,’ Olmsted said.

On his website, Olmsted takes on Baca head on, evoking strong, harsh words.

“For the last several years the LA Sheriff’s Department has lost its way. Under Sheriff Lee Baca’s watch he has allowed corruption to thrive, gross mismanagement and one scandal after the next to occur,” Olmsted’s website touts.

Olmsted’s retirement with the department started off on a sad note when his longtime wife passed away from a long battle with cancer on “the first day of my retirement.”

“You never expect to start the next chapter of your life without the person you loved the most.  It was very tough,” Olmsted said.

Olmsted said that law enforcement is part of his DNA. “My dad was a member of the Sheriff’s Department. “I think he is proud that his son could one day be better than him.”  As a college student, Olmsted graduated with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from California State University at Dominguez Hills. “I started as a ‘cop on the beat,’ and I knew sooner or later I would be getting out of the patrol car to move up the ranks,” he said.  “You lead when you have it in your blood.”

Olmsted also recalled when he worked as a Detective in the Narcotics Division in his early days with the department.  “I was running Narco teams, and was working undercover.  It was a great job, I got to grow my hair long, and wear a beard, and we got hundreds of drug dealers off the streets,” he said.

In 2006, Olmsted was assigned to oversee Men’s Central Jail, and he said it “was real ugly back then.”

He recalled on his third day on the job at the inmate detention facility, he got a call from a Federal Judge who asked him to join him in at a site inspection. Olmsted said that he saw control room walls inside the jail that were “covered in graffiti” that he claims were written not by inmates, but by deputies who were working inside the facility.

“I was shocked what I saw,” Olmsted said.

Lee Baca

Current LA County Sheriff Lee Baca (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He claims that inside one of the secured monitored control rooms, that was only accessed by Deputies and other top officials who worked in the jail on the third floor that graffiti was sprayed on the wall that read “Please, Don’t Feed the Animals.”

“The climate inside the jail was toxic,” Olmsted said.

Olmsted even went so far as to tell Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper that the jails in Downtown Los Angeles were controlled by “gang members” who “wore badges and carried guns.”

“It was out of control,” Olmsted said.

Olmsted also spoke openly about a longtime group of Sheriff officials who are part of what he called the “notorious Vikings Gang.”

“The Vikings Gang is a real group and a real cancer inside the LA County Sheriff’s Department,” Olmsted said.

He said that members of the group all sport tattoos on their right ankles and are “required” to “beat an inmate, in order to earn your tattoo.”  “We have deputies who break bones of inmates in the jails, and things have gotten worst, during the past couple of year,” Olmsted said.

Olmsted also said that rival Paul Tanaka, who is a former Under Sheriff under Baca, was “part of the problem.”

“Tanaka needs to come clean, about his association with the Viking’s Gang.  You need Mr. Paul Tanaka to show you his ankles,” Olmstead told HMG-CN during the interview.

Several media outlets have reported during the past year that “white racist gangs operate at the highest levels of Los Angeles County’s Sheriff’s Department, who threatened the lives of deputies who exposed it and branded them as race traitors and snitches.”

Two deputies Michael Rathbun and James Sexton sued Baca, Tanaka, Lt. Greg Thompson and a Detective Perkins, in US Federal Court that seek damages for retaliation, constitutional violations, malicious prosecution, conspiracy, harassment and other charges.

In one 39-page complaint filed in Court, it is alleged that both Thompson and Tanaka “covered up an incident” involving a skinhead deputy, and that “Sheriff Baca blew off the threats to his deputies and was indifferent to the corruption.”

Olmsted said that he personally “likes” Baca, but this campaign needs to be about “Baca’s past record.”

“Sheriff Baca has a good heart, but he has failed in the leadership department.  The Sheriff is ignoring the writing on the wall, and is too busy selling protein drinks on infomercials in order to carry out the job,” Olmsted quipped.


  • David Lauderdale says:

    Baca has to go.. Olmsted had my vote right up until I read the part about him “establishing residency” in Long Beach in order to be eligible in Los Angeles County. Sounds like he REALLY lives in Orange County.. Run for Orange County Sheriff.