The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors agreed earlier this week to pay $2.25 million to two sheriff's deputies who alleged they were victims of a politically motivated prosecution instigated by then-Undersheriff Paul Tanaka.
Patrol deputies Robert Lindsey Jr. and Charles Rodriguez -- who were acquitted of perjury and conspiracy charges -- alleged they were wrongfully prosecuted at the direction of Tanaka due to a grudge he held against Lindsey's now-retired father, a sheriff's commander who frequently challenged the undersheriff's authority, City News Service reports.
“The charges were not based on evidence -- they were based on a personal vendetta,” attorney Ron Kaye said at the time he filed the lawsuit in federal court. “Tanaka pushed the Los Angeles (County) District Attorney's Office to press trumped-up charges.”
Kaye said that if one of Tanaka's subordinates ever went against him, “your career in law enforcement was in jeopardy.”
Tanaka is serving a five-year sentence in federal prison for his role in a 2011 scheme by sheriff's officials to thwart an FBI investigation into inmate abuse by deputies in the county's jails.