Report: Sheriff who freed Paris received contribution from her grandfather; Update: Sheriff accused of favoritism before

I tried two Iraq posts and got five comments for my trouble. I can’t fight city hall. You guys want Paris news? You got it:

Did family money buy Paris Hilton a temporary get-out-of-jail card?

Sheriff Lee Baca, the Los Angeles law-enforcement official who ordered Hilton released from jail after serving only three days in her 45-day sentence, accepted a $1,000 campaign donation last year from William Barron Hilton—Paris’s grandfather. That contribution constituted the maximum amount allowable under California campaign rules…

In office since 1998, Baca has cultivated close ties to the Hollywood community.


Supposedly there’s a free bunk in her cell; perhaps the sheriff might fill it. Meanwhile, I’ve read this post by Zanotti three times and still don’t know what in the world she’s on about. It’s a “legal outrage,” she says:

She was set into jail for a reasonable time given her crime, then removed because she is–and we can see this now from reports of her court appearance–having a medical episode and sent home early, then ordered back to jail to serve twice the sentence because of mistakes by a third party who had mercy on her, springing her from a solitary confinement. Now she is being dragged to jail, kicking and screaming and praying for her mother, and sent to a medical facility. In the end, her judge decided that she should be punished because the sheriff decided to do something in violation of judges written “orders,” something the judge found unacceptable, and potentially found to be an excuse to take an iron hand to a woman who was unused to this kind of treatment, and probably not in any condition to be sent back to prison.

Where exactly is the “outrage”? For one thing, she’s not, in fact, being punished for the sheriff’s mistake. According to the AP, “Despite being ordered to serve the remainder of her original 45-day sentence, Hilton could still be released early. Inmates are given a day off their terms for every four days of good behavior, and her days in home detention counted as time served.” She’s serving the same sentence she was supposed to serve originally; she was (and is) expected to only serve 23 days or so, though, provided she behaves herself. As for her alleged medical condition, I’ll let this quote from the Times speak to it:


Najee Ali, a community activist in South Los Angeles who heads Project Islamic Hope, said he was disappointed in the sheriff’s decision…

“There are hundreds and perhaps thousands of inmates in Los Angeles County jails who have much more serious illnesses like AIDs, heart problems and they have never been released to go home.”

If an inmate’s got a medical problem, they’ll be treated. Period. And yet we’re supposed to sob for this brat who’s having a mental episode at the thought of having to spend three weeks without her cell phone in a room isolated from the general population with sheriffs watching her constantly to make sure nothing happens to her lest they’re hit with the mother of all lawsuits. Have we actually reached the point where the more pampered someone is, to the point where they can’t endure 23 short days of loneliness and boredom, the more we have to indulge them by lightening their punishment? Even when they show such scorn for the process as to ask to appear at their own sentencing hearing via teleconference? I’d have slapped her with a contempt ruling just for that and sent her ass away for three more months.

Like me, JPod’s speechless at the sympathy being evinced in conservative circles for this erstwhile above-the-law idiot. What gives? Just your basic, biological, “compassion for a crying woman” instinct kicking in? Contrarianism for the sake of contrarianism? Talk to me.


Update: We had a video in the previous Paris thread so it’s appropriate that we have one here too. To show solidarity with her in her hour of need, when she’ll try desperately to subsist on “normal-people food” and pass the time sounding out the words of whatever reading material they give her, I offer you a clip of seriousness commensurate with her predicament.

They’re cow tongues. Get your minds out of the gutter.

Update: Justice, L.A. style.

For Baca, 65, who has led the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department since 1998, the blowback is not extraordinary.

When Mel Gibson was arrested for drunken driving, the department withheld video and audio tapes of the arrest, asserting they were exempt from open-government laws.

There were questions about favorable treatment for Gibson after a sheriff’s spokesman initially said the arrest occurred “without incident” and made no mention of the superstar’s now-notorious anti-Semitic rant…

Last year, the Los Angeles Times reported Baca put one of his closest friends on the payroll as a $105,000-a-year adviser.

The newspaper also said he had accepted more than $42,000 in gifts since taking office, including some from those who do business with his department.

In 2004, he took more gifts than California’s other 57 sheriffs combined.

Update: Flip Pidot notes that Grandpa Hilton donates to a lot of people so there’s no need to assume any intent to influence the sheriff. Duly noted. But I’m less suspicious of gramps’s motives than of Baca’s. Did he think he owed William Hilton a solid for that thousand bucks?


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John Sexton 8:40 PM on September 21, 2023