An official investigation has been launched into whether the L.A. County Sheriff's Department gave favorable treatment to media figure Paris Hilton while she was jailed at Century Regional Detention Center in Lynwood. According to the department union, deputies assigned to Lynwood have come forward telling of various perks Paris received, including the following:
- Free access to a cell phone, while the other inmates had to wait in line to use pay-phones.
- Daily visits by top brass at Lynwood, and her mail hand-delivered by a captain instead of one of the trusties.
- A new clean jail uniform, not a recycled one like the other inmates were issued.
Two unnamed Sheriff's Department officials have confirmed the above. Steve Whitmore, a spokesperson for Sheriff Lee Baca, shot down these allegations however, saying the department's own information differs from the accounts given to internal affairs by the Lynwood deputies. Whitmore went on to accuse judge Michael Sauer of giving Paris an unduly severe sentence, saying:
[if there was any unfair treatment] it came from the court's sentence, which was harsher than for other defendants facing similar charges.
The head of the L.A. County Sheriff's Association, Steve Remige, has hit back at Baca over the Hilton incident and an earlier one in which the sheriff allegedly ordered the suppression of unpleasant details of Mel Gibson's arrest, saying:
[the handling of celebrity cases shows] a pattern that Baca is beholden to the Hollywood set, and a form of patronage.
Meanwhile, Paris went to the beach: