Retired Los Angeles Sheriff Lieutenant Dave Smith, stands accused of obstructing justice by tipping off massage parlors in West Hollywood before they were about to be raided. According to allegations, he also receiving gifts and sex in exchange.
NBC4 reports that Smith was charged on Friday with a felony count of conspiracy to obstruct justice and one misdemeanor count of obstruction of justice. He is also accused of paying for sex at two West Hollywood massage parlors. In return for sex and gifts, Smith allegedly let an employee know when law enforcement officers were planning to raid their establishment. According to the district attorney’s office, he suggested an employee close for the night because there were officers near the business.
“When the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s (LASD) Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau (ICIB) became aware of the allegations, a comprehensive undercover operation was initiated,” the Sheriff’s department stated. “During the operation, ICIB investigators obtained information indicating a crime had occurred.”
Lieutenant Dave Smith, who was affectionately known as “Smitty,” was deemed as a role model and local hero by many in the West Hollywood community. The 59-year-old father of 5 children, ages 19 to 36, served the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station for over 30 years. He joined the LA County Sheriff Department in 1982 following the birth of his oldest son, David, Jr.
“I considered Dave Smith a local hero when I profiled him in WEHO TIMES a little over a year ago,” said community local activist and founder of WEHO TIMES, Marco Colantonio. “He was a sheriff’s deputy who devoted 30 years, more than half his lifetime to protecting a community he loved–West Hollywood. Even though Dave didn’t live here, he stayed at the WeHo station because he loved our city and it’s diverse population. He was loved and respected by so many who reached out at the time to share their comments and appreciation of Dave—including local luminaries like Ruth Foster Williams and Jimmy Palmieri. Let’s not judge a lifetime of service by one indiscretion. I wish Dave well and remember him for his love and sincere desire to protect West Hollywood and its citizens.”
“I love the community,” Smith once told WEHO TIMES about the city of West Hollywood. “It’s something new every day. It’s not stagnant. This is a fun place to work. There’s always something new to discover and challenges that we have to work on to make it the safest city possible.”
He could face up to three years in prison if convicted.