In June 2016 former LA County Undersheriff Paul Tanaka was sentenced to a five year federal prison term for obstructing a federal investigation.
Tanaka began his prison term the following January and was located in minimum security prison in Colorado.
The Bureau of Prison’s website shows Tanaka has now entered a residential reentry center and will soon be reunited with his wife and children.
His career in law enforcement officer, began when he initially joined the El Segundo police department in 1980. Transferring to the LA County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) two years later, he rose through the ranks, earning his stripes in 1987, and making Lieutenant in 1991. Tanaka then rose from Lieutenant to Captain in 1999, Commander in 2001 and Chief in 2002. From January 7, 2005, to June 2011, he was an Assistant Sheriff. He was the first Japanese American in the position.
Tanaka was a long serving member of the Gardena City Council and served as the city’s mayor for 11 years. He was a graduate of Loyola Marymount University where he earned a degree in accounting.