L.A. County sheriff’s top watchdog is under investigation — by the L.A. County sheriff

The Sheriff's Department says allegations against the watchdog include conspiracy, theft. 'Smells a little bogus,' says Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.


The investigation will look into possible conspiracy, theft of government property, unauthorized computer access, theft of confidential files and burglary by the county Office of Inspector General and members of the Sheriff’s Department

The Sheriff's Department says allegations against the watchdog include conspiracy, theft. 'Smells a little bogus,' says Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.

Murakami writes that the FBI has been briefed on the matter but does not describe any more details about the probe, which was first reported by ABC-7. Sheriff Alex Villanueva recused himself from the inquiry and designated Murakami as his surrogate in the probe, according to a letter he wrote to Murakami on April 23.

The move by the Sheriff’s Department drew swift condemnation from county Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who said the probe “smells a little bogus.”

“It is improper for a sheriff to criminally target a public official for formally discharging their duties under a county code,” Huntsman said.

“Max Huntsman, the Inspector General who is supposed to provide honest oversight of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and who reports to the Board of Supervisors, is under investigation for potentially stealing protected files of high ranking employees and others, for purposes unrelated to the Office of Inspector General’s oversight duties,” the statement said.

In response to a request from Huntsman, the Board of Supervisors

The Sheriff’s Department has recently raised concerns that confidential personnel records — including about 2,000 pages from case files related to Villanueva — were downloaded from an internal system just before Villanueva was sworn in. A declaration by Sheriff’s Det. Todd Bernstein filed in court last week said a department official downloaded “an unusual amount of data” from the agency’s Personnel Review Management System on Nov. 28, five days before Villanueva took office. The data included 78 documents from 22 unique employee case files, according to Bernstein.

The county sued Villanueva and the Sheriff’s Department, alleging Mandoyan’s reinstatement was unlawful.

“The sheriff asked me not to report publicly on Mandoyan and said that, if I did, there would be consequences. Now I know what he meant,” Huntsman said. In July, Huntsman released

In his letter on Monday, Murakami asked the board to appoint an interim inspector general while Huntsman is under investigation. The board declined to reassign Huntsman, saying in a letter from county executive officer Celia Zavala, dated Tuesday, that it is the Sheriff’s Department that ought to recuse itself from any investigation of the inspector general’s office. Zavala wrote that it would be more appropriate for the FBI, California attorney general or another independent agency to conduct such a probe.

Read more: Los Angeles Times

Why hasn’t Baca started his prison time yet? So, an investigation into the OIG by the investigated. At the rate of his overt abuses of power so far, I expect Villanueva to be perp walked to jail himself before his term is up.

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