L.A. sheriff stripped of control of Kuehl investigation by attorney general
California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta on Tuesday took control from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department of a controversial criminal investigation into county Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and others.
Remember the time Villanueva used taxpayer money to build himself a personal helipad next to his house so he could avoid traffic and then we found out the county didn't even own the land? They just stole it from a private owner and built a helipad without permission or permits.
Imagine thinking that guy could lead an impartial investigation...
The California AG should get involved in more cases of California sheriffs and DAs misbehaving..
California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta on Tuesday took control from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department of a controversial criminal investigation into county Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and others, saying that sidelining the department was in the “public interest.”
Bonta’s unusual decision to strip the Sheriff’s Department of its own investigation comes amid mounting questions about the department’s handling of the probe and allegations from Kuehl and others that Sheriff Alex Villanueva is using it to attack political enemies.
In another setback for the department, a Superior Court judge also on Tuesday temporarily blocked sheriff’s investigators from searching computers and other devices seized last week from Kuehl and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The actions bring an abrupt halt to the Sheriff’s Department efforts to investigate a series of contracts awarded by Metro to a domestic violence nonprofit. The investigation, which has been underway for more than a year, exploded back into public view last Wednesday when sheriff’s deputies carried out early morning raids at the home of Kuehl and Patti Giggans, the head of the nonprofit, as well as Metro’s headquarters and other county offices.
Your department should cease its investigative activity and refrain from any actions in furtherance of these investigations, including public statements or court filings related to the investigations,” Bonta instructed.
Bonta’s letter was in response to one Villanueva sent him last week, in which Villanueva demanded Bonta open an inquiry into allegations that Kuehl and Giggans had been tipped off in advance of the impending searches.
In his letter, Bonta replied that while he would look into Villanueva’s claim, he was also taking over the department’s investigation into Giggans’ charity.
He ordered Murakami to “please have your department staff transmit all evidence, investigative reports, and information to” two agents in Bonta’s office.
How Bonta’s move will impact rulings in the case by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge William Ryan was not immediately clear.
On Friday, Ryan issued an order temporarily barring the department from examining computers that investigators had seized from Metro’s Inspector General after lawyers for the Inspector General challenged the validity of the search warrant used in the raid. Lawyers for Kuehl and Metro then filed similar challenges and Ryan extended the ban to any devices taken from them.
The judge stopped short of granting a request from attorneys for Kuehl and Metro that he find the search warrants sheriff’s investigators obtained invalid and order the Sheriff’s Department to return the seized property. The validity of the warrants, he wrote, would be decided after he heard from lawyers for the Sheriff’s Department and those targeted in the investigation.
Villanueva seems to like to play a Wild West Sheriff on the tax payers money and trust. I can’t wait until his gets kicked out after next elections.
Villanueva is out of control. He's attacking his critics. He sent his gang to search the homes (and seize property) of those that sit on the board meant to oversee his department and investigate corruption therein. WTF.
Man accused of trying to sexually assault girl inside Stater Bros. bathroom in Whittier
Authorities Identify Teen, Suspect Killed in North Hollywood Shooting
How the theft of 44 firearms from an L.A. gun store exploded into an LAPD scandal
Suspects attempt smash-and-grab robbery at Nordstrom store at The Grove, lead LAPD on chase
Video: Thieves ransack Louis Vuitton store in San Francisco