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LA County Drops Petition for Order Directing Villanueva to Cooperate in Gang Probe

LA County Drops Petition for Order Directing Villanueva to Cooperate in Gang Probe

Los Angeles County has dropped a petition demanding that former Sheriff Alex Villanueva cooperate with the Office of the Inspector General’s ongoing investigation into alleged internal LASD gangs.

In its court papers filed July 7, the county stated that although a new OIG ordinance makes clear that the sheriff must cooperate with the OIG and provide documents and information in the manner requested, Villanueva had “refused to cooperate with the OIG’s requests for access to critical records
and record systems.”

The request for dismissal filed Thursday with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant asks that it the petition be dropped “without prejudice, meaning the county is not barred from reviving the case later. The court papers do not explain the reason behind the county’s new decision.

In November, Chalfant granted a motion by the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, the union representing sheriff’s deputies, to intervene and participate in the case. The union’s lawyers alleged the county failed to meet and confer with the association before adopting the OIG Ordinance, which they also say is the subject of an administrative action before the county Employee Relations Commission.

The union wanted to intervene in this case to protect its administrative action before the Employee Relations Commission and to ensure that all the rights of ALADS’ members were are protected in the event the court granted the county’s petition, ALADS’ lawyers stated in their court papers.

The Board of Supervisors created the OIG in 2014 to assist in fulfilling its supervisory responsibility and provide comprehensive oversight and monitoring of the LASD, the petition states. Instead of providing the
information sought when requested to do so, Villanueva had cut off access to critical information, documents and materials, according to the petition, which also asks that the sheriff and other LASD members make themselves available for interviews with the OIG.

The county supervisors and the former sheriff clashed over a range of matters during Villanueva’s time in office. Villanueva was defeated by retired Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna in Villanueva’s November re-election bid.