Posts Tagged :

sheriffs-statement

Sheriff alex villanueva graphic. portrait of sheriff in tan shirt black tie. Sheriff's uniform, on greeen background with the hall of justice building behind him faded in the back ground.
Leaked Grand Jury Investigation 1024 249 SIB Staff

Leaked Grand Jury Investigation

STATEMENT REGARDING “LEAKED” GRAND JURY INVESTIGATION

August 8, 2022

On Thursday, August 4, 2022, the Sheriff’s Department received notification of a criminal grand jury subpoena for records regarding a use of force incident in the San Fernando Court lockup from March of 2021.

Any allegation of misconduct is of deep concern to the department, and this one is no exception.  Hence, we are conducting a thorough internal investigation, and we are fully cooperating with this subpoena.

To date, our investigation indicates that the allegation of misconduct was orchestrated by involved Department executives to falsely portray themselves as whistleblowers in order to avoid discipline, up to and including termination.  The District Attorney has been given this and all other relevant information. 

https://lasd.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Post_REDACTED_Timeline_Memo_SanFernando_UOF_050122.pdf

https://lasd.org/sheriff-villanueva-discusses-recent-allegations-of-an-alleged-cover-up-involving-department-personnel/

Sheriff Alex Villanueva

Sheriff alex villanueva graphic. portrait of sheriff in tan shirt black tie. Sheriff's uniform, on greeen background with the hall of justice building behind him faded in the back ground.
LASD Undersheriff Robert Allen Edmonds 1024 249 SIB Staff

LASD Undersheriff Robert Allen Edmonds

Today, we were deeply saddened to hear former LASD Undersheriff Robert Allen Edmonds passed away.  He was “recruited” to the Department by a Lennox Station Detective when Edmonds, an Assistant Manager for Safeway at the time, went to report bad checks received.

He became a Deputy after graduating from class #87 in 1961. Throughout his career, Robert steadily rose up through the ranks as a Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Commander, Assistant Sheriff and ultimately, Undersheriff in 1987. Robert Allen Edmonds worked during the Watts Riots, the Cerritos air crash, the 1984 Olympics, and several other large scale incidents.  He was known for bolstering the Sheriff’s Department explorer program, operations planning for large scale disasters and events, as well as overseeing the department’s transition from paper logs to the first digitized computer system.

After 32 years in the Sheriff’s Department, Undersheriff Robert Allen Edmonds retired in 1994. He was a true leader who inspired and motivated others to strive for the best when serving the community. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has suffered a great loss and he will be greatly missed.

Sheriff alex villanueva graphic. portrait of sheriff in tan shirt black tie. Sheriff's uniform, on greeen background with the hall of justice building behind him faded in the back ground.
Board of supervisors vote to terminate approximately 4000 LASD personnel 1024 249 SIB Staff

Board of supervisors vote to terminate approximately 4000 LASD personnel

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS VOTE TO TERMINATE APPROXIMATELY 4,000 LASD PERSONNEL DURING A TIME WHEN MURDERS HAVE INCREASED OVER 94% AND THERE IS A HIRING FREEZE IN THE DEPARTMENT

February 8, 2022

Today the Board of Supervisors followed through on their threat and voted 4-0 (1 abstention) to form a suicide pact and start the process to fire 4,000 deputies for not being vaccinated.  Showing deliberate indifference to the obvious impact on public safety, the Board hid behind an alleged threat to public safety they couldn’t back up with data.  Tellingly, the Board’s own County Counsel (Rodrigo Castro-Silva) couldn’t offer even a basic legal opinion on the legality of the Board’s motion, or the obvious legal challenges they will face.

The Board, who ignored the comments made by thousands of their constituents today during their meeting, is now seeking to fire the very same personnel who were forced to work in person, exposing themselves to the COVID-19 virus when there was no vaccine, while the Supervisors and most of the workforce were telecommuting from the comfort and safety of their own homes.  Supervisor Kuehl falsely asserted in her motion that LASD employees represented 74% of infected County employees, ignoring the simple fact most infections were during pre-vaccine availability.

This moral failure of leadership represents a curious backtracking of their position on the authority of the Human Resources Director to override the authority of the sheriff.  At the beginning of my tenure they claimed I did not have the authority to hire and fire my workforce.  Now they are claiming the opposite and need to remove that delegated authority from me!

It is important to remember Department personnel who chose not to vaccinate are required to submit to weekly COVID testing, and have committed no administrative offense.

This is nothing more than another politically motivated stunt by the Board, which has no bearing on public health, but will definitely harm public safety.

Alex Villanueva

Sheriff

Sheriff alex villanueva graphic. portrait of sheriff in tan shirt black tie. Sheriff's uniform, on greeen background with the hall of justice building behind him faded in the back ground.
Lawsuit claiming Deputy Gangs is thrown out of court 1024 249 SIB Staff

Lawsuit claiming Deputy Gangs is thrown out of court

AUSTREBERTO GONZALEZ’S LAWSUIT CLAIMING “DEPUTY GANGS” AT HIS STATION IS THROWN OUT OF COURT

November 5, 2021

On November 4, 2021, Judge William F. Fahey dismissed with prejudice the case brought against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department by Deputy Austreberto Gonzalez due to lack of evidence and absence of triable facts.  The Court also highlighted Mr. Gonzalez “may not contradict his deposition testimony by proffering different testimony in a later declaration.” 

The unproven allegations in this case alleging “deputy gangs” by Mr. Gonzalez have been used as the primary basis for attacks on the Department by some members of the Board of Supervisors, a former member of the Board of Supervisors (who has been indicted for public corruption), the Office of the Inspector General, the Civilian Oversight Commission, other elected officials, and the media.  Their statements have been presented as “facts” in reports by RAND, the Center for Juvenile Law & Policy, and Knock LA.  The LA Times alone has referenced these unsubstantiated allegations in at least a dozen articles.  These writings have served to attack and undermine the perceived credibility and legitimacy of our organization, even though they were based on what we now know to be an uncredible source.  I predict not one of these entities will amend or correct their work, but as John Adams once stated, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” 

In addition to having his case thrown out of court for lack of evidence, absence of triable facts, and impeaching his own testimony, Mr. Gonzalez and his attorneys were additionally sanctioned monetarily by the Court for their failure to comply with orders of the Court.   

At this time, the Department is unable to provide any further information on Mr. Gonzalez, other than he remains on paid leave.  As Sheriff, I have remained focused on providing our communities with transparent and truthful information.  I am deeply concerned to hear that after all of the facts in this case were uncovered, Mr. Gonzalez, as one of my deputies, may have supplied incomplete or misleading information to the legal system, as noted in the Court’s ruling, and appropriate measures will be taken so that we continue to assure our communities deputy sheriffs can, and must, be trusted. (see full Court Order)

I remain committed to transparency and accountability and almost two-years ago I became the first Los Angeles County Sheriff in history to successfully implement a policy banning “deputy cliques.”  Recently, AB 958 was signed into law, a bill I sponsored based on the current LASD policy, which will now be the model policy for all law enforcement in our state.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva

Graphic of Sheriff Villanueva next to Hall Of Justice
SUBPOENAS UNDER AB 1185 1024 249 SIB Staff

SUBPOENAS UNDER AB 1185

SUBPOENAS UNDER AB 1185

October 20, 2021

Tomorrow, neither I nor my Undersheriff will appear under oath before the Civilian Oversight Commission (COC), due to pending legal concerns which have yet to make their way through the courts regarding the scope and authority of the new law concerning oversight.  This is a matter which must be given time to make its way through the legal system.  A conflict of interest has existed between myself and the Board of Supervisors for some time now, and through their appointed commissioners they have vilified me for using the legal system to clarify the many areas which are undefined and unclear in the subpoena process.  Rather than allow due process to work, the Board’s commissioners further clog the system with unnecessary actions, in an effort to delegitimize both myself and my department.

There was no need for subpoenas. I agreed to appear voluntarily, at minimum, 3 times per year, and have already done so.  The COC does not extend the courtesy of checking with my schedule or even sending a special request to appear, they just issue subpoenas.  Although they have subpoena power, it is an abuse of power to simply use it to demand I show up and then testify under oath. There is no current investigation.  They are not a legislative body.  They have no authority over a duly elected sheriff, other than oversight. They are there to offer advice, not interrogate.  I have freely answered questions in the past, so why now do they want to interrogate me under oath in an adversarial setting?

Tomorrow’s COC meeting will be filled with the same rancorous politically motivated rhetoric as usual.  As they grandstand and gaslight, remember these are the same BOS appointees who voted unanimously for my resignation, with zero evidence of misconduct, yet have been deafeningly silent regarding the federal indictment of former Chair of the Board of Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas for 20 counts of public corruption.  The same Mark Ridley-Thomas who appointed most of the commissioners to their positions on the COC.  The same Mark Ridley-Thomas who called for my resignation, then authored a Board motion ordering County Counsel to explore ways to overturn the results of the election and remove me from office.  One COC commissioner, personally appointed by Mark Ridley-Thomas, actually led a “citywide prayer service” in support of Mark Ridley-Thomas this past weekend.  With his indictment, a new light has been shed on his, and his surrogates, obsession towards my removal from office.

The COC will condemn me loudly for pursuing the legitimate legal process that any Sheriff would avail themselves.  Yet, this same COC chose not to honor a continuance of their subpoenas in order for the Undersheriff and I to retain independent counsel, after current County Counsel Rodrigo Castro-Silva was notified of a clear conflict of interest. Unfortunately, at times the Board of Supervisors’ interests and the Sheriff’s interests will be at odds and the Board will infringe and interfere on the authority of the sheriff. The law provides for these differences and I am seeking clarity, as is appropriate under the circumstances. 

Do not be deceived by their politically motivated rhetoric. Understand and know this department provides requests for information to the COC and Office of the Inspector General. Please visit our tracker on the LASD.org website. OIG and COC receive regular updates as to their information requests and have received thousands upon thousands of documents to inform them regarding oversight. These subpoenas are political theater and once the courts rule on the issues at hand, it will be seen by all for what it was. I remain committed to transparency and accountability, but under a process which is constitutionally sound, and not a political weapon to attack others. I seek a remedy in the court in an effort to establish a fair process going forward where the rules and standards are clear for all sheriffs and Boards of Supervisors throughout the state in dealing with the new transparency laws should they find themselves in similar disagreement.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva

Graphic of Sheriff Villanueva next to Hall Of Justice
VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE vs “VACCINE MANDATE POLICE” 1024 249 SIB Staff

VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE vs “VACCINE MANDATE POLICE”

VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE vs “VACCINE MANDATE POLICE”

October 8, 2021

In Los Angeles County we have a Board of Supervisors who repeatedly call to empty the jails and release felons back onto the streets; a District Attorney who refuses to prosecute many misdemeanors and has effectively de-criminalized a myriad of crimes through his special directives; a homeless problem in excess of 80K which continues to grow without solutions; a 54% increase in homicides; and all this occurred as LASD was defunded and stripped of 1,400 positions. 

These reckless actions in the name of “woke-ism” have real-world consequences and public safety continues to suffer as a result.  Continuing to defund LASD when there is a $2 billion surplus forces us to make tough choices regarding the allocation of resources. When a decision must be made between responding to a violent felony in progress or serving as the “vaccine mandate police,” the choice is simple. 

The Department will continue requiring all of our employees to register with the Fulgent system but will only seek voluntary compliance and testing for the unvaccinated.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva

Sheriff alex villanueva graphic. portrait of sheriff in tan shirt black tie. Sheriff's uniform, on greeen background with the hall of justice building behind him faded in the back ground.
POLICE REFORM LEGISLATION – AB 958 1024 249 SIB Staff

POLICE REFORM LEGISLATION – AB 958

POLICE REFORM LEGISLATION – AB 958

October 1, 2021

Yesterday, AB 958 was signed into law!  I am proud to be a sponsor of this legislation, which is based on the current Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department policy I implemented in February 2020.  

Our current Department policy is consistent with this new law and is already being enforced.  This law will serve to foster organizational change and hold employees to a higher standard of conduct.  We must remain hyper vigilant that benign subgroups do not devolve into cliques that may dishonor the badge. 

I thank Assemblymember Mike Gipson for championing this legislation and Governor Gavin Newsom for signing it into law.

Sheriff alex villanueva graphic. portrait of sheriff in tan shirt black tie. Sheriff's uniform, on greeen background with the hall of justice building behind him faded in the back ground.
PUBLIC CORRUPTION INVESTIGATIONS 1024 249 SIB Staff

PUBLIC CORRUPTION INVESTIGATIONS

PUBLIC CORRUPTION INVESTIGATIONS

September 22, 2021

Tomorrow, a local newspaper will release a story about the department’s long overdue creation of a Public Corruption Unit.  The Sheriff’s Department has been conducting public corruption investigations for decades under every single sheriff, but it has never been formalized until recently.  The department has been investigating multiple complaints of public malfeasance since I took office in December of 2018, which is well within the authority of the department consistent with California Government Code Section 25303 and 26600.  As a matter of fact, the California Constitution bestows investigative authority to the Office of the Sheriff as an independently elected official, and who is not subordinate to any other elected official in the county.  This is of particular significance when the community is demanding transparency and accountability from all elected and appointed officials.  No one is above the rule of law.

In the article, the reporter will push the narrative that I created this team to attack my political opponents and their appointees.  This is false.  The sole responsibility of the Sheriff’s Department is to investigate allegations of criminal conduct as they are discovered, regardless of how inconvenient it may be to the subject of the investigation.  The unit is supervised by the Undersheriff, and I have recused myself from all decision making to avoid any potential conflict of interest.  The department routinely seeks out the opinion of the District Attorney, the State Attorney General’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to decide jurisdictional issues and appropriate prosecutorial venues on all cases. 

#FactsMatter

Sheriff Alex Villanueva

Sheriff alex villanueva graphic. portrait of sheriff in tan shirt black tie. Sheriff's uniform, on greeen background with the hall of justice building behind him faded in the back ground.
RAND CORPORATION REPORT ON DEPUTY SUBGROUPS 1024 249 SIB Staff

RAND CORPORATION REPORT ON DEPUTY SUBGROUPS

RELEASE OF RAND CORPORATION REPORT ON DEPUTY SUBGROUPS

September 10, 2021

Today the Board of Supervisors released a study performed by the RAND Corporation titled “Understanding Subgroups Within the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department: Community and Department Perceptions with Recommendations for Change.”  I received the 230-page study the same time everyone else did today, so I have not had an opportunity to read it.  I look forward to learning about their study, methodologies used, limitations, and seeing how their recommendations can inform the massive reform efforts already underway.  This is part of leading a learning organization devoted to serving the public safety needs of our community.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva

Sheriff alex villanueva graphic. portrait of sheriff in tan shirt black tie. Sheriff's uniform, on greeen background with the hall of justice building behind him faded in the back ground.
RUMORS OF MANDATORY COVID VACCINATIONS UNDER THE THREAT OF DISCIPLINE 1024 249 SIB Staff

RUMORS OF MANDATORY COVID VACCINATIONS UNDER THE THREAT OF DISCIPLINE

RUMORS OF MANDATORY COVID VACCINATIONS UNDER THE THREAT OF DISCIPLINE

August 25, 2021

Personally, I have received the COVID vaccination, and I encourage others to become vaccinated.  I also respect the individual rights of others to make decisions about their own bodies.  Considering recent countywide directives being discussed related to mandatory vaccinations, under the threat of discipline or termination, I must state my belief this is a labor issue which must be worked out between the unions and the County Board of Supervisors.

As this issue is worked out by all involved parties, I want to reassure Department personnel NO ACTION will be imposed prior to completion of the meet and consult process.

Once this issue has been through the entire legal process, if there were ever policies regarding vaccination status which could result in discipline, the implementation of such policies would start from the top of the executive staff down.  I look forward to seeing this issue resolved in a manner consistent with labor laws, the Constitution of the State of California, and the Constitution of the United States of America.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva