L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s house searched by sheriff’s investigators

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Los Angeles County Sheriff’s investigators searched County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s home on Wednesday as part of a criminal investigation into a county contract awarded to a non-profit organization.

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“Sheriff’s Department. We have a warrant. We demand entry,” a deputy shouted from outside the front door of the supervisor’s Santa Monica property, minutes after Kuehl showed up a few minutes later and was handed some paperwork She said that she was alone in the house, and several representatives walked in.

A barefoot Kuehl was taken away from the house and his phone was snatched from him. Inside, sheriff’s investigators could be seen opening and closing the doors. A deputy appeared to be taking the photo or video.

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A copy of the warrant revealed that the discovery was linked to an ongoing investigation into Peace over Violence, a non-profit run by Patti Giggons, a member of the Sheriff’s Civilian Oversight Commission and a close friend of Kuehl’s. Both Kuehl and Gigans lashed out at Sheriff Alex Villanueva and demanded his resignation.

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Sheriff’s investigators also searched Gigan’s home, its non-profit offices, officials from the LA County Hall of Administration, and the headquarters of the county’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which awarded a contract to Giggons’ organization. The search warrant for Kuehl’s home authorized investigators to confiscate any documents or electronic files “relating to a peace-over-violence contract takeover”.

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In a brief statement, the sheriff’s department announced the search, but declined to provide details, citing an ongoing criminal investigation.

The investigation stems from allegations by a Metro employee who alleged that he was targeted for retaliation by supervisors after making a misconduct claim against the agency. The employee claimed, among other things, that Kuehl improperly helped Gigans’ nonprofit win a contract to operate a hotline to report sexual harassment on public transportation.

In an interview outside his home while the search was underway, Kuehl denied any wrongdoing and called the allegations “completely bogus”, adding that he “knew nothing about the contract” and The board of observers did not vote on whether to approve it.

“These are third world tactics,” said Austin Dove, Gigan’s attorney. “Vladimir Putin will be impressed.”

An investigation into Gigans’ nonprofit and others by a secret unit inside the sheriff’s department has fueled angry claims from critics that Villanueva is using its investigators to target political enemies and others who have crossed them. Villanueva refuted the claims, saying that he had disassociated himself from the unit’s work to avoid conflicts of interest.

County District Attorney George Gascon decided he had nothing to do with the unit after sheriff’s officers proposed the two agencies form a task force. Cooperate in public corruption investigations.

“He is only targeting political enemies,” Gascon told The Times of Villanueva. “It was clear I didn’t want to do that kind of work, so we declined.”

Shortly after Gascon refused to partner with the Sheriff’s Department, Villanueva emerged as a strong supporter of the Gascon recall campaign, which ultimately failed to oust the district attorney from office.

The slow pace of the unit’s investigation and its apparent lack of results have only deepened the suspicion.

Loyola Law School professor Sean Kennedy, who sits on the commission, said, “These highly publicized criminal investigations have never resulted in charges that suggest an ulterior motive.” 10 page memo Called for an inquiry into whether Villanueva is abusing his power.

This is a developing story and will be updated.


Source: www.latimes.com

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