A Nov. 10 court hearing has been set on a request by the union representing Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies to intervene in a lawsuit by the county demanding that Sheriff Alex Villanueva cooperate with the Office of the Inspector General’s ongoing investigation into alleged internal LASD gangs.
The county’s Los Angeles County Superior Court petition against Villanueva states 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, the sheriff has refused to cooperate with the OIG’s requests for access to critical records and record systems.”
But in a motion filed by the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, the union’s lawyers allege 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.
“ALADS therefore seeks to intervene in this lawsuit to protect its administrative action before (the Employee Relations Commission) and to ensure that all the rights of ALADS’s members are protected in the event the court grants the county’s petition,” ALADS lawyers state in their court papers.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant will hear the request. According to the county’s petition filed July 7, Villanueva has “flatly refused to comply” with the new statute and cooperate in the OIG’s investigation of potential deputy gangs. The legal action seeks a court order directing the sheriff to work with the OIG in its probe.
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 has 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 sheriff have clashed over a range of matters during Villanueva’s time in office. Villanueva’s bid for a second term is headed for a November runoff against former Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna. They finished 1-2 in a nine-candidate field in the June primary.