A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department secretary will have to shore up her civil rights suit in which she alleges then-Sheriff Alex Villanueva blocked her chance for promotion because she supported a rival candidate in last June’s primary election, a judge ruled this week.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Randolph M. Hammock found that plaintiff Cynthia Gallegos can move forward with one of her two civil rights allegations for now as it pertains to Villanueva, but not the county. Hammock also said the second civil rights claim will need more details insofar as both Villanueva and the county.
Hammock gave Gallegos’ attorneys 30 days to file an amended complaint.
A sheriff’s department employee of more than 22 years, Gallegos in October 2021 was named acting senior secretary 5 in the department’s Technology and Support Division, where her supervisor was Eli Vera, who finished seventh in the primary last June 7. Villanueva was defeated in his bid for a second term in the Nov. 8 general election against retired Long Beach Police Department Chief Robert Luna. Vera maintains he was demoted from chief to commander by Villanueva in retaliation for making a run for sheriff. In her suit, Gallegos alleges she paid the price for backing Vera when she was wrongfully denied the full senior secretary 5 position despite having the highest score among applicants.
“If not for Villanueva’s retaliation, (Gallegos) would have been hired in the position,” the suit filed Oct. 25 states.
After allegedly blocking Gallegos’ promotion, Villanueva filled the position with a candidate who was a friend of the sheriff’s largest fundraiser, according to the suit.
“The person hired has caused chaos and discord in the office and refuses to learn the job,” according to the suit, which further states that the chosen candidate “had a reputation for similar antics and lack of competence in her other prior assignments.”
Gallegos has suffered extreme emotional distress and severe insomnia because she believes she was wrongfully denied the promotion, the lawsuit states.
1 comment for "Judge finds issues with Villanueva foe’s civil rights lawsuit"
City of Los Angeles makes tests to see who the top contenders are to interview the top three candidates. She got cocky and assumed her high score was the equivalent of being hired for it. Wrong!. You must do good in interviews. Not everyone is good when it comes to the practical side of their job. Seems like she didn’t like the outcome and needed to blame someone for her own shortcomings.