CA Attorney General Kicks Sheriff Villanueva Off L.A. Supervisor Probe

Sheriff Alex Villanueva says he’s recused himself from his department’s raid on his enemies but DOJ is taking over anyway

California Attorney General Rob Bonta informed the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday that its services will no longer be required, nor are they requested, in any further investigation regarding L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, her friend, Civilian Oversight Commission member and Peace Over Violence boss Patti Giggans, or any other opponents of Sheriff Alex Villanueva who were targeted in last week’s raids over a no-bid contract awarded to Peace Over Violence for a sexual harassment hotline.

The letter, released by A.G. Bonta’s office Tuesday, warns that Villanueva’s officers “should cease its investigative activity and refrain from any actions in furtherance of these investigations, including public statements or court filings related to the investigations.”

Going forward, Bonta instructed the department, “DOJ has requested that LASD cease its investigative activity and transmit all evidence to DOJ.”

It would seem that the A.G. is not entirely convinced that the LASD attack on its leader’s enemies was quite kosher.

“In recent days, the public unfolding of an unprecedented investigation has raised serious questions for residents of Southern California and beyond,” Bonta said in a press release Tuesday. “I recognize the deep uncertainty this has engendered and, given the unique circumstances, my team has committed to taking over this investigative process. Make no mistake: We are committed to a thorough, fair, and independent investigation that will help restore confidence for the people of our state. If there is wrongdoing by any party, we will bring it to light.”

The A.G. emphasized, “Under the California Constitution and Government Code, the Attorney General has supervisorial authority over the state’s sheriffs and, when in the public interest, has the authority to take full charge of a criminal investigation if deemed necessary.”

While Villanueva has said that there’s nothing to see here since he “recused” himself from the case, in which two of the targets of the agency he runs have openly called for his resignation, the A.G. remarks that “given that the requested investigation is intimately related to the underlying investigation from which the sheriff is recused, DOJ has determined that handling all of the matters is in the public interest.”

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