A preliminary injunction issued by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff on Monday reaffirms the LA County Civilian Oversight Commission’s position that Sheriff Alex Villanueva must follow county employment and reinstatement rules.
Villanueva’s reinstatement of a deputy who was fired over credible domestic violence allegations caused concern to the Commission.
After learning of this decision by the newly minted sheriff, the Commission expressed uncertainty and emphasized the need for Villanueva to follow the well-established county rules for the reinstatement of employees.
“From the very beginning of this action taken by the Sheriff, the Commission has advised the Sheriff to cease and desist in reinstating a deputy who was fired for domestic violence,” said Patti Giggans, L.A. County Civilian Oversight Commission Chair and Executive Director of Peace Over Violence. “The Court also agrees. Domestic violence abusers have no place in law enforcement.”
The bench trial’s final verdict will clarify the Los Angeles County’s hiring and discipline processes and create a precedent for future employment-related actions.
“We will continue to work with the Sheriff’s Department to explore solutions to repairing community confidence and building public trust in the Sheriff’s Department,” said Brian K. Williams, Executive Director of the Civilian Oversight Commission. “We are requesting more transparency in Department directives and policy changes and increased accountability in internal administrative investigations.”
On January 22, 2019, Sheriff Villanueva attended the Commission meeting to discuss his plans for a Truth and Reconciliation panel and address the rehiring of Caren Carl Mandoyan.
On March 5, the Board of Supervisors filed a lawsuit regarding the issue.
A March 18 Commission letter to the Sheriff expressed reservations about the Sheriff’s personnel decisions and the legality his proposed Truth and Reconciliation Panel. It illustrated a concern regarding the impact these actions on public trust.
While providing an update and discussing the Department’s efforts to address incidents of domestic violence at the March 26 Commission meeting, Sheriff Villanueva again spoke of the reinstated deputy, going as far as reading an excerpt from a memo written by Mandoyan regarding the allegations against him.