header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
72°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
April 16
1962 - Walt Disney donates bison herd to Hart Park [story]
Bison


| Monday, Aug 19, 2019
mandoyan
At the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles, Kaitlin Robertson, Jillian Kislow and Marianne Bema attend a Friday rally calling on Sheriff Alex Villanueva to reconsider his decision to rehire officers, including Caren Mandoyan who had been fired over claims of domestic violence. | Photo: Martin Macias Jr./CNS.

 

LOS ANGELES – A California judge on Friday tentatively overturned Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s decision to reinstate Caren Mandoyan, an officer fired for domestic violence, but a final ruling is expected next week.

Before taking office, Villanueva began reinstating officer Caren Mandoyan to the force, a move that came years after a county appeals board upheld a decision to fire Mandoyan after his former partner – also a police officer – accused him in 2016 of stalking and physical abuse.

The decision to rehire Mandoyan – who was never criminally charged – triggered a March 4 lawsuit against Villanueva by the LA County Board of Supervisors, who argued the sheriff acted outside the scope of his authority.

Days later, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff declined the county’s request for an order forcing Mandoyan to return his badge and gun but ordered additional briefing on the scope of Villanueva’s authority in personnel matters.

In papers opposing the county’s preliminary injunction request, Villanueva’s attorneys said LA County Counsel Mary Wickham’s office had advised the department had authority to review disciplinary cases and that Villanueva had discretion to rehire officers.

At a hearing Friday, Villanueva’s attorney Steven Madison told Beckloff that the advice from Wickham’s office was instrumental in Mandoyan’s rehiring process and that the county cannot seek revision of its authority through the courts.

“These are not some permit office workers across a window,” Madison said regarding legal advice from county lawyers. “These are our lawyers.”

Madison told Beckloff state and county law grant Villanueva authority to handle personnel matters, including decision on rehiring “whether we or the [county supervisors] thinks it’s wise or not.”

Beckloff said that while county supervisors may not interfere with Villanueva’s “prosecutorial and investigative duties” under state law, department rehiring is subject to Civil Service Commission rules.

Mandoyan’s attorney Greg Smith told Beckloff the officer fumbled by leaning too heavily on advice from his commanders and that he would be harmed financially from an injunction.

“He is not in that food chain,” Smith said regarding advice from Mandoyan’s commanders on personnel matters. “If the injunction is granted, he’s finished.”

lasd sheriff alex villanueva - mandoyan

Louis “Skip” Miller of Miller Barondess, an attorney for the county, told Beckloff that an order overturning Mandoyan’s rehiring would be appropriate.

“We have a sheriff who is playing games and is not playing right,” Miller said. “There is a real concern from the board. [Villanueva] has discretion to run the department but there needs to be a clear order that Mandoyan is out pending trial.”

Miller told Beckloff that Villanueva’s rehiring process, including an internal review panel, is a “sham” designed to obscure the sheriff’s actions.

“It’s there so Villanueva can do what he wants when he wants regardless of county rules,” Miller said. “It’s a fraud constructed to justify the decision he made before he’d even gotten sworn in.”

Beckloff tentatively granted the county’s injunction Friday but told the parties that a final ruling will issue early next week.

It’s unclear whether Beckloff will order Mandoyan to turn in his badge and gun or, as suggested by Madison, be placed on administrative leave pending trial.

Madison, with the firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, told Beckloff that being “one sheriff down until trial” is a harm to the county’s public safety and reason to order unpaid administrative leave.

Villanueva – who was elected on a reformist platform – has argued that Mandoyan was wrongfully fired and that other systematic violations of officers’ rights targeted minority cops.

Dozens of community and civil rights groups including the American Civil Liberties Union held a rally at the courthouse Friday protesting Villanueva’s rehiring of fired officers and his stance on officer gangs in the department.

Lisa Vargas, whose son Anthony Vargas was shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies in 2017, told Courthouse News she was upset Beckloff will weigh potential harm to Mandoyan but won’t mention harm residents have experienced from officer gangs and police shootings.

Citing a Tuesday resolution passed by the LA County Democratic Party reprimanding Villanueva for reinstating officers, Vargas said the sheriff’s supporters are seeing his true colors.

“I believe Villanueva is not transparent whatsoever,” Vargas said. “The Democratic Party is right, they got conned into voting for him, believing there would be change in the system.”

Villanueva’s spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

— By Martin Macias Jr.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

No Comments

    Leave a Comment


    SCV NewsBreak
    LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
    Thursday, Apr 15, 2021
    LASD Investigating Deadly Saugus Stabbing
    A woman died after having been rushed to the hospital following a stabbing in a Saugus neighborhood early Thursday morning.
    Thursday, Apr 15, 2021
    Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: 16 and Over Now Eligible for Vaccine; SCV Cases Total 27,535
    The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 23 new deaths and 613 new cases of COVID-19, with 27,535 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
    Thursday, Apr 15, 2021
    Survey Shows Majority of Staff, Students Favor Keeping Hart Mascot
    The results of two surveys regarding the controversy surrounding the Hart High School mascot were reported during the William S. Hart Union High School District governing board meeting on Wednesday.
    Keep Up With Our Facebook

    Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
    1962 - Walt Disney donates bison herd to Hart Park [story]
    Bison
    The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board has approved the recommendation to name Donna Manfredi as the principal of Golden Oak Adult School.
    Donna Manfredi Takes Helm at Golden Oak Adult School
    The Executive Office of the Board of Supervisors announced the leadership team of the newly formed Probation Oversight Commission who will be tasked to lead efforts to monitor the Probation Department’s progress on systemic reform.
    L.A. County Announces New Probation Oversight Commission Leadership Team
    The Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at College of the Canyons will host a virtual Open House on Wednesday, April 28 to help those interested in advancing their careers by earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
    COC University Center Hosting Virtual Open House
    The Santa Clarita Public Television Authority will hold its regular meeting virtually Monday, April 19, at 2:00 p.m.
    April 19: Santa Clarita Public Television Authority Virtual Regular Meeting
    SCV Water has received a nearly $250,000 California Special Districts Association Public Safety Power Shutoff program allocation from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).
    Cal OES Awards SCV Water $250K Grant
    The Los Angeles County Arts Education Collective, coordinated by the Department of Arts and Culture, and KCET have joined forces to create a new documentary that explores the value of arts education for the youth, communities, and creative economy of L.A. County.
    KCET Documentary to Feature L.A. County’s Arts Education
    The Santa Clarita Valley League of Women Voters, partnering with College of the Canyons Center for Civic Engagement and its Engage the Vote Student Action Team, is sponsoring a virtual, “Conversation with Mayor Bill Miranda,” on Monday, April 19, from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    Miranda Joins League of Women Voters, COC for Virtual Conversation on Local Government
    A woman died after having been rushed to the hospital following a stabbing in a Saugus neighborhood early Thursday morning.
    LASD Investigating Deadly Saugus Stabbing
    The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 23 new deaths and 613 new cases of COVID-19, with 27,535 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
    Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: 16 and Over Now Eligible for Vaccine; SCV Cases Total 27,535
    The results of two surveys regarding the controversy surrounding the Hart High School mascot were reported during the William S. Hart Union High School District governing board meeting on Wednesday.
    Survey Shows Majority of Staff, Students Favor Keeping Hart Mascot
    As students and staff return to schools for in-person instruction, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reminds everyone to keep the safety of students in mind when traveling around schools.
    With Schools Reopening, LASD Reminding Drivers to Keep Student Safety In Mind
    1954 - Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden on streets of Newhall for filming of "Suddenly" [story]
    Frank Sinatra
    Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Wednesday confirmed 57 new deaths and 411 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as the county prepares to expand vaccination eligibility to residents 16 and older on Thursday.
    Wednesday COVID-19 Roundup: Vaccination Eligibility to Expand to 16+ Thursday; SCV Cases Total 27,515
    Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger has approved $140,000 in funding to the Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club through the county's Community Services Block Grant.
    Barger to Allocate $140K in County Block Grant Funds to Boys & Girls Club of SCV
    California public health officials this week lifted capacity limits on in-person services at places of worship from the state's reopening scheme, following a handful of Supreme Court decisions in favor of congregants challenging the state’s COVID-19 capacity limits.
    California Lifts COVID Capacity Limits on Places of Worship
    The Santa Clarita City Council on Tuesday night approved one-time funding of $100,000 for the relocation of Bridge to Home shelter services for people experiencing homelessness, and an additional loan not to exceed $110,000.
    Santa Clarita City Council OK’s Funding for Bridge to Home Shelter Relocation
    California Institute of the Arts, or CalArts, is leasing space at Newhall Crossings in Downtown Newhall to put its students’ artwork on display, officials with the Valencia arts college announced recently.
    CalArtians’ Works on Display at Newhall Crossings
    The Santa Clarita City Council unanimously approved Tuesday a Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital expansion plan, following a public hearing with protest from members of a local carpenters union and calls by community members to include a mental health care unit for children.
    Santa Clarita City Council Approves Henry Mayo Expansion Plan
    California Senate Bill 546, a measure to extend the state's "iFoster" cell phones and data program for foster youth, has passed out of the Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee with unanimous support, according to Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita).
    Wilk’s Bill to Extend ‘iFoster’ Cell Phone Program for Foster Youth Moves Forward
    2014 - "Become Ocean" by John Luther Adams (CalArts BFA 1973) named winner of 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Music [story]
    John Luther Adams
    College of the Canyons athletic programs returned to campus this week to begin outdoor team strength and conditioning activities, guided by a stringent return-to-campus procedural plan designed to ensure the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and support staff.
    Cougar Athletics Return to Campus
    The organizers of high school athletics in Southern California announced Monday their plans to move forward with section championships for a number of outdoor sports.
    CIF Announces Plans to Move Forward with Post-Season Play
    If you watched NASA’s exciting Mars Perseverance rover landing on Feb. 18, you definitely won’t want to miss the College of the Canyons Canyon Country campus spring 2021 virtual Star Party on Friday, April 23.
    April 23: COC Canyon Country Virtual Star Party
    %d bloggers like this: