Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva released a statement Friday night regarding the reinstatement of deputies who had been fired, a source of conflict with the county Board of Supervisors:
“I understand the concerns of representatives from some of our contract cities regarding rehiring of deputies who had been terminated as reported by the Office of the Inspector General and the media. The Department has acted responsibly in dealing with such personnel matters, and we continue to work to mediate the concerns of the Board of Supervisors.
“The majority of the reinstatements cited by the OIG and media were the result of Civil Service Commission findings. The Civil Service Commission arrives at its decisions regarding reinstatement of deputies independent of the Sheriff’s Department. It is a Charter-mandated body, charged with acting as the appellate body for major disciplinary actions, discharges, demotions, suspensions in excess of five days and discrimination complaints filed by County employees.
“Other deputies who have been returned to duty as a result of internal administrative investigations resulted from those investigations having not been completed in the time frame allowed by legal statute. These cases would have ultimately resulted in a required reinstatement. Internal investigations that failed to meet constitutionally mandated standards for due process, in addition to (the) statute of limitations, would have exposed the Department to further liability.
“We value the solid relationships that we have with our contract cities and their safety is paramount to the service we provide. This Department would never take any action that would jeopardize our communities. I am fully aware of our obligation to minimize any civil liability and routinely examine any action, policy or training we implement to achieve that ultimate goal.”