LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva Continues to Threaten and Intimidate Critics Who Question How He Handles His Gang-Infested Sheriff’s Department
by Jo Ellen Nott
Current Los Angeles County sheriff Alex Villanueva has done nothing to clean up rampant gang activity within the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (“LASD”) since being elected to the post in
2018. Despite his campaign promises to purge the LASD of gangs, not only has Villanueva protected the gangs and their leaders, but he has brazenly declared war on his critics by opening bogus investigations on them and threatening city council members with defamation lawsuits for telling the truth about the existence of the deputy gangs.
As a part of the war against Villanueva’s critics, several suspicious raids engineered by the LASD took place in the early morning of September 14, 2022. LASD deputies pounded on the doors of two outspoken critics of the sheriff with a search warrant. They also raided the LA County Hall of Administration, and the Metro Transportation Authority’s headquarters. The women whose homes were raided, Sheila Kuehl, LA County Supervisor, and Patti Giggans, member of the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Committee who runs the nonprofit group Peace Over Violence, are accused of alleged corruption over a country contract awarded to Giggans’ group.
Peace Over Violence is a sexual and domestic violence, intimate partner stalking, child abuse, and youth violence prevention center headquartered in Los Angeles. Its leader, Patti Giggans, has clashed repeatedly with Villanueva and has called for his resignation. Peace Over Violence’s mission is to prevent several the behaviors his rogue deputy gangs regularly engage in except child abuse and makes it a perfect target for Villanueva’s ire.
The LASD first said it could not comment on the ongoing “investigation” into supposed corruption relating to the awarding of the Peace Over Violence contract by the county. Later the LASD posted a statement to its website, alleging bribery of a county supervisor. The district attorney’s office has not seen any legal basis for the corruption claims alleged by Villanueva and the LASD against Kuehl and Giggans.
The DA’s office also made clear it was not going to help the LASD harass its critics. Later on the day of the suspicious raids, the DA’s office stated that prosecutors “were not consulted or aware of the search warrants that were served today.” The office reported they would not defend the warrants if challenged in court.
If history is an indication, Sheriff Villanueva will survive any eventual fallout for this show of force against county officials. The voters of Los Angeles will have to decide when they have had enough of Villanueva’s corruption and protection of criminal deputy gangs in the LASD and vote him out.
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