LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A new inspector general to oversee and monitor the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was officially approved by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.
Deputy District Attorney Max Huntsman will lead the county’s Office of Inspector General. In the role, Huntsman will make policy recommendations to the board on jail conditions, allegations of misconduct and the use of force by deputies, among other issues.
Huntsman, who will be paid a salary of $204,423, is a graduate of Yale Law School.
The embattled department is already the focus of federal probes into jail violence and the treatment of mentally ill inmates. Most recently, the Los Angeles Times reported dozens of the department’s hires have histories of serious misconduct, including lying on the record, cheating on polygraph exams and more.
Huntsman, who is expected to begin working in the new year, told the Times he was concerned about its findings.
“The hiring of people who have not been honest is a dangerous thing to do,” Huntsman told the newspaper. “A use of force can be placed in context …. It may or may not reoccur. But dishonesty, that’s always going to be a problem.”
Establishing an Office of Inspector General was one of the recommendations made by the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence in September 2012. After months of interviews, the board announced Huntsman as their choice last week.
Huntsman’s 20 years as a Los Angeles County prosecutor include his current assignment as assistant head deputy of the Public Integrity Division of the District Attorney’s Office. He has led major public corruption investigations involving the cities of Bell and Vernon and tried more than 50 jury trials, including two related to police use of force.
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