LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Video released Tuesday night appears to show a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy breaking into a woman’s home.

The explosive evidence comes to light in the midst of a controversy rocking the department. For weeks, new L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has been at the center of the firestorm over the deputy caught on camera. Villanueva has defended Deputy Caren Carl Mandoyan, asserting he has not been involved in any wrongdoings, but the newly released video directly contradicts that claim.

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Mandoyen had been fired by the sheriff’s department in 2016 for spousal abuse following a department investigation. But when Villanueva was elected last fall, one of his first acts was re-hiring Mandoyen.

Cell phone video shows Mandoyen allegedly trying to pry open a sliding glass door at his former girlfriend’s home.

The footage obtained by The Los Angeles Times shows the woman yelling for him to leave as he repeatedly tries to break into the residence. Seconds later, the video goes dark but the sound continues with Mandoyen apparently in the victim’s apartment.

The sheriff’s department, the county civil service commission and the board of supervisors all say the deputy should have been fired. But Villanueva has gone to war with the board on this, defending Mandoyen, who was a volunteer on the sheriff’s campaign last fall.

Villanueva did not release a statement Tuesday night.

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