LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva hit back at a new scathing inspector general report that questioned his decision to rehire a deputy who was fired over allegations of domestic violence.
The embattled Villanueva, already being sued by the Board of Supervisors, said he was disappointed that the report was made public before he and the county went to court.
“It’s a political document by a political appointee of the Board of Supervisors,” he said.
The report stems from the sheriff’s rehiring of campaign ally Caren Mandoyan, a deputy who was fired after his then-girlfriend said she recorded him trying to break into her home. The woman, who was also a deputy, further accused Mandoyan of stalking and abusing her.
The inspector general’s report stated that the evidence presented supported Mandoyan’s firing and that there was no prejudice against the deputy. The report also said that the sheriff ignored key pieces of evidence when he reinstated Mandoyan.
Commenting on the report, county supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas said the findings were alarming.
“It becomes clear we have a lot to be concerned about with respect to the “truth and reconciliation process” the sheriff has sought to put in place,” he said.
But in a June letter, the sheriff’s attorney blasted the report saying it was skewed in support of the county supervisors, omitted new evidence such as testimony from the victim’s friend who said the victim said Mandoyan never abused her and ignored testimony from the victims’ supervisors who said the victim was unreliable and lacked credibility.
Villanueva said he was standing by the decision to reinstate Mandoyan saying it was a bigger issue about employment rights and due process.
He said he believes the judge will see it his way when the pending litigation against him goes to court — possibly by the end of summer — but the county board sees it differently.