LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Caren Mandoyan, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy who was fired in 2016 over allegations of domestic violence and then reinstated by Sheriff Alex Villanueva, was ordered by a judge Monday to surrender his badge and gun. Mandoyan will also have to stop identifying himself as a law enforcement officer.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff granted a preliminary injunction, finalizing a tentative ruling he reviewed during a hearing Friday with attorneys for Mandoyan, Villanueva and the county Board of Supervisors —which sued the sheriff in hopes of nullifying Mandoyan’s rehiring.
The preliminary injunction will remain in effect “pending the trial of this action or further order of this court.”
The case goes back to 2016 when then-deputy Mandoyan was accused of domestic violence by his then-girlfriend, who was also a deputy at the time. Mandoyan was relieved of his duties as a deputy following an internal investigation.
Mandoyan subsequently volunteered on then-candidate Villanueva’s campaign for election. Once Villanueva was elected and took his oath of office, he reinstated Mandoyan. County supervisors then sued over Mandoyan’s rehiring.
Following the ruling, Villanueva issued a statement that said he was disappointed in the ruling, but will abide by it.
“As such, I have immediately implemented the court’s will regarding Deputy Mandoyan until a verdict is given at trial,” he said. “I remain hopeful and optimistic that the Board of Supervisors and I can get back to finding solutions together to end the homelessness crisis, as well as security better care for all of our inmates given the Board of Supervisors’ recent vote to stop the conversion of Men’s Central Jail into a mental health treatment center, resulting in a massive loss of millions of taxpayer dollars.”
Villanueva has repeatedly defended his decision to rehire Mandoyan and has questioned the allegations against the deputy, accusing the county of ignoring evidence that he said could have cleared Mandoyan of wrongdoing.
Beckloff said in his ruling Monday that Villanueva did not have the authority to reach a legal settlement with Mandoyan that resulted in his rehiring — such an action, the judge said, would have to be approved by the board of supervisors.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)