LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A judge Monday ruled against Sheriff Alex Villanueva in his attempt to reinstate a deputy fired over allegations of domestic violence.
Former deputy Caren Mandoyan was fired in 2016 by then-Sheriff Jim McConnell after a fellow deputy alleged he grabbed her by the neck, tried to break into her home twice, sent her harassing text messages and admitted to listening to her conversations.
Despite his firing, Mandoyan played a key role in Villanueva’s 2018 election campaign, serving as his driver and even appearing on stage at the now sheriff’s swearing-in ceremony that December.
The following month, Villanueva moved to reinstate Mandoyan — a move decried by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors — that led to the board filing a petition seeking to have the former deputy’s hiring declared void.
Despite Villanueva’s repeated defense of his decision to reinstate Mandoyan, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff granted a preliminary injunction in August 2019 — ordering Mandoyan to give up all county property in his possession, including any department-issued uniforms, badges and weapons. Mandoyan also was ordered to stop presenting himself as a deputy.
In June, Beckloff denied a motion by Mandoyan’s lawyer, Gregory W. Smith, to dissolve or modify the injunction after the former deputy passed the civil service examination, physical agility test and structured interview test and was put on the county eligibility list in March.
After hearing arguments from both parties earlier this month, Beckloff ultimately ruled in favor of the county with a 17-page decision hailed by Louis “Skip” Miller, an attorney for the county.
“We think this is the right ruling, that this individual does not belong in the LASD and are pleased that justice has prevailed,” Miller said.
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