In 2016, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors established a supposedly non-partisan Civilian Oversight Commission to foster transparency and better relations between Los Angeles County communities and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
This was a post on the website of newly elected District 3 BOS Sheila Kuehl:
A new Civilian Oversight Commission, aimed at boosting transparency and increasing trust between communities and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, was established today by the Board of Supervisors.
The Board also appointed nine commissioners to serve on the panel and approved hiring an executive director, attorney Brian Williams. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Supervisor Hilda L. Solis authored the December, 2014 motion that started the process that led to the commission’s creation.
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl praised the incoming members of the panel. “Every one of the Commissioners we are appointing today has a history of interest in, and understanding of, communities and community service,” she said. “They have shown they are dedicated to objectivity and impartiality in decision making, and have demonstrated, each in their own sphere, an ability to evaluate the facts and make recommendations for change. The process for getting here has taken time, but we had to do this right, as a lot of hopes and expectations ride on their shoulders.”
One of the people appointed was Patti Giggans, Executive Director of Peace Over Violence (POV), a nonprofit that advocates for victims of sexual abuse and harassment and delivers intervention, education and emergency services. Giggans is also a personal friend of Kuehl, because in Los Angeles, this is how you do.
Another appointee endorsed by all the Board of Supervisors was Sean Kennedy, Executive Director of Center for Juvenile Law & Policy at Loyola Law School and a former federal public defender.
The Commission soon became the puppet of the L.A. County BOS (quelle surprise), particularly after Sheriff Alex Villanueva was elected to office in 2018. In 2021, the Commission greenlit a report on “deputy gangs” in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. These gangs had been active for many years, and Sheriff Villanueva was turning a blind eye, and even using these gangs to do his personal bidding.
So Dashiell Hammett!
A new report has found that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has multiple deputy gangs in which members are encouraged to engage in violent behavior and misconduct.
The report, conducted by researchers at Loyola Marymount University’s School of Law, profiled 18 secret subgroups which “foster a culture of violence and escalate uses of force against community members.”
Several of groups were described as gangs in which members have a common tattoo and perform rituals which “create a culture of celebrating the use of lethal force in the line of duty.”
The report, published Tuesday by the school’s Center For Juvenile Law & Policy, was based on internal affairs interviews of deputies, internal memos and other sources.
The Commission’s Chair Sean Kennedy is the director of Loyola Law’s Juvenile Law & Policy. So, Kennedy essentially spearheaded this “research.”
Conflict of interest, much?
From that report, the Commission decided in March to mount an investigation into these deputy gangs, as CNN reported.
The Los Angeles County Civilian Oversight Commission (COC) is launching an investigation into “deputy gangs” or groups participating in gang-like activity at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department, the Commission said Thursday.
The investigation, which will be conducted by pro bono attorneys and is expected to last up to six months, will look into the “continued existence and impact of deputy gangs and evaluate what is needed to eradicate them,” the Commission said.
The same year (2021) that the Commission was looking for reasons to vex the Sheriff’s Department, the Sheriff’s Department was doing its actual job. An investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Civil Rights and Corruption Unit into some $800,000 in contracts awarded by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to POV, Giggans nonprofit, was uncovering just that: violation of rights, and lots of corruption.
As RedState reported, the Sheriff’s Department obtained a series of warrants in its investigation, which resulted in the raids on Giggans’ home and business, as well as Kuehl’s home.
Kuehl and Giggans immediately cried political retaliation. Perhaps they should look in the mirror once in a while.
Breaking: Sheriff’s deputies are taking boxes from Civilian Oversight Commissioner Patty Giggin’s Los Angeles home, part of a sprawling investigation that includes Metro and Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. The COC has held a series of investigative hearings into alleged gangs in LASD. pic.twitter.com/XD16NYDgeO
— Kate Cagle (@KateCagle) September 14, 2022
In an impromptu interview with Fox11 Los Angeles about an hour later, Kuehl quickly cast the incident as a “bogus search” spurred by an “obsessed” former LA Metro employee that LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva simply went along with. However, it was soon reported that the warrant related to “an ongoing public corruption investigation” and was executed by LASD and federal agents, and that warrants were concurrently served at the home of LA County Civilian Oversight Commissioner and Friend-of-Kuehl Patricia Giggans, the LA County Hall of Administration, the headquarters of Giggans’ non-profit, Peace Over Violence, and LA Metro Headquarters.
Obviously, this Commission has some serious problems, as does the L.A. County BOS. But the people of Los Angeles have known this for quite some time. The rot started long before Kuehl was elected.
Former L.A. County Board of Supervisors for District 2 Mark Ridley-Thomas is currently under investigation for getting a sweetheart deal for his son in the formerly prestigious University of Southern California’s Masters of Social Work program. This is the same program to which Congresswoman and L.A. Mayor candidate Karen Bass received a full scholarship. The program’s former dean, Marilyn Flynn, has fallen on her sword and pleaded guilty to bribery charges in the Ridley-Thomas affair. Who knows whether this will weigh in favor or against Ridley-Thomas’ case?
We shall see.
Sheila Kuehl is in a world of hurt. Oh, she’s doing her best to dismiss the allegations and the coverage as her being targeted, and “MAGA media” making it a bigger deal than it should be.
Suffice it to say all eyes should be on this Metro mess, especially since California’s “Affirmative Action” Attorney General Rob Bonta snatched the investigation from Sheriff Villaneuva’s grasp.
Wonder what that’s about? Inquiring minds want to know.
But back to the “deputy gangs” investigation. According to a Spectrum News reporter, at a Friday hearing surrounding the deputy gangs, Chair Sean Kennedy made sure to voice his support for all the trials and tribulations that Patti Giggans is going through, telling her that,
“You have 100 percent of our support as you battle this outrageous example of abuse of power.”
NEW: the Civilian Oversight Commission’s investigative hearing on deputy gangs in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept begins with Chair Sean Kennedy voicing his support for Patti Giggans.
“You have 100 percent of our support as you battle this outrageous example of abuse of power.” pic.twitter.com/8MRYPCo72a
— Kate Cagle (@KateCagle) September 23, 2022
Circling the wagons. This is how Los Angeles County rolls.