West Hollywood is preparing to fire a warning shot at the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department in the wake of new claims that public funds and personnel have been used for “personal and political reasons,” according to the staff report for next week’s City Council agenda.
Last week, the Los Angeles Times published a story alleging that Sheriff Alex Villanueva was using a special unit of deputies to silence or intimidate “outspoken critics of Villanueva or the Department.”
The Times accused Villanueva of targeting three individuals in particular:
- Max Huntsman, L.A. County Inspector
- Sheila Kuehl, L.A. County Supervisor, whose district includes West Hollywood
- Patti Giggans, executive director of nonprofit organization Peace Over Violence and a member of the Civilian Oversight Commission, which advises the Board of Supervisors and attempts to increase transparency and accountability.
”Both women are prominent lesbian community leaders and have a long history of service to the people of West Hollywood and the broader region,” the staff report reads.
All three have been vocal critics of the sheriff, some even calling for his resignation and looking into ways he could be removed from office.
The sheriff’s department is investigating Peace Over Violence over a controversial, publicly funded domestic violence hotline that very few have used. A recent Fox 11 report calculated that the program was costing about $8,000 per call. Giggans, the nonprofit’s director, was appointed to the Civilian Oversight Commission by Kuehl.
The agenda item is sponsored solely by Councilmember Lindsey Horvath, who is running to fill Kuehl’s spot on the Board of Supervisors and has already received her endorsement.
In a statement released concurrently with the Times report, Villanueva defended the unit’s motives and action, saying “the sole responsibility of the Sheriff’s Department is to investigate allegations of criminal conduct as they are discovered, regardless of how inconvenient it may be to the subject of the investigation. The unit is supervised by the Undersheriff, and I have recused myself from all decision making to avoid any potential conflict of interest.
The item directs city staff to correspond with the sheriff and other departments relaying WeHo’s opposition to funds being used in this way. It also demands a follow-up to a requested audit after the sheriff’s department was accused of over-billing West Hollywood and other L.A. County cities for patrols that apparently never occurred.
Although not an advocate of Fox, occasionally they may get it right.
And they’re all upset over Pancho Villanueva why? Ol’ Leroy Baca statred that up, and ran it for years. Where was the kvetching then? LA Co. hasn’t had a good sheriff since Sherman Block.
Dredging up Fox News opinions is hardly truth or reliable news.
Love the Sheriff! Any woke people you arrest is just another donation from me. Keep it up.
Whatever the WH city council supports…….I know to support the opposite. Has never failed me.
It really doesn’t matter because you don’t live here lol.
This guy is a real POS
Google him, the list is waaaay too long
So was Lee Baca.
Villanueva’s “public integrity” unit is a farce; he is just using it to try to discredit and intimidate the people who have the duty to oversee the department. This is a heavy handed attempt to undermine civilian oversight of the Department. What was really disturbing in the LA Time’s article was that a deputy assigned to West Hollywood was working this “enemies list” detail. It would be troubling to think that our tax dollars are being used to fund these sorts of nefarious activities. I fully support Lindsay Horvath’s stand and I hope the entire City Council gives her full… Read more »
Why don’t you talk about how corrupt West Hollywood is? City Hall? The money that former city manager took. Now retired. Running a hedge fund. West Hollywood is the biggest joke on the planet as a city. It’s 36,000 people run like it’s New York City by most pathetic busybody freaks AKA SHE.
Shyne, a self-promoting anti-semetic huckster…Horvath, a 40-year-old Barbie Doll with no visible occupation and Erica Erickson, a gender studies expert AKA he/she/it, whose agent is a former member of the city council with a name that sounds like a street in Cucamonga.
Saying out former City Manager was “well compensated” is probably an understatement but I am not aware of any sort of misfeasance and I think people should be careful about making unfounded accusations. Yes there has long been an appearance that the City Council has been influenced by campaign contributions but that is a far cry from saying money ever exchanged hands for votes. I have been critical of many decisions of the City Council but I think we owe it to the community to keep our public discourse intellectually honest.
Well, not to mention that the focus of this piece is the sheriff and not city hall.
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I don’t know how much of the investigation into these matters is politically motivated but they deserve to be looked into. Something is not right with Peace Over Violence— they are the largest domestic violence organization in the region receiving massive public funds, they have a large modern building in DTLA and extremely cozy relationships with optics-obsessed electeds like Kuehl (who openly antagonized transgender women and men from accessing domestic violence programs for decades, until her misandry and transphobia became less politically expedient) and her little princess Horvath. Yet somehow, POV can’t find the resources to have a single program… Read more »
Lindsey is the only powerful person in West Hollywood that DID advocate for male victims of Ed Buck initially.
What a weird and misinformed comment by you.
I personally know victims she ignored and even banned from events. Misinformed? No.
Judging by your whacko COVID comments, calling you misinformed is just the tip of the iceberg.
Villanueva needs to go.
How about a RECALL of this guy, the worst sheriff outside Sherwood First? His election, replacing a true police administrator, Jim McDonnell, with a union hack is the strongest reason to have law enforcement administrators not be elected but chosen by a non-partisan board of citizens and law enforcement pros. We need real cops not showboat jerks.
Carleton as you know, even when I sat on the PSC, I have been very vocal in supporting the removal of Villaneuva, if I’m not mistaken the Attorney General of California has the authority to remove him. The COC has also been supportive of his removal but they don’t have the authority to do it. I guarantee if they had the power, he would have been gone months ago.
Thanx Ruth. I’m gonna check with the AG…
You did mean to say Vaillanueva is the worse sheriff this side of Sherwood Forest? Very clever.
Recall or removal by any means necessary please! Worst vote I ever cast and all because of Dem endorsement!
The Pot & Kettle Controversy continues ad nauseam.
The quirky but brilliant Ross Perot once said “If you see a snake, kill it. Don’t appoint a committee to study it”.
These folks are so boringly incestuous that its nearly impossible to have a clear eye on business for the people.