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L.A.’s New Sheriff Rehires Deputy Fired for Alleged Stalking, Abuse

Out with the old cronies. In with the new ones?

Sheriff Alex VillanuevaSource: Alex Villanueva for SheriffLos Angeles County's new sheriff made it a campaign point that he was going to be focusing on the rank-and-file and rooting out cronyism from the leadership of the department. So it may come as a surprise to quite a few folks that he has just reinstated a deputy and campaign supporter who had been fired for allegedly stalking and physically attacking his ex-girlfriend.

Maya Lau at the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who just took office in December, has hired back Deputy Caren Carl Mandoyan, who was fired in 2016 by then-Sheriff Jim McDonnell (whom Villanueva defeated in November's election) for the alleged abusive behavior. Mandoyan's firing was upheld by a county appeals board.

The Times notes that Mandoyan's rehire is the only one of its type so far, but it certainly sends quite the message. Villanueva won't explain why he rehired the deputy, explaining in a statement that California's laws sealing police personnel records forbids doing so.

Prosecutors declined to file charges against Mandoyan, but the Times did get copies for an application for a restraining order the woman—a fellow deputy—had filed as well as a memo from the district attorney's office describing the case. The woman was photographed with bruises and provided video evidence of him trying to force his way into her home. Prosecutors determined, though, that they didn't have enough evidence to charge Mandoyan with a crime.

Mandoyan sued to get his job back but then dropped the suit last month after Villanueva was elected. Mandoyan was also part of Villanueva's campaign, and he was photographed by the Times participating in a swearing-in ceremony in December for new hires at the sheriff's department, holding the box of pins for the sheriff.

That this is how Villanueva chooses to move forward with his term as sheriff, after removing two officials from their jobs advising the department to make sure law enforcement officers are engaging in "constitutional policing," has some folks concerned. From the Times:

"I'm a little flabbergasted and shocked that we're now confronted with this kind of hiring policy," Patti Giggans, the chairwoman of the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission, said of Mandoyan's reinstatement. "It's very disturbing. I think every commissioner will be very bothered by this."

Out with the old administration's cronyism, and in with the new? Villanueva's public campaigning focused a lot on pushing immigration officials out of Los Angeles' jails (McDonnell had allowed Immigration and Customs Enforcement staff to maintain an office in there). But Villanueva also made it very clear that he believed deputies and those in lower ranks were being unfairly punished. He says he wants to potentially create some sort of commission to rehear the cases of deputies who believe they had been wronged in some fashion by the sheriff's department's disciplinary procedures. Villanueva claims that he had previously been unfairly targeted for discipline by department leadership for political reasons and denied promotions.

We may end up learning more about Mandoyan's case. With the start of the new year, new records about police conduct investigations are now covered by California's Public Records Act. The sheriff's department is supposed to release certain records about Mandoyan upon request, but there are limits and it's not quite clear whether they'd apply here. The law covers cases of sexual assault by law enforcement officers or where they are caught engaging in deception on the job (like perjury, or concealing or fabricating evidence). So an investigation on domestic violence or stalking might not fall under the new release rules. But the Times has submitted a public records request to see what they can get about Mandoyan's work history (similiarly, Reason has submitted a records request under the new rules for anything they have about Villanueva's history of discipline).

What's happening now should serve as a reminder of how hard it is to get rid of problem cops. But with these new public records laws, at least California residents can know who they are. Though law enforcement representatives are fighting to stop even that information from being released.

Photo Credit: Source: Alex Villanueva for Sheriff

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Villanueva won't explain why he rehired the deputy, explaining in a statement that California's laws sealing police personnel records forbids doing so.

    Luckily the state's woke legislature corrected the fact that one of its products is being used to shield woman-abusers.

  • Longtobefree||

    The woman was photographed with bruises and provided video evidence of him trying to force his way into her home. Prosecutors determined, though, that they didn't have enough evidence to charge Mandoyan with a crime.

    Yeah, right. Of course the video is faked, and the photographs just show shadows from bad lighting.
    Where are the feminists?

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    Meet the new deputy, same as the old deputy.

  • Still Curmudgeoned (Nunya)||

    Won't get fired again?

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    The voters shot the sheriff, but did not shoot the deputy.

  • Juice||

    Police Officers Overwhelmingly Agree That Bad Cops Aren't Held Accountable

    At least a lot of cops know it and even say it. But then you have the other half (or more) of cops, like the asshat sheriff in this story, who perpetuate this system.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    If there actually were enough good cops who cared about getting rid of bad cops, there would be very few bad cops. Since there are plenty of bad cops, I don't think there are very many good cops.

  • LiborCon||

    The news only reports when cops do bad, not when they do their jobs properly. So the only cops you hear about are the bad ones. Think that might bias your estimate of the number of bad cops?

  • perlchpr||

    99% of cops give the good ones a bad name

  • Duke of url||

    This^

  • LiborCon||

    Cops die while protecting us. And most of you lack the basic skills required to protect yourselves. You're weak, soft and cowardly. Except when posting anonymous comments on the internet, then you're brave.

    What do you do when confronted with danger? You dial 911 and cower in fear until the cops arrive. You pussy.

  • perlchpr||

    Do you wear kneepads while sucking off cops like that, or do you get off on the bruises left over afterwards?

    If I ever dial 911 "when confronted with danger" it'll only be because it's against the law where I am to defend myself. You poltroon.

    "Fishermen die feeding us", but I don't see you sucking off Alaskan boat operators. Well, maybe that'll be another thread.

    "Cop" isn't even in the top 10 most dangerous professions in America. "Truck Driving"--which I'm actually going to school for right now--is more dangerous than being a cop. 51 police died on the job in 2016. 918 truck and sales drivers did.

    I'll expect to see you early in the morning. Bring kneepads. My floor isn't carpeted.

  • Still Curmudgeoned (Nunya)||

    Nailed it!

  • 8charsux||

    US presidents are shot more often than cops.

  • Jerryskids||

    But Villanueva also made it very clear that he believed deputies and those in lower ranks were being unfairly punished.

    So you're surprised why? It's called "having their back" and defending them from criticism when they do something wrong, like not realizing they're being recorded when they engage in SOP.

  • Uncle Jay||

    The biggest criminals are usually police officers protected by The State.

  • LiborCon||

    Biggest in what way? And what percentage of crimes are committed by police?

    You've made an accusation, yet you've provided no supporting data.

  • Still Curmudgeoned (Nunya)||

    You never provide supporting data to explain how facts directly in opposition to your persistent cop cock gobbling are wrong.

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