The Los Angeles Times’ Essential California Newsletter email subject line says it all: “barefoot, with a call of ‘bogus’”. The newsletter begins “It’s a rare scene when a powerful and influential figure is escorted by law enforcement outside her own home barefoot.”
Early Wednesday morning, former State Assemblymember, State Senator, and current L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl was awoken by L.A. County Sheriff Deputies executing a search warrant. Accusations and counter accusations flew long before the sheriffs finished their search. This may be another Peek that requires a flowchart to explain all the players and their roles.
A slight bit of history: the L.A. County Board of Supervisors has repeatedly clashed with firebrand L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. They have even placed a measure on the November ballot which, if approved by the voters, would allow the Supervisors to remove an elected sheriff.
Yesterday, Sheriffs also executed a search warrant at the home of Patti Giggans who runs the organization Peace Over Violence. Giggans, who also serves on the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission, has been outspoken about Villanueva and has called for his resignation. She and Kuehl are good friends. The Sheriffs then searched the offices of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Sheriff investigators allege bribery and criminal acts related to a county contract that involves Peace Over Violence and the MTA. L.A. County District Attorney, George Gascon, stated that his office was not informed about the search. He said his office had previously looked at the allegations and they “…did not prove criminal conduct beyond a reasonable doubt.” Villanueva supported the effort to recall Gascon that ultimately did not qualify for the ballot.
Kuehl alleges L.A. County Superior Court Judge Craig Richman, who signed the warrant, is an ally of Villanueva. Villanueva has asked Attorney General Rob Bonta to investigate allegations that L.A. County Inspector General Max Huntsman was involved in warning Kuehl about the search on Tuesday night. Huntsman has denied the allegations.
Calpeek will be back with more information once we finish drawing that flow chart.