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REPORT: Improperly Vetted Hires Caused Troubles in Sheriff's Department

LA County Sheriff's officials identified 15 cases of problematic hires made during a controversial mass hiring in 2010, according to a new sheriff department report.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has identified 15 cases in which employees who got jobs during a controversial mass hiring in 2010 went on to be disciplined for violating department rules, according to a new sheriff department report cited today.

The report comes a month after the Los Angeles Times reported that the sheriff's department hired dozens of officers even though background investigators concluded that they had committed serious misconduct, including falsifying records, stealing and soliciting prostitutes.

The department is contracted to patrol and protect several areas including Lynwood, Artesia and areas around Baldwin Park, Cerritos, Claremont, La Verne and Long Beach.

The Times found that three of those employees faced new accusations of misconduct after joining the department.

The misconduct findings resulted in suspensions, reprimands and in one case, a deputy retiring in lieu of being punished, the department report said, according to The Times. Of the 15 cases, 13 involved sworn deputies and the other two involved non-sworn officials.

Nearly a dozen additional misconduct investigations involving employees hired in 2010 are still pending, officials said.

The study, which was submitted to the Board of Supervisors this week, marks the first time that Sheriff Lee Baca has acknowledged that some of those hires committed new wrongdoing in his department, according to The Times.

The employees were among about 280 officers hired from a small L.A. County police force called the Office of Public Safety that patrolled county facilities and parks. The OPS was disbanded as a cost-savings measure, with the sheriff's department taking over its responsibilities.

City News Service


Mike Ruehle January 03, 2014 at 05:44 AM
GET YOUR STORY STRAIGHT. This issue was Identified and reported by the LA Times, NOT the Sheriff's department. "After sheriff's officials learned The Times had access to the records, they launched a criminal investigation to determine who had leaked them. The union representing deputies unsuccessfully tried to get a court order blocking publication." ______________________________________________________ http://graphics.latimes.com/behind-the-badge/ ______________________________________________________ "Internal Sheriff's Department records reviewed by The Times show the union representing the former county officers was also lobbying to hire specific members, including some who had committed serious misconduct during their careers." ______________________________________________________ Records show many of the officers hired had a history of sex at work, statutory rape, falsifying police records, soliciting prostitutes, misconduct, making untrue statements and cheating on entrance exams. "One hire told investigators of having inappropriate sexual contact with two toddlers as a teenager." These were all KNOWN to the department before they hired them. ______________________________________________________ Nearly 200 of the 280 (over 71%) hired in 2010 had been rejected from other agencies because of past misdeeds, failed entrance exams or other issues. ______________________________________________________ "BEFORE HE KNEW OF THE NEWSPAPER"S INVESTIGATION, Sheriff Baca told Times reporters that people with records of violence or dishonesty have no place in law enforcement. He said applicants who had been fired from other agencies shouldn't be given a second chance, and that he would not hire applicants with histories of illegal sexual conduct."

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