LA Times Publishes Info on Faulty Sheriff's Department Hiring; Officers' Union Tried to Stop Report

Los Angeles Times investigation
December 2 that the Los
Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) hired
numerous problem officers in 2010, including individuals who had
histories of misconduct at other law enforcement agencies, had
solicited prostitutes, falsified police records and unlawfully
discharged firearms.

The leaked information reviewed by the Times included taped
interviews with applicants as well as hiring investigation files
and provide an inside look at the hiring practices at the nation’s
largest sheriff’s department. From the Times:

David McDonald was hired despite admitting to sheriff’s
investigators he had a relationship with a 14-year-old girl whom he
kissed and
. He was 28 at the time.

“I was in love,” he said in an interview with
The Times. “I wasn’t being a bad guy.”

In another case, Linda Bonner was given a job after
revealing that she used her department-issued weapon to shoot at
her husband
as he ran away from her during an argument.
He wasn’t hit; he was lucky he was running in a zigzag
pattern, she told investigators, because if not the end result
“would have been a whole lot different.”

The Association for Los Angeles
Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS), the union that represents
LASD deputies,
in September 2013 to stop the records from being
, going after the Times and the reporter who had
acquired the records, Robert Faturechi, saying he
unlawfully possessed background investigation files containing
personal information of deputies.

“What part of ‘stolen property’ is
such a mystery to the L.A. Times?”
President Floyd Hayhurst said in a statement on the
ALADS website
. “If any harm comes to
deputy sheriffs or their families because of the stolen files, we
will hold the Los Angeles Times
responsible for their complete lack of journalistic integrity,”
Hayhurst said.

From the Times in September:

The Times’ lawyers contended deputies’
privacy rights or speculation about threats to their safety could
not justify a violation of free-speech rights.

The newspaper’s attorneys also wrote that the union had no basis
for seeking an emergency order, noting that The Times has published
other stories based on information from employment records in the

The Times reported in
October on the department’s hiring of employees who had personal
ties to top officials or Sheriff
Lee Baca himself
 despite histories of
violence and brushes with the law.

In August, the Sheriff’s Department announced in a press release
that it launched a criminal investigation into the leak of personal
information to a Times reporter.

For more on the LASD and misconduct in the
department, read and watch
County Sheriff’s Hassle Photographer, Trample Constitution, Get
Lauded by Bosses

from Hit & Run

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