LA Sheriff's Deputies Accused Of Rape, Smuggling Undocumented Immigrants, Heroin

LA Sheriff's Deputies Accused Of Rape, Smuggling Undocumented Immigrants, Heroin

Deputies accused of rape, smuggling heroin into a lockup, stealing money from a narcotics bust, smuggling undocumented immigrants and even using a Los Angeles Sheriff's Department helicopter for unofficial business.

This was just some of the misconduct investigated -- and corroborated -- by the Office of Independent Review in a recently issued report.

The OIR, a civilian oversight body created by the county Board of Supervisors, is tasked with making sure the LASD's internal affairs investigations are thorough and effective, and the recommended discipline is fair.

The report, posted on the OIR's website, provided summaries of administrative discipline cases resolved through Sept. 30, 2013.

Because of privacy laws, it does not list the identities of the deputies involved or the dates of the misconduct, some of which may have taken place a few years ago.

Assistant Sheriff Todd Rogers expressed concern about the findings.

"When these matters are brought to our attention, we make every effort to investigate them as promptly as possible and take the most appropriate correction action," he said in an email Thursday. "This can include retraining, written reprimands, suspensions, demotions, and even discharge."

Rogers added accountability must be ensured "from the sheriff to the most junior supervisor."

"All of us have an absolute obligation to conduct ourselves in a manner that is above reproach and demand the same of those who work within our chains of command," he said. "As supervisors, we must do everything in our power to ensure that our personnel do not engage in conduct that violates the public trust, damages the reputation of the department, or causes irreparable harm to their careers."

Mike Gennaco, who heads the OIR, said recently enacted reforms at the LASD do not seem to have made a significant dent in the volume of misconduct, except when it comes to excessive use of force in the jails.

"Unfortunately, the cases are probably the same as far as level of egregiousness," he said in an interview Thursday.

"With regard to jail cases, I know that force is going down, at least in the downtown jails," he added. "The fact that there are cameras make it easier to decide whether the conduct was in or out of policy."

Among the most serious cases catalogued by the OIR:

--The District Attorney filed 11 felony counts ranging from bribery to rape against a deputy accused of sexually assaulting a woman during a traffic stop, in exchange for not arresting her for driving on a suspended license, and of making similar offers to other women;

--A deputy arrested by Border Patrol was ultimately convicted of felony alien smuggling. He resigned from the LASD while his criminal case was still pending;

--An LASD employee pleaded guilty to felony spousal assault and cruelty to a child after assaulting his live-in girlfriend and her children;

--A deputy tried to bring heroin into the court lockup and deliver it to an inmate inside a burrito;

--A deputy left her gun in a backpack in the backseat of her private vehicle and then offered two youths a ride to their bus stop, one of whom mistakenly took her backpack to school instead of his own;

--An LASD employee was suspended after being accused of unauthorized use of helicopter for non-official business flights and falsification of time records;

--A sergeant and a station clerk pleaded no contest to grand theft after stealing money from the proceeds of narcotics investigations;

--A deputy was arrested and subsequently convicted of kidnapping, falsely imprisoning, and assaulting his ex-girlfriend with a firearm.

--A deputy who utilized the closed circuit monitoring system to inappropriately view women at the court house was discharged because of other unrelated misconduct;

--A nursing assistant with a history of performance issues failed to provide medication to an entire module;

--About a half dozen deputies belonging to a clique -- what the American Civil Liberties Union calls a gang -- known as the "Jump Out Boys" were discharged. "Elements of this creed, if followed, do not reflect the standards expected of members of the Sheriff's Department and directly contradict our core values," the OIR said.

--A deputy alleged to have had sexual relationships with inmates and prostitutes resigned in lieu of being discharged.

--A deputy left a male inmate and a female inmate unsecured in an adjacent courtroom lockup area. They had sex, and the female inmate became pregnant.

(c)2014 the Daily News (Los Angeles)

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