Two Los Angeles County supervisors called Monday for an independent probe of the sheriff’s hiring practices in response to a Times investigation that revealed dozens of officers were hired despite histories of serious misconduct.
“I’m very, very bothered by what happened,” Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said. “Sometimes people slip through the cracks, but this seems to be a disproportionately high number who slipped through the cracks.”
The Times reported over the weekend that the Sheriff’s Department hired dozens of officers from a disbanded county police force known as the Office of Public Safety in 2010 even though investigators found significant misconduct in their backgrounds. Internal sheriff’s files showed that jobs were given to officers who falsified reports, accidentally fired their weapons, had sex at work, committed theft and solicited prostitutes. Twenty-nine of the roughly 280 hires had previously been fired or pressured to resign from other law enforcement agencies.
“The Sheriff’s Department needs to take a look at each and every one of these hires to see what remedies they have,” Yaroslavsky said, “and they need to do it immediately.” He said he would meet with the Sheriff’s Department’s new inspector general and ask him to look into the 2010 hiring campaign and the sheriff’s hiring practices in general. “This should be one of the first things he looks at,” Yaroslavsky said. “The sheriff needs to be sure this kind of situation does not reoccur.”
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