List of Problem L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputies Can’t Be Handed Over to Prosecutors, Appeals Court Rules

A list compiled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department naming deputies who’ve lied, stolen, falsified reports and committed other types of “moral” misconduct cannot be handed over to prosecutors, a Los Angeles appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell talks to deputies in Temple City in March 2017. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The decision by the state’s 2nd District Court of Appeal is the latest turn in the fight over a secret list of 300 problematic deputies whose history of misconduct could damage their credibility if they are ever called to testify in criminal cases.

The Assn. for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, the union that represents rank-and-file deputies, sued the department last fall over the department’s attempt to disclose the names to prosecutors, saying doing so would violate peace officer confidentiality laws and draw unfair scrutiny of deputies whose mistakes might have happened long ago.

A Superior Court judge agreed in January that providing the list would violate state law, but said the department could turn over the names of problem deputies when there’s a pending case in which that officer might testify. In February, a two-judge appellate court panel granted the union’s request to put a temporary hold on any transmission of names, even in pending cases.

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