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Former L.A. County Sheriff’s Official Alleges He Was Forced Out After Reporting Illegal Conduct

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Todd Rogers is seen in an undated Los Angeles Times photo (Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

A former high-ranking Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department official alleges he was pressured to take early retirement after he reported illegal conduct by various department officials, including Sheriff Jim McDonnell, according to a lawsuit filed this week.

The case, listed as John Doe vs. County of Los Angeles, was filed Tuesday in a Los Angeles state court by former Assistant Sheriff Todd Rogers, whose name appears on the cover sheet of the court document.

Rogers, a Lakewood City Council member who has served as mayor of the city three times, ran against McDonnell for sheriff in 2014. He alleges McDonnell used a surrogate during the campaign to try to bribe him into dropping out of the race. Rogers says he was approached by former Undersheriff Jerry Harper — a McDonnell supporter — who said Rogers would be promoted to undersheriff if he would exit the race and endorse McDonnell, who was favored to win. Rogers said he declined.

Under state law, it is a crime to offer “any money or other valuable consideration” to a political candidate in order to induce that person to withdraw from an election.

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