In a rare public confrontation with Los Angeles County’s elected sheriff, the county’s governing body is expected to vote Tuesday on a motion that would challenge the recent reinstatement of a deputy sheriff who was fired in connection with allegations of domestic abuse and stalking.
The five-member Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has little direct control over the county’s top cop. But Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s rehiring of a fired deputy who worked on his campaign has sparked widespread criticism among watchdogs and prompted action by two supervisors.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger, the lead author on the motion, along with Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, cited “grave concerns” over the reinstatement and expressed alarm over Villanueva’s comments last week that the move was justified because the deputy’s accuser waited to come forward and was hesitant to testify.
“The reinstatement and the reasoning for it sends a disturbing message that a crime victim should not be believed based on the timing of the allegations and one person’s doubt about his or her credibility,” the motion says. “This approach can further discourage victims from coming forward who are already reluctant to report such crimes for a variety of reasons, including shame, self-doubt and fear.”
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