Sheriff Villanueva Rehires Corruption Investigator Accused of Posing as Deputy in Bizarre Jail Incident

Mark Lillienfeld appears in the left photo taken at Phil Spector's murder trial at Los Angeles Superior Court on June 6, 2007. (Credit: MARIO ANZUONI/AFP via Getty Image) On the right, an image published by the L.A. Times on Oct. 23, 2019 shows a poster hung up at Men’s Central Jail after Lillienfeld tried to enter without permission in 2018.

Mark Lillienfeld appears in the left photo taken at Phil Spector's murder trial at Los Angeles Superior Court on June 6, 2007. (Credit: MARIO ANZUONI/AFP via Getty Image) On the right, an image published by the L.A. Times on Oct. 23, 2019 shows a poster hung up at Men’s Central Jail after Lillienfeld tried to enter without permission in 2018.

A retired Los Angeles County sheriff’s homicide detective recently rehired by Sheriff Alex Villanueva to investigate public corruption was temporarily banned from the jails last year after posing as a deputy and bringing contraband for an inmate, according to county records and interviews.

Jail officials were so concerned about what authorities described in a memo as numerous policy violations that they posted Mark Lillienfeld’s photograph inside Men’s Central Jail and directed employees to alert a supervisor if he showed up.

“He was impersonating a deputy,” said former Assistant Sheriff Kelly Harrington, who oversaw the jails at the time under then-Sheriff Jim McDonnell. “Then he dropped off unknown contraband items to an inmate, which breaks every protocol in the jail or prison. It’s very serious; that’s why we took it very serious.”

Records show Lillienfeld was working at the time for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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