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