As sheriff defies subpoena on jails, watchdog passes another on Kobe Bryant crash records

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A federal investigator’s photo of the site of the Jan. 26 helicopter crash in Calabasas that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others.(James Anderson / National Transportation Safety Board via Los Angeles Times)

A federal investigator’s photo of the site of the Jan. 26 helicopter crash in Calabasas that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others. (James Anderson / National Transportation Safety Board via Los Angeles Times)

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The inspector general for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will subpoena records related to the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant as part of an inquiry into whether Sheriff Alex Villanueva covered up the sharing of graphic photos by deputies at the scene.

Whether Villanueva will comply with the subpoena, authorized Thursday by the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission, is an open question.

He defied another subpoena to testify before the commission Thursday about coronavirus outbreaks in the county jails, instead sending an assistant sheriff. Advocates and commissioners have raised a number of concerns about conditions in the jails, where more than 700 inmates and nearly 200 department personnel have tested positive for the virus.

The commission voted unanimously to take Villanueva to court to enforce the subpoena for the jail testimony. That subpoena, approved this month, was the first issued by the commission under a ballot initiative, Measure R, overwhelmingly approved by voters in March.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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