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A judge on Monday overturned Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s controversial decision to reinstate a deputy who had been fired for violating department policies regarding domestic violence and lying — a dispute that ended up pitting some of Los Angeles County’s most powerful elected officials against one another.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff ruled that Villanueva must remove the deputy, Caren Carl Mandoyan, from his job. Mandoyan also must return county property, including his gun and badge.

The ruling settles the narrow question of whether the sheriff had overstepped his legal authority in this case. But it also bolsters the view of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors that it has authority to weigh in on controversial county employment decisions.

The supervisors took the highly unusual step of suing the independently elected sheriff and his department in March, saying his rehiring of Mandoyan was unlawful because it stemmed from a legal settlement that was not signed by the county’s attorneys and was not approved by the county’s personnel director.

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