A federal judge on Tuesday ordered Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva to testify under oath in a lawsuit brought by Vanessa Bryant alleging that deputies shared gruesome photos of the crash scene where her husband, daughter and seven others died.
Lawyers for L.A. County sought to block Villanueva’s testimony, arguing that he doesn’t have any relevant information that Bryant’s attorneys can’t obtain elsewhere. Heads of government agencies are not typically subjected to depositions because of the potential for abuse and harassment that could get in the way of them performing their duties.
But U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles F. Eick knocked down the county’s argument, saying Villanueva, along with L.A. County Fire Chief Daryl Osby, both appear to have “unique first-hand, non-repetitive knowledge” relevant to the case. The judge limited each deposition to four hours.
Skip Miller, an attorney representing L.A. County, said he disagreed with the court’s decision but will make both Villanueva and Osby available.
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