L.A. County Supervisors Approve Subpoena Power to Civilian Oversight Commission Amid Tensions With Sheriff

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Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, left, appears in an undated photo. (Al Seib/ Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, left, appears in an undated photo. (Al Seib/ Los Angeles Times)

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Since Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva took office more than a year ago, his department’s chief watchdog has said it’s been blocked from obtaining internal records needed to monitor the agency.

Now, the Board of Supervisors is ramping up authority to force the issue, voting unanimously Tuesday to grant the Civilian Oversight Commission subpoena power at a time of heightened tensions between the law enforcement agency and those who oversee it.

The tool will allow the commission to direct the Office of Inspector General to compel records from the Sheriff’s Department when deemed necessary. The office has said it’s been stonewalled when seeking information about the agency’s internal discipline system and hiring process, as well as documents related to secret deputy cliques with matching tattoos that have been accused of misconduct.

“It’s a good tool to have in the toolbox,” Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said.

Read the full story on LATimes.com

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