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Undercover officers tailing a high-ranking Los Angeles Police Department official witnessed him apparently engaging in sexual activity in a parking lot with a female subordinate, sources with knowledge of the investigation said.

The official, Assistant Chief Jorge Villegas, retired suddenly after the surveillance operation caught him engaging in conduct that sources said may have violated the department’s policy against sexual relationships with lower-ranking officers and also may have ran afoul of a criminal statute prohibiting lewd conduct in public places.

Villegas, a 29-year LAPD veteran, was one of three assistant chiefs who reported directly to Chief Michel Moore.

Villegas did not respond to messages seeking comment. Moore, who became chief in June, declined to comment.

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