A third official from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has disputed assertions by Sheriff Alex Villanueva that he was unaware of a deputy using excessive force, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
The new filing by former Chief LaJuana Haselrig claims that she gave a DVD showing a deputy kneeling on an inmate’s neck to former Assistant Sheriff Robin Limon, who reportedly told Haselrig “she was ‘heading immediately from there to Villanueva’s office to show him the video,'” the Times reported.
Limon, the second official to come forward, “personally walked it into his office, watched the DVD with him, shared disgust with what they are seeing in the video, but then also heard him say this would look bad if it got out to the media,” Limon’s attorney, Vincent Miller, told KTLA last month.
The allegations made by Haselrig and Limon undercut Villanueva’s assertion that he didn’t learn of the March 2021 incident for about eight months afterward, and that he took immediate action once he learned of it.
“He’s lying through his teeth once again,” Miller added on Wednesday. “Sheriff Villanueva has a very loose relationship with the truth.”
Villanueva has denied that any cover-up occurred, and instead, he has blamed an opponent in the June 7 primary election, the County’s Office of Inspector General and a Los Angeles Times reporter of colluding to hurt his political campaign.
Haselrig and Limon said they’ve been retaliated against because of the scrutiny Villanueva has faced, with Haselrig being forced to retire and Limon demoted four ranks, the Times reported.
The first person to come forward, Commander Allan Castellano, reported that Villanueva was aware of the incident, but did not have firsthand knowledge that the sheriff had seen the video. Castellano was reprimanded, LAist reported.