Sheriff Villanueva challenges subpoena calling for his testimony on deputy cliques

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Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is seen in an undated file photo. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is seen in an undated file photo. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

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L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is challenging a subpoena to answer questions about secretive, gang-like cliques of deputies in the department, arguing in a court filing that the request is “too broad” and “harassing.”

Max Huntsman, the agency’s independent watchdog, issued the subpoena last month after Villanueva made comments that Hunstman found to be “somewhat unclear” about efforts to root out the cliques and enforce a new policy banning any deputy groups that violate people’s rights. The groups, which have monikers like the Banditos and the Executioners, have been accused of using violent and aggressive policing tactics and celebrating deputy shootings.

“We want to clarify his answers and ask about his directions to staff on the subject,” Huntsman said in an interview.

The subpoena calls for Villanueva to be questioned privately by Huntsman over video on Thursday. It is unclear whether Huntsman planned to place Villanueva under oath for the proceeding.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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