Sheriff Villanueva to terminate or suspend 26 people involved in off-duty Banditos fight

Local news

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Thursday that he has moved to suspend or terminate 26 employees involved in a fight during an off-duty party associated with the Banditos clique at East L.A. station.

Sheriff’s officials would not say how many deputies they were seeking to fire, but that the policy violations included a failure to report the September 2018 incident to supervisors. They said more than 70 people were interviewed as part of the administrative investigation.

The discipline comes after the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office in February declined to file charges against a sergeant and three deputies involved in the incident at Kennedy Hall, saying there was “insufficient evidence” that Sgt. Michael Hernandez and deputies Rafael Munoz, Gregory Rodriguez and David Silverio committed battery or any crimes. In a 28-page memo, prosecutors said 21 deputies identified as possible witnesses declined to be interviewed.

Because they weren’t compelled to provide statements, Inspector General Max Huntsman said the criminal investigation amounted to a cover-up.

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