For several years, Los Angeles County’s vast jail system has been under careful monitoring by a team of court-appointed watchdogs who’ve helped implement policies to curb excessive force and retaliation against inmates.
But the lead monitor, Richard Drooyan, is now saying he’s concerned that years of progress could be undermined by recent decisions by Sheriff Alex Villanueva, whose department operates the jail system.
In a letter to Villanueva that was sent Wednesday and was reviewed by The Times, Drooyan wrote that the reinstatements of two fired deputies — one discharged for dishonesty, the other for unreasonable force — were at odds with specific directives to the Sheriff’s Department against lying and unreasonable force by deputies.
“Reinstating deputies who have been fired for dishonesty or the excessive use of force is a significant step backwards and sends the wrong message to members of the department responsible for custody operations, many of whom have embraced the reforms that have been implemented and have worked hard to change the staff culture in the jail,” Drooyan wrote.
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