Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl was served a search warrant at her home Wednesday as part of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s investigation into “ongoing public corruption.” File photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 14 (UPI) — Los Angeles County Sheriff’s investigators served search warrants Wednesday, as part of a “public corruption investigation,” at several county officials’ homes including Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.
The sheriff’s department issued a statement, but would not say specifically what investigators were looking for.
“Today, detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Public Corruption Unit served search warrants at multiple locations in connection with an ongoing public corruption investigation,” the department said.
“Those locations included the homes of Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and Los Angeles County Civilian Oversight Commissioner Patricia ‘Patti’ Giggans. Also searched were offices located at: Los Angeles County Hall of Administration, Peace Over Violence Headquarters, and L.A. Metro Headquarters,” the department said. “The investigation has been shared with a federal agency and they continue to monitor.”
Kuehl told KNBC the search may have been related to a county contract awarded to nonprofit Peace Over Violence, which is run by Giggans.
“What this is all about is a disgruntled employee at Metro who was let go who became obsessed with a contract that Metro took with Peace Over Violence related to sexual harassment,” Kuehl said. “She claimed that I had something to do with the contract, which is completely false. It never came to the board.”
“This is all about a contract, which I had nothing to do with, and there’s no ongoing investigation. The sheriff should have better control of his department,” Kuehl said.
A redacted copy of the search warrant stated it was issued for an investigation into “an allegation of criminal conduct” by Kuehl and three “sole source contracts awarded to a nonprofit organization operating under the name Peace Over Violence” to operate a sexual harassment tip line for workers and riders on Metro transit.
According to the affidavit, contracts totaling more than $890,000 were awarded by Metro to Peace Over Violence.
Metro issued a statement saying the transit authority is fully cooperating with LASD to comply with the search warrant.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva released a letter after Wednesday’s search, requesting an investigation by California Attorney General Rob Bonta into “alleged criminal, administrative and ethical laws” after Kuehl revealed during an impromptu news conference that she’d been informed of the search warrant the previous evening.
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