LA Sheriff Hired Dozens of Officers With Shady Pasts

'LA Times' offers up detailed investigation

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 2, 2013 1:36 PM CST

(Newser) – Roughly four years ago, Los Angeles County's Office of Public Safety was dissolved in order to save money, with the task of patrolling parks and government buildings falling to the LA County Sheriff’s Department—which in 2010 hired about 280 applicants from the disbanded office. The Los Angeles Times digs into those hired officers, and its findings are disturbing: There was evidence of dishonesty (like falsifying police records) for 97 of them, 92 had been disciplined for misconduct at other law enforcement agencies, and 29 had actually been fired or pressured to resign from other agencies.

Some specific misdeeds uncovered by the Times: applicants who had accidentally discharged their weapons (and one who purposely shot her service weapon at her husband), solicited prostitutes, had sex at work, or been convicted of drunk-driving or other crimes; one who was charged with assault and another who was arrested for assault with intent to murder and rape. One person admitted he'd had a relationship with a 14-year-old girl when he was 28. He had also been fired from another sheriff's department after being accused of using excessive force on prisoners; he was hired anyway ... as a jail guard. Another admitted inappropriate sexual contact with two toddlers as a teen; he was also hired. Since being hired, some have faced new allegations. Click for the full investigation.

A Los Angeles County Sheriff's officer stands guard in Santa Monica, Calif. on Saturday, June 8, 2013 near the scene of a deadly shooting in Santa Monica College on Friday.
A Los Angeles County Sheriff's officer stands guard in Santa Monica, Calif. on Saturday, June 8, 2013 near the scene of a deadly shooting in Santa Monica College on Friday.   (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
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