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Judge backs Jeffrey Steck as leader of L.A. County deputies' union

Judge bars Armando Macias from headquarters of L.A. County deputy sheriffs union
Under preliminary injunction, Jeffrey Steck, runner-up to Armando Macias, will run L.A. County deputies union

A power struggle at the union that represents Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies has entered a new phase after a judge barred the leader of one faction from entering the group's headquarters.

For now, Jeffrey Steck will serve as president of the Assn. for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs. His rival, Armando Macias, will retain no power under a preliminary injunction granted by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Luis Lavin on Tuesday.

At one point, both Steck and Macias claimed to be president. Each had an official-looking website. Business ground to a halt with uncertainty over who could sit at the negotiating table or withdraw money from union bank accounts.

On Tuesday, Lavin granted a preliminary injunction in Steck's favor. Macias may not access union funds, represent himself as a union leader or set foot in the union's building in Monterey Park.

But the dispute could drag on, draining money from union coffers, as Steck seeks to make the prohibitions permanent.

"ALADS is gratified by the court's granting of all of the injunctive relief it requested," Jeremy Gray, an attorney for the Steck side, said in an email.

Macias' attorney, Steven Ipsen, could not be reached for comment.

Macias was elected president of the union in November. Several months later, the board of directors removed him, saying that he had not attended enough union meetings before his election. In Tuesday's ruling, Lavin agreed that Macias' disqualification was proper.

cindy.chang@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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