Sheriff’s Department searches home of L.A. County supervisor

 Deputies with a woman at the entrance to a home with pine trees and brick entryway
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies escort Supervisor Shelia Kuehl from her house after serving her an early morning search warrant in Santa Monica on Wednesday.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning 🌞, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Thursday, Sept. 15. I’m Andrew J. Campa 👋🏼, a Metro reporter writing from the San Gabriel Valley (where the 210 Freeway goes to die 🪦).

It’s a rare scene when a powerful and influential figure is escorted by law enforcement outside her own home barefoot.

Yet that’s what happened a little after 7 a.m. Wednesday in Santa Monica when Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators searched the home of County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl as part of a criminal investigation.

[Read “L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s home searched by sheriff’s investigators,” in The Times.]


Our Alene Tchekmedyian (@AleneTchek) reported that the 81-year-old two-term supervisor, who is not seeking reelection, was served a search warrant and escorted out of her home wearing casual clothes and no shoes.

The scene dropped a few jaws.

Kuehl is a member of the five-person all-female Board of Supervisors, which helps control an annual budget of $39 billion in a county of more than 10 million people.

Just for comparison, the state of Arizona 🌵, with a little over 7 million residents, posted expenditures of $45.1 billion in 2021.

Kuehl’s third district is home to 2 million residents and includes Calabasas, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, North Hollywood, Reseda and Melrose.

What happened?


Superior Court Judge Craig Richman, who Kuehl alleged is an ally of Sheriff Alex Villanueva, signed off on a search warrant for Kuehl’s home. Warrants were also executed for the home and offices of Patti Giggans, who runs the nonprofit Peace Over Violence, an advocacy group that organizes against sexual, domestic and interpersonal violence. Sheriff’s deputies also searched the L.A. County Hall of Administration and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s headquarters.

What led to this?

The searches mark a new phase in a long-running Sheriff’s Department investigation into Peace Over Violence. Investigators are alleging an array of bribery and other crimes related to contracts that the county Metropolitan Transportation Authority awarded to the organization to operate a hotline for reporting sexual harassment on public transit. Investigators alleged that “bribery of a county supervisor” might have been committed. A former Metro employee, Jennifer Loew, said that Kuehl helped Peace Over Violence win a contract with the MTA. Kuehl said the accusation was “totally bogus” and that the Board of Supervisors didn’t vote on that matter.

What’s the context?

Critics of Villanueva claim the sheriff is using a secretive public corruption unit to target political enemies. Villanueva has denied this, saying he’s recused himself from the unit’s work. County Dist. Atty. George Gascón declined an invitation by Villanueva to create a joint-agency task force. Gascón, who survived a recall attempt supported by Villanueva, told The Times last year that the sheriff’s unit was “only targeting political enemies.” Both Kuehl and Giggans have clashed with Villanueva as members of the board and the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission, respectively.



📢 “Sheriff’s Department. We have a warrant. We demand entry.” — sheriff’s deputy

📢 “These are Third World tactics. Vladimir Putin would be impressed.” — Patti Giggans’ attorney Austin Dove

[Read “L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s home searched by sheriff’s investigators,” in The Times.]

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(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

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Los Angeles: 81, partly cloudy. San Diego: 75, partly cloudy. San Francisco: 68, partly cloudy. San Jose: 75, mostly sunny. Fresno: 85, sunny. Sacramento: 81, partly cloudy.


Today’s California memory is from Marty Campbell:

In 1989, 20 of us young adults embarked on a five-day sports trip to L.A. My first time for the ocean, palm trees, Hollywood Hills and L.A. culture. We attended two NFL games, including the San Francisco 49ers at L.A. Rams, a Monday night football match-up. I remember the energy and atmosphere being so positive and electrifying. We spent the next day in Disneyland and a day at Universal Studios. In 2007 and 2012, I took my kids to L.A. and they shared some of the same experiences, and they really like the culture of L.A. and San Diego too!

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)

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