L.A. County’s new sheriff has reinstated a deputy fired over allegations of domestic abuse and stalking.
A Sheriff’s Deputy With an Unusual History
When Alex Villanueva took over as L.A. County sheriff last month, he removed 18 high-ranking Sheriff’s Department executives. He also reinstated one deputy — Caren Carl Mandoyan, who was fired in 2016 by then-Sheriff Jim McDonnell in connection with allegations of domestic abuse and stalking. A county appeals board heard evidence and upheld the dismissal, while prosecutors reviewed the accusations but declined to file charges. Mandoyan served as a trusted member of Villanueva’s campaign team, acting as his driver and rallying rank-and-file deputies to lobby their union to endorse his long-shot candidacy.
Teachers Strike a Chord, but …
As the Los Angeles teachers’ strike enters its third day, educators have been enjoying the support of liberal politicians, celebrities and — according to one Loyola Marymount University survey — a substantial number of L.A. County residents. Mothers who’ve been fighting for the survival of Trinity Street Elementary School in South L.A. joined the picket line, and teachers at three charter schools went on strike. One principal says he supports his wife, a teacher on strike at a nearby school, in the cause. But the big question already is: When will the labor action at the L.A. Unified School District be settled? Pressure is growing for both sides to make a deal, with teachers losing salary and the district losing money.
Brexit: The Long and the Short of It
It’s been a long 2½ years since British voters chose by a slim margin to leave the European Union. It’s a short 2½ months before Brexit is set to take effect. And at this point, it’s completely unclear what will happen. Parliament has soundly rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s blueprint for Brexit by the biggest margin in a century, and today she’ll face a no-confidence vote — one she’s expected to survive. Still, with the clock ticking, Britain could be leaving the EU without a deal in place, despite huge implications for the economy and security of Britain and Europe. A few other options exist too.
No ‘Witch Hunt,’ No Bombshells
On the first day of the confirmation hearing for President Trump’s attorney general nominee, William Barr told a Senate panel that he did not believe special counsel Robert S. Mueller III was on a “witch hunt,” as Trump has often tweeted, and said he would not fire Mueller without good cause. And in answering a range of other questions, there were no bombshell revelations. He faces a second day of hearings today.
-- The Pentagon has agreed to keep several thousand troops deployed on the U.S.-Mexico border until Sept. 30, with their mission shifting from "hardening" border crossings to "mobile surveillance and detection.”
-- Rep. Kevin McCarthy appears to have passed his first test as House Republicans’ minority leader this week: by holding the party together to sanction one of its own, Iowa Rep. Steve King, for his latest racially charged comments.
-- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, a central figure in the Democratic Party’s debate about the #MeToo movement, is preparing to join a 2020 presidential primary contest that features a record number of women.
-- A federal judge has ruled against the Trump administration's addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The fight could be headed to the Supreme Court.
-- Andrew Wheeler, Trump’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, has his Senate confirmation hearing today. Unlike Scott Pruitt, who resigned amid ethics investigations, Wheeler has kept a low profile.
Costly in More Ways Than One
Call it a vicious cycle: Climate change. Deadly wildfires. Massive potential liabilities. And a planned bankruptcy that could make it more difficult fend off all of the above in the future. That’s the situation PG&E and the state of California are facing as the utility prepares to file for a Chapter 11 reorganization that could have consequences that go far beyond finances.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
On this date in 1919, the 18th Amendment was ratified when the Nebraska state legislature voted in favor of it. The L.A. Times headline the next day: “Saloons’ Political Grip on Country Is Broken.” A year later, Prohibition took effect.
-- Several Southern California communities issued evacuation orders Tuesday as a new round of rain threatened mud and debris flows.
-- The L.A. City Council voted to reform the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, a retirement program that allowed hundreds of veteran police and firefighters to take extended leaves from work at essentially twice their usual pay.
-- A Jan. 9 standoff in Koreatown was the first time the L.A. Police Department has used a drone. Hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the country have acquired them to provide a set of eyes in dangerous situations. Privacy advocates worry about spying.
-- Gov. Gavin Newsom is calling on Silicon Valley to make an unprecedented contribution to help build new homes for the middle class. But his idea is raising ethics and other concerns.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- Remember the ill-fated Fyre Festival? Two new films explore what went wrong — and have something to say about the music festivals of today.
-- The documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” was inspired in part by how Fred Rogers handled Robert Kennedy’s assassination in a 1968 episode of his children’s show.
-- Misty Copeland became American Ballet Theatre’s first African American female principal dancer nearly four years ago, but the company has scarcely had an African American couple dancing lead roles. On Friday that changes.
-- Hours after the last remnants of a Confederate statue were removed from UNC-Chapel Hill, the official who ordered them gone was pushed out by the North Carolina university system’s governing board.
-- More than 1,000 Hondurans participating in the latest migrant caravan have begun heading by foot and in vehicles toward neighboring Guatemala with the hope of eventually reaching the far-off U.S.-Mexico border.
-- A onetime Colombian drug trafficker testified that two months before Enrique Peña Nieto became Mexico’s president, he took a $100-million bribe from drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Peña Nieto has previously denied corruption allegations.
-- Kenya’s president says security forces have killed the Islamic extremist gunmen whose assault on a luxury hotel and shopping complex in Nairobi killed 14 people.
-- Brazil’s new president has signed an executive order making it easier for Brazilians to own guns.
-- The Trump administration says it’s calling about 36,100 additional Internal Revenue Service employees back to work, without pay, to process tax refunds. But even if the shutdown ends soon, don’t expect a timely tax refund.
-- US Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles, once the tallest skyscraper in the West, is on the market.
-- Would you pay $100 per month for a ticket into an arena, but not into the game? The Golden State Warriors think you might be interested.
-- At 40, boxer Manny Pacquiao is trying something new to stay on top of his game: rest and recovery.
-- At California’s utility companies, radical change may be the order of the day.
-- Here's a secret: We may be winning the war on terrorism. Columnist Doyle McManus explains.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- White House economists are warning of the shutdown’s effects on the economy. (New York Times)
-- How many burgers did Trump really feed the Clemson football team, and how much did all that fast food cost? (Washington Post)
-- A four-day “Jeopardy!” champion describes the adulation and the annoyance viewers expressed toward her. (Los Angeles Magazine)
ONLY IN L.A.
What does Los Angeles smell like? Times deputy fashion editor Adam Tschorn recently asked Jared Leto — actor, musician and the ambassador for Gucci fragrances — that very question. His first response: “Smog, the smell of burning fossil fuels — it just makes me feel at home.” Upon further reflection, he also associates night-blooming jasmine with L.A. And perhaps the scent of “an artisanal Ding Dong.”