LA sheriff calls for state AG to investigate 2 county officials being tipped off about search warrants
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is calling for California’s attorney general to investigate Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and Los Angeles County Civilian Oversight Commissioner Patti Giggans allegedly being illegally tipped off by other county officials of impending search warrants at their homes Wednesday.
Villanueva told Fox News Digital that Kuehl “offered an admission to the media saying she was tipped off” about the warrant, which he called “alarming and sad.”
He added that the sheriff’s department “took appropriate action” in calling for an investigation by Attorney General Rob Bonta.
Kuehl, who held a press conference outside of her home after deputies went inside, told FOX 11 in Los Angeles on-camera that LA County Inspector General Max Huntsman and an unnamed attorney who represents the county told her of the warrant.
Kuehl called the search a “bogus non-investigation” and later claimed it was a “thuggish” attempt to intimidate her while denying any wrongdoing.
The warrant is connected to a public corruption investigation.
In a letter to Attorney General Rob Bonta, Villanueva accused the officials who warned Kuehl and Giggans of the warrants of “illegally alerting them.”
“I do not have to explain the alleged criminal, administrative and ethical laws which were broken by Mr. Huntsman and the currently unidentified person(s) employed by County Counsel,” Villanueva wrote. “We are confident phone records will soon reveal any text messages received by Ms. Kuehl and Ms. Giggins, which illegally alerted them to the search warrant, as well as the intent behind their actions.”
The sheriff asked Bonta to open an investigation into potential felony violations “regarding interference into a criminal investigation.”
“The illegal acts committed by Mr. Huntsman and County Counsel have potentially comprised the integrity of this criminal investigation including, but not limited to, the concealment or destruction of evidence,” he wrote.
Kuehl responded to the search of her home in a lengthy statement on Twitter Wednesday night, reiterating what she told reporters earlier that she hasn’t committed any crime and the sheriff’s department is out of control.
“As a County Supervisor, I’ve done everything I could to bring appropriate oversight and supervision to the LA County Sheriff’s Department, a dept that has become more and more uncontrolled and troubled under the current @LACoSheriff, Alex Villanueva,” she wrote. “Make no mistake. Today’s search warrant is not motivated by a desire to get to the bottom of a Metro contract that dates from 7 yrs ago. The process by which this contract was awarded never involved me & the first I knew of it was an invite to a Metro press conf announcing it.”
She insisted the basis for the “questionable” search warrant would be investigated.
“This morning’s storming of my home by deputies with bulletproof vests & tactical gear was an effort to harass, intimidate & retaliate against a public figure who has been an outspoken critic of Alex Villanueva,” she added.
Fox News’ Bill Melugin and Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.