LA County supervisor admits she was tipped off to LAPD search warrant, Sheriff Villanueva demands answers

After admitting on live television that she was tipped off to the search warrant that was executed at her home, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is calling for an investigation to discover which county officials gave LA County Board of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl the heads up and potentially compromised “the integrity of this criminal investigation.”

Kuehl, a Democrat and longtime politician in California, has for nearly two years been under investigation in connection to an $800,000 no-bid contract for a barely-used sexual harassment hotline that was awarded to a non-profit called Peace Over Violence, run by one of her close friends, Patti Giggans, Red State reports.


(Video: YouTube)

When the LA County Sheriff’s department showed up at her home on Wednesday morning, so too did the media, and Kuehl seemed eager to appear on camera.

“I opened the door and there were very many Sheriff’s deputies kind of, I would say swarming outside,” she told Fox LA. “One of them presented me with a warrant to search the house, which has no information in it at all, signed by a judge who is a friend of the Sheriff’s.”

“But this strikes me as being part of a — sort of a bogus, non-investigation,” she claimed. “There is no investigation going on that would support this warrant.”

It was then that she let slip that the search came as no surprise, telling Fox LA that LA Metro’s offices were also being searched.

“I heard it through — they took my phone, so, as you know, I have no communication at all,” she dished, “but apparently Metro is being searched.”

She got the skinny, she claimed, from “county counsel” and the Los Angeles Times, and blames an “obsessed” Metro employee for the warrant.

“I heard from county counsel last night that she got a tip from [LA County Inspector General] Max [Huntsman] that this search would happen this morning,” Kuehl said. “But I had gotten a call from the LA Times last week with the same information and nothing happened, so I thought it was just bogus.”

Now Sheriff Villanueva wants California Attorney General Rob Bonta to open an investigation into the leak.

Noting that warrants were served at the homes of Kuehl and Giggans, as well as at offices located at the Los Angeles County Hall of Administration, Peace Over Violence Headquarters, and the LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Headquarters, Villanueva stated in a letter to Bonta that “it was obvious” that both Kuehl and Giggans had advanced notice of the searches.

“It was obvious both were already aware of the search warrant and were waiting for detectives to arrive,” he wrote.

The sheriff then pointed to Kuehl’s appearance on Fox LA and her shocking admissions.

“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 illegal acts committed by Mr. Huntsman and County Counsel have potentially comprised [sic] the integrity of this criminal investigation including, but not limited to, the concealment or destruction of evidence,” the sheriff claimed.

In an interview with Fox LA, Villanueva responded to Kuehl’s claim that he was retaliating against her for recently voting to place a measure on the November ballot that would allow the Board of Supervisors to remove an elected Sheriff “for cause,” Red State reports.

Noting that the case against Kuehl originated from a whistleblower claim, the sheriff stated, “I think she has bigger concerns right now.”

“She should start focusing on her defense and those involved,” Villanueva said, “because we’re kicking this to the Attorney General on the interference and obstruction of justice.”

“Keep in mind,” he said, “it’s the coverup that typically ends up being worse than the crime itself.”


(Video: YouTube)

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