#GangstersWithBadges Alex Villanueva

Decoding the Mandoyan Case Files, Part 2: An In-Depth Analysis by the Inspector General Pronounces Re-Hired LA County Deputy Carl Mandoyan Unfit For the position of Deputy Sheriff

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

It’s not been an easy week for Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

LASD, Banditos, courtesy of attorney Greg Smith

On Thursday morning, the LA Times broke the news that the FBI is now investigating the LASD’s deputy gang problem—prominently including the influence of the Banditos clique in the department’s East LA. Station, which has, of late, become a lawsuit factory.

The news that the feds were stepping in came after Sheriff Villanueva announced in late June that he’d transferred 36 of the members of the Banditos out of East LA, and thus had the deputy cliques matter well in hand.

Yet, credible sources inside the station have made it clear that the sheriff’s claim of all these Bandito transfers simply wasn’t true, that the Bandito’s were still in ELA in significant numbers, still in many ways calling the shots—much to the dismay of the many dedicated, non-inked deputies who work at the place.

East LA Community members speak out about deputy gangs at Thursday, July 11, 2019 forum, via WitnessLA

On Thursday night, July 11, the message that the department’s deputy gang problem was far from solved was reiterated by many among the large crowd of East Side residents who attended a packed-to-the-rafters community meeting hosted by the LASD’s Civilian Oversight Commission.

And then earlier this week, the Office of the Inspector General released an exhaustively-researched analysis of the sheriff’s so-called Truth and Reconciliation Program—specifically looking at how the program worked when it came to the controversial re-hiring of Deputy Caren Carl Mandoyan, a move that is still the subject of legal action on the part of the LA County Board of Supervisors.

The OIG’s take on Mandoyan’s firing and re-hiring

In order to write their 34-page report, the  OIG analysts reviewed well over 2000 pages of documents, plus photos, videos, interview transcripts and more, most of which WitnessLA has also reviewed.

(You can review much of this material yourself, and thus draw your own informed conclusion, by delving into the information-packed cache of “exhibits” the OIG has helpfully provided).

This rigorous analysis led the OIG investigators to a series of conclusions about the sheriff’s process in reinstating Deputy Mandoyan, prominently including the following:

1. Contrary to what the sheriff and his Truth and Reconciliation panel have claimed, substantial evidence exists in support of the Civil Service Commission’s decision to uphold Carl Mandoyan’s discharge from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

In other words, based on the actual evidence, and the testimony of a list of credible witnesses, Mr. Mandoyan appears to have done what he was accused of doing—from the alleged physical attack on his then-girlfriend, who was also, at the time, a deputy sheriff, to bullying and attempting to control both the girlfriend’s social life with women’s friends, and her work life, to his multiple attempts to break into her house, then lying about his actions to Internal Affairs, to threatening the alleged victim with reprisals from his powerful “Grim Reaper” friends, and other unpleasant behavior that is alarming on its face, but particularly so when it comes from someone with a badge and a gun who is tasked with enforcing the law.

(The Grim Reapers, for anyone unfamiliar, is the name of another of the department’s notorious deputy cliques. Mandoyan has admitted he has a Grim Reaper tattoo. And the sheriff’s recently-replaced Chief of Staff, Lawrence Del Mese, has long been known as someone once high up on the  Grim Reaper food chain.)

Among the OIG’s list of exhibits is the transcript of a phone call that Mandoyan made to the alleged victim—whom we’ll call Deputy X—in which he threatens her with retaliation by his well-connected Reaper pals. “It’s gonna be real funny when you fuckin’ see just how much influence I have,” he says charmingly.

(We’ll have more on that call in a minute.)

2. Despite all of the above, the sheriff and his Truth and Reconciliation panel concluded that Mandoyan’s wrongdoing was quite minor, which the panel primarily described as “poor judgment and decision-making skills,” all of which did not “rise to the level of discharge.”

According to the OIG’s report, however, the panel drew those conclusions after unaccountably electing not to consider “key pieces of evidence regarding Mandoyan’s actions,” including a bunch of video evidence, photos showing injuries to Deputy X and to the door of her bedroom which Mandoyan allegedly kicked trying to get to Deputy X after she escaped him,  the testimony of important witnesses who could corroborate certain incidents and/or actions by Mandoyan, plus the transcript of Mandoyan’s creepy threatening call, which Deputy X recorded—so Mandoyan couldn’t delete it, as he reportedly did routinely with anything on her phone he didn’t happen to fancy.

3. The choice to reinstate Mandoyan was not a neutral process of picking “low hanging fruit,” as the sheriff has repeatedly stated.  Re-hiring Mandoyan had been high on Sheriff Villanueva’s To-Do list, well before he was sworn in. Furthermore, the issue of whether or not Mandoyan was going to be found appropriate for reinstatement was never in question.

This was demonstrated by, among other things, a November 30, 2018, e-mail from then-LASD Chief Alicia Ault to the in-coming sheriff’s then-chief-of-staff, Lawrence Del Mese, the new administration’s efforts “to reinstate or re-hire Mandoyan began well before his case was evaluated by the Truth and Reconciliation Panel,” said the OIG report.

In the email (which was originally obtained by Maya Lau at the LA Times), Chief Ault wrote that she had forwarded a document sent by Del Mese about Mandoyan to County Counsel so that the county’s lawyers and Mr. Mandoyan’s attorney could work together “to achieve the goal of returning him [Mandoyan] to work.” (Emphasis added by the OIG).

“Based on the e-mail,” stated the OIG’s report, “it appears that the current administration gave direction on the ultimate outcome of this process — bringing Mandoyan back to work” —before the sheriff ever took office.

Who you gonna believe, me or your lyin’ eyes?

One of the most interesting sections of the report has to do with the string of public statements made by Sheriff Villanueva about Mandoyan’s case:
“Mandoyan’s due process rights were violated,” the sheriff said, and “Mandoyan’s alleged conduct should not have resulted in discharge,” and “the Department’s investigation and adjudication of Mandoyan’s case was biased,” and “important exculpatory evidence was not presented at the Civil Service Hearing,” and finally, “the Truth and Reconciliation Panel came to its own findings without being influenced by any outside parties.”

After listing them, the report neatly demolishes all these complaints and objections by the sheriff.

And, about the contention that Mandoyan’s conduct should not have resulted in discharge,  interestingly, when Deputy X made a report to the El Segundo Police Department about Mandoyan’s behavior after she’d been allegedly choked by him to the point that she was afraid for her life, El Segundo Officer Marco Lemus, who interviewed Deputy X, described in his report the “visible injury” he saw on her skin where Mandoyan grabbed Deputy X.  Her bruises, according to Lemus,  were among of the elements that caused him to conclude that Mandoyan was “in violation of 273.5(a) PC, domestic violence.”  In his written account, Lemus also suggested the evidence pointed to a violation of 646.9 (a) PC “stalking.”

The OIG report also takes time to explain that both the LASD and the Civil Service Commission, found that Mandoyan made false statements when interviewed by Internal affairs, which consisted of, among other things,  “(a) denying that he attempted to enter into the victim’s residence by way of her sliding glass door; and/or (b) denying that he attempted to enter into the victim’s residence through her bathroom window; and/or (c) stating that he used a tool/object/”pulley” handle only to knock on the door to gain her attention to retrieve his backpack and keys; and/or (d) stating that he opened the victim’s bathroom window only to apologize to her,” when videos tell a very different story.

(All of these statements, indeed, appear to be less than truthful if one watches several of the videos that Deputy X made of Mandoyan trying to break in her house, such as the one above, and the two below.)

“Each of these reviewing bodies,” the OIG investigators wrote, “even if they were to have used the 2012 Guidelines [for Discipline] would properly have upheld the discharge of Mandoyan for making false statements since discharge was within the disciplinary range of either version of the Guidelines for Discipline.”

(Note: The OIG was referring to the 2012 LASD Guidelines for Discipline, which Villanueva has prefers, rather than the updated 2015 version of the Guidelines that former Sheriff McDonnell favored.)

The report sums up the guidelines issue this way:

“Courts have found that domestic violence demonstrates a ‘readiness to do evil,’ the federal government precludes the carrying of a gun for those convicted of the criminal version of such conduct, and unfailing honesty is essential to the core function of a peace officer.”

Unfit “for the position of Deputy Sheriff”

The OIG authors saved for last the matter of the transcript of the recording of the unpleasant phone call that Mandoyan made to Deputy X, and that she recorded.

Rather than summarize OIG authors’ commentary on the call, we have included their assessment nearly in its entirety:

“….the administrative investigation file reviewed by OIG staff included a transcript of a partial telephone conversation between the victim and Mandoyan,” they write. “The substance of the conversation is very disturbing and corroborates many of the victim’s allegations against Mandoyan. The victim has repeatedly stated that Mandoyan did not want her to go to briefings as one of the various ways Mandoyan exerted control over her life. The telephone transcript shows that Mandoyan told the victim not to go to station briefings. This is significant because Mandoyan unequivocally stated in his Internal Affairs interview that he never told the victim not to attend briefings. The telephone transcript shows that Mandoyan lied to Internal Affairs on this issue.” (Italics WLA’s.)

“In another portion of the telephone transcript,” the OIG authors continue, “Mandoyan makes statements such as “[i]t’s gonna be real funny when you fuckin’ see just how much influence I have.’ The victim accused him of being a ‘Reaper.’ She understood that to mean that he had friends that were also Reapers, who held higher positions and who had influence within the Department.  Mandoyan admitted he had a Reaper tattoo, but stated that it was a station tattoo and it did not mean anything.’ Mandoyan’s statements in this telephone call corroborate the victim’s assertions that he threatened to use his influence in the Department as a tool of fear against her.

“Mandoyan calls the victim a ‘cunt,’ accuses her of flirting with a fellow deputy, and seems agitated that the victim chose to speak to her [female] cousin. Here again, Mandoyan stated to Internal Affairs that he never told the victim not to speak with her cousin. These statements corroborate allegations that Mandoyan was jealous and wanted to control the victim’s interactions with others.

“The telephone transcript was not considered during the administrative investigation or the Civil Service Hearing because of admissibility issues.  However, those admissibility issues would likely not preclude the Department from considering the telephone transcript when deciding whether to re-hire a deputy. It is undisputed that the Department was aware of this recording and had questioned Mandoyan on its contents during his interview with Internal Affairs.

“Again, assuming that Mandoyan was ‘re-hired,’ the Department was in possession of now publicly available evidence that conclusively established Mandoyan’s dishonesty and unfitness for the position of Deputy Sheriff.

“This Office is aware of no case where a deputy was reinstated under similar circumstances.”

So there you have it.

Note: The three videos above are from the Civil Service Commission Case File of rehired LASD deputy Caren Carl Mandoyan. In the two videos nearest the bottom, which depict a sequence, Deputy Mandoyan has allegedly broken into the apartment of his estranged girlfriend, Deputy X, via the bathroom window, after heading to her home just before he thought she would be getting off work. He allegedly did so, surreptitiously, not knowing that she had left her shift early, around 3:30 a.m. instead of 4 a.m. when it actually ended. Halfway through the first video, Deputy X  hears noises so tiptoes to the bathroom door and flings it open, allegedly catching Mandoyan in the act of breaking in. In video two, she is still trying to get him out, as the audio portion of the video makes clear. When Mandoyan repeatedly asks Deputy X, “Where’re you going to find one?” he is reportedly referring to an earlier conversation in which she told him she wants to find a non-toxic relationship, or words to that general effect.


  • Burrito #1. Back in the news again. You guys “rat pack” anybody lately. After the indictments come down…..you guys can claim the hand ball courts in the administrative needs yard.

  • So the Chief of Staff was quietly removed because he was a reaper. Yet the Chief and Captain over ELA are also tattooed members of what the Sheriff previously called a gang. Although now the Sheriff has changed his tune and believes the tattoos signify a membership to the girl scouts. How will this look to the Feds? The real honest deputies at ELA have no chance.

  • C: A big nothing about nothing that we don’t already know. OIG has NO legal standing to do anything! So what if OIG doesn’t like the rehire! It’s not their call-if any member of OIG doesn’t like the rehire. I suggest running for sheriff! The deputy did what was alleged and the victim is nowhere to be found? Go talk to the resigned victim-you’re an investigative reporter go do your job! The deputy wasn’t charged(less convicted) with anything. If this case was so horrible then why wasn’t he prosecuted? Or are you suggesting that the DA was also corrupt? Why no criticism or condemnation of the DA? BTW: The court has already slapped OIG and County Counsel down. WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT FALSE CRIME MADE BY COUNTY COUNSEL?? You know the phone call???


    Gangs: The LAT did a report on Devils from ELA (early 70’s) and then numerous articles on those aholes-Vikings. These gangs were predominately male white and what did Pitchess, Block, Baca and worse yet that moron McDonnell do about it? They promoted them! Ask about past corrupt Undersheriffs Stonich, Waldie and Tanaka? And now the bigoted media is trying to make this crap about “Latino” deputies? Latin is a language not a race of people. Go ask Dennis Slocumb about how he started the Vikings? And all other gangsters. And LAPD is worse? Double standard is well in play. This crap grew and grew under McDonnell and where was the press?

    Legality: This is not and never was a freedom of speech issue. Any department has the legal right to make you pay your bills, wear a uniform, regulate nearly all aspects of your behavior. And therefore making you remove these tattoo’s is legal. I would suggest retraining and recommit to your OATH OF OFFICE! Every briefing should start with the Pledge of Allegiance and reciting your oath.

    Last: Ok, you neo-progs and the usual suspect cop haters, you have had your way for decades in LA County and look at the mess. So, what would you do about this other than complain?

  • Defensiveness and deflection with “blasts from the past” makes your post all so obvious.

    Do uou have a State Bar number?

  • Blaine: This was started long ago and we must address this to solve this issue. My bar card number is none of your business!

  • Just Waite until the BOS and taxpayers (unbeknownst to them of course) foot the bil for Mr. Mandoyan’s lawsuit and related expenses. Their were no charges filed by thevDA’s office, and did receive Department punishment related to his policy violation….what more do you want. The rules of the system were followed…isn’t that what due process, fairness and playing by the rules is all about? Or is this just a personnel grudge against Sheriff Villanueva and Mr. Mandoyan? Sure looks, walks and quacks like duck.

    This has been the new norm it would seem. If you don’t get the outcome you want, beg borrow lie and steal and do whatever it to sway public opinion to your side.

    This whole is dare I say “Trump-like”, let’s just hope the courts remain fair and judges don’t allow their personnel beliefs and political leanings to “trump” their duty to be fair and impartial.

  • Unfortunately the Banditos aren’t going anywhere. This has been such a major problem for the past year, and they are still 10-8 and in DB. Everyone knows who they are. They’ve transferred more people who were victims of the Bandidos, than actual Bandidos themselves. The ratio of Non-Banditos to Banditos at the station has actually gone up!! And the majority are still in influential spots (FTOs) where they can spread their influence and ideology to new Deps coming in. Even supervisors fear them. Why do you think supervisors don’t even wear jackets? Going to get interesting when the FBI interviews the Banditos and they start puffing their chests. We know how that played out in 2011. Wonder who will flip on everyone first and lay everything out to the feds. Feds are looking into the possibility that Banditos had to break the law to get inked. They probably googled “G-Rod”

  • Conspiracy…

    “…Let’s just hope the courts remain fair….”

    Ay, there’s the rub–nobody has yet accused the courts of being unfair.


    So why didn’t Carl Mandoyan appeal his adverse Civil Service Commission finding to the State & Federal Supreme Courts.

    Instead, he brownnosed his way around the adverse finding, and A.V. is made to look like he’s amenable to brown nosing.

    Them ain’t good optics, and put the Sheriff into a BAD light.

    Which, it looks like, will be permanent.

  • Hey Celeste, care to reveal your sources who claim that there is an FBI investigation? How about this, why don’t you double check Maya Lau’s sources. Hint: there is no FBI investigation, but all the Villanueva haters would sure love that to be true.

  • Great call, Conspiracy!
    Many deputies have refused to recognize “the elephant in the room”.

    On the Bandito issue or any other clique within in LASD, it’s going to take an outsider to clean it up, period.

  • Don’t know how it got so bad at ELA. Someone should have taken the “godfather” and Buritto #1 out to the tool shed and taught them some manners. Spare the rod. Spoil the child ( Bandito)

  • The IG pronounced Carl Mandoyan unfit for the position of Deputy Sheriff. Whether you agree or disagree with the Inspector General’s analysis, it’s clear Villanueva is willing to throw the entire Department under the bus to salvage the career of Carl Mandoyan.
    Why? What did Carl Mandoyan do for Villanueva during the campaign?
    A question worth exploring.

    The 2012 LASD Guidelines for Discipline say, “unfailing honesty is essential to the core function of a peace officer” But what about Villanueva’s integrity? There is little truth in anything Villanueva says. He makes up the facts. He almost seems more comfortable lying. The OIG report illustrates Villanueva’s lack of credibility. But he also lacks transparency.
    Who are the members of Sheriff Villanueva’s Truth and reconciliation committee?

    Lt Roel Garcia is assisting the Sheriff in manipulating the promotional process at all levels to ensure the right people get the right positions. The good news for those who lack merit, Merit is not a factor.

    Del Mese slithering away last week to hide under a new rock is notable, and right before the Feds jumped in.
    Good timing Larry!

  • Thanks for playing, but the COC is NOT a source of information. They are merely regurgitating Maya Lau’s claim. It turns out the “source” appears to be the very same deputies who filed a claim against the LASD, and that is not a legitimate source either. Wishing thinking doesn’t make it true. Anyone who has ever dealt with the feds knows damn well they don’t get involved in internal local politics unless there is a clear and compelling federal case to be made.

  • Of all the deputies that should be reinstated minus the political hoopla, why Mandoyan?

    Talking heads on this site laughed at Baca and hated McDonnell but plead the 5th on Villanueva.

    Something stinks as department members feign ignorance while keeping their heads in the sand.

    The truest feelings are noted on Facebook.

  • Really? Lt Garcia is manipulating the promotional process at all levels? Your an idiot. Go back and you “slither” to your hole. You are a complete fraud. Yea, YOU! Idiot.

  • “…And that is not a legitimate source either.”

    Deputy statements made under oath are not legitimate sources of information?


  • What statement under oath? Elaborate please. BTW, going to the to whine about the LASD of Jim McBuckles doesn’t create a federal investigation. Try again.

  • At the very least, Dep. Mandoyan used such poor judgement that he cannot be trusted to work out in the field where he might endanger himself or the lives of others. Therefore, he should never have been rehired.

  • Long ago the Sheriff was asked, “Is this the hill you want to die on?” What is the unholy alliance between Mandoyan and the Sheriff? The damage that has been done to the Office of the Sheriff, to the Sheriff himself and to the Department as a whole and it has been nothing less than devastating. Yet, the Sheriff blows this off in the same manner he has blown everything else off, “I’m the Sheriff, I’ll do as I wish.” I truly think he has absolutely no concept of the damage he has done to his credibility, I mean it is shot. The OIG has completely blown out of the water, “If you knew what I know about this case, you would be singing a different tune.” I think we do know what he knows, and he knows nothing. You have the Commander with his, “I’ve read everything and this case is only worth a few days off.” You have the (now) retired IAB Lieutenant provide “her” interpretation of her own units investigation which does not square with the OIG report. You have Chief Ault’s email to the disgraced former Chief of Staff aka “Sheriff Del Mese” CLEARLY providing direction Alex Villanueva wanted the wheels in motion full speed to bring Mandoyan back. The Sheriff claiming Mandoyan didn’t receive any special treatment with his consideration for the laughable Truth and Reconciliation process. Vera (he is up to his eyeballs with Mandoyan and the Sheriff’s secret inner circle providing foolish guidance) and Murakami rubber stamped a finding to rehire Mandoyan at the direction of Del Mese and the Sheriff. This is going to haunt all three of these folks.

    So what is the connection? Insiders say it is “that relationship” the Sheriff has with Mandoyan. Folklore has it, Del Mese got into a couple of sideway conversations with Mandoyan. It appears Mandoyan did not care for the way Del Mese was talking to him. Mandoyan has a conversation with the Sheriff’s wife and lays out Del Mese. Mrs. Sheriff has a conversation with her husband, the Sheriff. The next business day, Monday, Del Mese is fired and sent to North Patrol to finish out his career. That is how fast it happened. Del Mese, a hardcore Tanaka follower, along with Vera, thought he was all that. Spoke to Assistant Sheriffs and the Undersheriff as if they were gas pump trustees, barked out orders as if he were on the throne himself. Mrs. Sheriff did the Sheriff a huge favor because Del Mese and Vera have been leading Alex down the path of destruction from Day One, and continue to do so. Just wait until the Banditos investigation gets going, you will see some very familiar names attached to it.

  • Thank you for sharing. My big question is, why has LASD not learned from the past?

  • Not Again, I just finished reading Max Huntsman’s masterpiece, all 34 pages of it. While he may proclaim Mandoyan “unfit” for duty, I beg to differ. First, Max has a long history of bad work as an attorney. Rejected many a time for a coveted Superior Court bench, apparently the screeners have little regard for his legal acumen. Read no further than his last case, People v Christiansen (B252804), where Max had difficulty understanding that factual innocence means just that, you don’t get to argue that the factually innocent should still have a record, LOL. Apparently it took an appellate judge to explain to him how it works, and it not very nice terms.

    Now going through Max’s novel, I don’t see anything more than his cut and paste of the McDonnell era sham investigation. It would be wise for people to understand Max is not an independent anything, he is one of many attack dogs at the board of supervisors’ disposal. So all those Sheriff V haters, don’t be so disappointed that things are going well with the LASD, in spite of Sheila Kuehl’s best efforts.

  • So question of the day:
    Is CM currently working for the department?
    If so, in what capacity?
    Is he getting PAID?

    Poor Del Mese, finish his career as a CHIEF, how F…ing terrible. Laughing all the way to the bank.

    I used to think PT must have had compromising pics of Baca to keep his position, maybe CM has some on AV. Something keeps him valuable.

  • Oh, I’m sure there have been others, his case was just the most “shocking and politically advantageous” for the BOS, media and LA political machine to gain traction with…so they think.

  • I hear great things are still being done by sworn and civilians on the department. I hope to hear a lot more- especially in the media.

    AV has a few good leaders who have earned their creds and have a great reputation still working on the Dept. He should be raising them up and listening to them more than he seems to be. One, I know and have worked with, is workimg in the same office as the Chief people are piling on about in other posts here.

  • Hey all, it’s been a while. I see the same ole retired grouches are still cackling. Love Sheriff AV. Can’t wait to take the next Lts exam, I’m a shoe in. Well, time to roll up those sleeves, flash that ink, supervise Deps, and chew my favorite tobacco products. Don’t like it? You know the rest.

  • Yes CM is working as some lame ass Uniform Committee Deputy, and rumor has it he has a take home car.

  • Because the Sheriff has allowed the Tanaka disciples of Del Mese and Vera to tell him how to do his job. Everything they have touched has turned to shit. They have lead him down the path of self-destruction. All the while, they are telling folks “they” are the ass to kiss. Narcissistic personalities are in abundance. Meanwhile, The Undersheriff and Assistant Sheriff’s have been kicked in the teeth by “Sheriff Del Mese” on a weekly basis to the point, they don’t care anymore. If the Sheriff finds himself as a one-term office holder like McD, he only needs to look in the mirror to discover why. It never should have been like this.

  • …You’re a shoe in?
    No, you’re a boot seeking attention and needing a hug. There ya’ go!

  • Hey Clock, you know what? The Deps they harass the most are other Hispanics. Go figure.

  • So tired of these white, racist cops!!!!!!!!
    Wait….Banditos are primarily Hispanic??? Reapers and Spartans of all races!!!!
    That doesn’t fit the narrative!

  • Well, it is obvious this OIG report was the last hit piece of work written by Diana Teran at the OIG, before being transferred to the public defender’s office. Note that in her LinkedIn page, she does not brag about doing anything great at the public defender office, I wonder why. https://www.linkedin.com/in/diana-teran-93290117/

    Now the only thing Teran found to screw Carl Mandoyan is that the so-called victim was “credible”, yet, all the video evidence could not be date verified. Further evidence that under the McDonnell/Teran regime all they need was a “gut feeling” they were right, and chose to believe one side over the other according to the agenda. Now it makes sense why Diana Teran assisted all of Mandoyan’s Civil Service Commission hearings with a highlighter in hand, marking things on a thick file.

    Go figure…that is the very reason why the founding fathers wrote a piece of document called the US Constitution and the bill of rights.

  • As to the Mandoyan matter, the actions of now retired Chief Alicia Ault, the refusal & repudiation of unethical orders by Alex Villanueva & staff deserve our admiration. It’s no longer just a debate over the merits of the Mandoyan case, it’s now about Sheriff Villanueva’s honesty. I’d ask you to validate retired Chief Ault’s credibility, I’ve yet to hear that it’s anything but rock solid. It doesn’t sound like just a difference of opinion, more like facts don’t matter given the newly acquired power. The truth will prevail and why are so many retired staff so uneasy with Villanueva?

  • I took the time to read the entire transcript of Ault’s deposicition. Knowing the little I know about how the internal politics and “standard procedures” as she stated work, it is my opinion she has no clue as to what she was doing. She was the Chief at the Professional Standards Division, yet, she communicated during the deposition as a young deputy working at the Jails.

    She did not take the time to look at the case to see how she could legally complete the request, instead she was concerned whether if she did, she could keep her job banking $21, 652.75 per month. She was concerned that if she was demoted to commander, she would lose her Chief pay of $21, 652.75 per month down to $15,000 per month, severely reducing her pension when retiring in the future. So she did what a coward does, stole lots of personnel documents, called Maya Lau to spite the sheriff, and retired using the $21, 652.75 per month as the amount to base her final retirement compensation. She had a conversation with Del Mese in the presence, but she felt “lightheaded” and does not remember. There is more to it, can wait to read about it.

    Yet like a false victim, she claims whatever percentage she got as a retirement from her $20,000 per month salary is not enough, she is retired and probably taking more than $15,000 per month plus benefits, and still crying, trying to makes feel bad for her. Wow, what a bunch of crapola.

    However, she gave herself away, there should be a lot deputies who were unjustly, and illegally disciplined calling her to testify regarding her high moral compass, I can wait to read another deposition of her.

    If anyone feels sorry for that uniformed Chief Ault, don’t, according to Transparent California, last year, 2018, she made the following:

    Regular pay: $259,833.00
    Overtime pay: $0.00
    Other pay: $32,329.00
    Total pay: $292,162.00
    Benefits: $143,418.00
    Total pay & benefits: $435,580.00

    No wonder the people hate the police….

  • Regarding Ray Leyva, what a disappointment. His dream was to one day become the “undersheriff” to be able to run the day-to-day operations of the sheriff’s department. He wanted Alex to go fishing with the politicians, have coffee with the state legislature, do political things, but not involved in the sheriff’s department decision making.

    He wrote a document to Alex requesting the creation of a position named “Chief Deputy” so that he could get paid at least $22,000 per month. He said that currently he was getting paid about $10,000.00 to $11,000.00. Although the “undersheriff” position paid about $28,000.00 per month, he could not take the safety position, because his alleged disability, but “Chief Deputy” would be the equivalent as a civilian position. However, Alex did not appear interested and that caused him to anger. So, he began undermining Alex and providing documents to other entities to hurt Alex Villanueva, in hope that Alex would get fired, and he being the default sheriff.

    Wow, what a cesspool, so Ray did not hesitate in throwing all the executives under the bus, claiming all are against Alex Villanueva. Ray obviously never had the interest of all the deputies at heart, he was not concerned about all the deputies that were railroaded under the McDonnell regime, it was all about him.

    I am glad Ray Leyva was fired, he was no different than Jim McDonnell, when an employee, becomes a problem, get rid of him mentality…wow.

  • Mrs Sheriff needs to stay home and enjoy her medical retirement. Don’t be carrying that heavy torch in the Memorial Run & working out in the family cross-fit gym down on Whittier Bl……..LACERA kinda frowns on that sorta behavior.

  • You Poor Bastard,

    That was one of the most convoluted, dysfunctional arguments seen on these pages in a long time. You conflated two distinct issues: (a) whether or not what Chief Ault was asked to do by the in-coming chief-of-staff was unethical, unprofessional, and possibly illegal; and (b) Chief Ault calling it a day after 36 years of good and faithful service to the Department and the profession after a veiled threat and pending a widely telegraphed no holds barred political purge. The question is not whether someone does or should feel “sorry” for Chief Ault because of the financial benefits she has earned and accrued (by contract and statute) for retirement, but whether her departure was a loss – maybe even a significant loss – for the LASD and the upholding of ethical standards for our profession. Salary and pension issues are important, but don’t pin that on Ault–that’s an economic issue for LAC and California.

    Bastard, being a genius, share with this audience precisely how, given LASD policies and procedures were at the time, Chief Ault could “legally complete [Del Mese’s] request” (as it was represented within her depo) within the allotted time period? Slow down, go step by step as though you were talking to a child.

  • @Bastard, other than your claim to have read Chief Ault’s deposition & claim that she testified as if a young jail deputy & didn’t know what she was doing, what facts have you offered? You outline her 2018 pay which undoubtedly includes her payout for unused vacation & sick time after 34 years of service. Standard deflection, if the facts are challenging, change the subject! So let’s dismiss Chief Ault for her snitch like outing of what she viewed as unethical, geez the “code of silence” as been betrayed. Explain Ray Leyva’s comments, he a young jail deputy also? In your world of proper ethics & conduct, I’d guess the FBI jail investigation was that of fools. The dozen or so subordinate staff that have gone to prison used exactly your standard of conduct. If you’re one of Villanueva’s crew & not a troll, honest people should be very nervous.

  • Honest people are going to wait patiently for Sheriff V to show his hand, which he has held on to in spite of the BOS and the Times’ best efforts at goading him. BTW, she was on Megaflex so there was no payout for unused vacation and sick time, that happened when she went from lieutenant to captain. Her history is linked with the mass firing scheme, so her sudden claim to have found integrity is not very impressive.

  • I see, Bastard, that I’m going to have to help you to focus. Let’s set aside Ray Leyva for a moment, let’s stay with Ault for a little while longer. Explain, if you can, this beauty of a sentence you wrote: “So [Ault] did what a coward does, stole lots of personnel documents, called Maya Lau to spite the sheriff[.]”

    Let’s set aside the part about what a coward does. Anyone who knows Ault knows she’s not a coward. Now, nowhere in Chief Ault’s depo does she indicate that she “stole lots of personnel documents.” She says under oath the opposite when asked by Mr. Gordon and Mr. Miller. Ault also testified that LA Times reporter Maya Lau went to Ault’s residence, without invitation and not having spoken to Lau previously; Lau just showed up after someone recommended that Lau speak with Ault. Yet Ault also testified that she would not make a comment to Lau other than saying words to the effect, ‘you’re a reporter go do what you do.’ This comment taken on its face is so far from being cowardly or snitch-like it is laughable. Actually, it is a pretty reasonable and professional response, a response we would hear from a grownup or at a professional law enforcement conference on working with media.

    It may be you are again confusing two things: the upholding of ethical standards of practice (principles, code of ethics), which was her primary mission and assignment, and being “spiteful” or vindictive. Chief Ault’s testimony came across as reasonable in expressing a legitimate professional concern about ethics and simply disagreeing with a highly unusual truncated procedure suggested by the incoming administration. But her testimony did not come across as “spiteful” as you have suggested, not to Del Mese nor to AV. Its just not there, objectively speaking. When she became emotional (I forget the page), that happens to many of us toward the end of a career. Compassion there is not misplaced, even for you, you Poor Bastard.

  • My opinion as to chief Ault being clueless (shocking) it is her level of understanding and the way she answered the questions, how she conveniently forgot the phone conversation with Del Mese, with Gross as a witness. How she could not explain finding in her possession the Mandoyan discipline file months after she left the “Hall of Justice” she was like a common drug dealer, who cannot explain how kilos of cocaine got in their vehicle, or like a tweaker who cannot explain how a baggie of tweak got in her pant’s pocket…as far as her retirement, she did not retire according to her until January 2, 2019 so her payout if any, is not yet reported….

  • That’s a helpful post. Thanks Bastard. On the question of the alleged phone call from Del Mese to Ault, with Gross allegedly in Ault’s car, either the call occurred or it did not. If gas-lighting is being used against Ault, or the call and ride took place, forensics will determine that question. Investigators and lawyers build from there. The Mandoyan file on top of her work desk, then being shoveled into a box with other effects, pictures, photos, presumably her previous multi-page department projects, et cetera, seemed to be a plausible answer. On the other hand, if one is concerned (legitimately so) with a controversial employee IAB file in which a signoff document was created by an incoming administration with one’s own name at the bottom, heightened scrutiny would be expected from a chief on the way out (this helps your point). However, you can’t effectively use analogies (e.g., drug dealer w/kilos in veh, or w/baggie in pants–have you any analogies that aren’t criminal?) to make the factual case you need to make, to draw the conclusions you want drawn. Given the time frame these people had to wrap up their work , retire, and split from the offices within a few short days, her statements are plausible. Finally, the depo. How many depos have you undergone. Even the sharpest, with-it leaders can get bogged down during depos, their (our) vocabulary narrows, their thought patterns fray a little, faculties working hard to capture and report everything relevant. It doesn’t mean the truth isn’t being told. It means that depos are largely a defensive exercise, which means most people use caution during the Socratic interrogation.

    Thanks again.

  • Good try Phill, is Ault your wife? You sound like a husband. So can you explain how she happened to be in possession of the Mandoyan files months after she physically left the department? Can you speculate what the conversation was about between her and Del Mese with Gross as a witness? Under oath she claimed she forgot and barely remembers Gross. She is obviously lying and should get fired, as standard procedure. Wait, never mind she chose to retire with a pension based on $250,000.00….plus benefits….

  • Phill you sure sound like a good attorney justifying your client’s behavior. I guess it can be true for a drug dealers transporting kilos of cocaine in the rush of departure he thought it was his luggage not realizing it was kilos of cocaine. In the case of tweaker not realizing he had tweak in his pants because in the rush of getting out, took his brother’s pants. Those scenarios are plausible right? Or plausible deniability, a term used when powerful people attempt to escape responsibility…..

  • Hey Phill, I just remembered Ault admitted stealing the Mandoyan files. She said almost crying that she never imagined she would leave the Sheriff department like a thief in the middle of the night. So, if you check the cameras at the Hall of Justice she probably left late at night feeling guilty as she was stealing the LASD files. Consciousness of guilt as she would probably call it…

  • Correction: I misspoke above about an IAB file. Went back and checked. It wasn’t an IAB file but Civil Service docs.

    B-no, I get it. The key distinction is that the Civil Service docs were appropriate for Ault to have had – during a relevant range of time – in the course and scope of her employment; in other words, they were not contraband, i.e., inherently illegal to possess as coke and meth are (certain exceptions). The way Ault explained having the docs is not unusual. Books have been written about what happens during the transitions between local, state, and federal administrations. Maybe someone will write a book about this one. And everyone acknowledges that the long, slow vote count resulted in a surprise and rapid transition. I don’t sense Ault is the villain that some are trying very hard to make her out to be. To borrow your word, she has become ‘convenient.’ That doesn’t sit well. If there is a smoking gun, produce it. I didn’t see one produced in the depo.

  • Ault is self-serving, the body count of her victims is long and wide. She followed the same path of her mentor, Mannis. Here is a simple question, if Del Mese started that initial conversation with, “Hi Alicia, I’m looking at a brand new org. chart for Alex and your face is on it keeping your position, but look we need you to help us with a case…….” Just how do you think that would have worked out. Her testimony is worthy of an Academy Award performance. Watch for her in the next election.

  • Phill, you well know that under the McDonnell regime they were doing just that, someone would make a phone call to her, in her capacity of the Chief of IAB/ICIB to railroad a deputy, and she would oblige. If Del Mese had confirmed to her that she would continue being the Chief and some, she would have done it. However, since there was a silence, she decided to take her guarantees.

    I am now convinced the only one who cares about the employees is Alex, the rest of his staff are just there, thinking about their fat retirement money, and could not care any less about the deputies. Alex, it is almost time to rotate some of your staff, you know who they are. If you talk to them and their eyes tweak or stutter when they speak, that person is a Judas, be careful. Alex, watch your six, as you can see the enemy is right there next to you, the day you deny them of something, that is the day they will turn on you, and throw you under the bus.

    Ray Leyva is an example, has no character nor integrity, he did not hesitate to throw everybody under the bus, so I am sure there are many just like that.

  • PB–I agree with you that Alex cares about LASD employees, maybe especially the line deputies. The points I’m making and the points you’ve been raising are more detailed and technical on the one hand, and about ethics of professional practice on the other (your mudslinging against Ault and Leyva aside). Disagreement is not in itself traitorous or disloyal activity. It usually is the mark of a healthy organization when done properly/ethically. It appears Ault and Leyva disagreed properly/ethically with how the Mandoyan matter was being handled. We needn’t do any emotional cheerleading on either side of it; simply examine the logic of the disagreement for its justification. PB, organizations cannot be run as cults, and continue to have that organization perform well for the public. The day our sheriffs and leaders move away from the cult of personality on the LASD and toward reasonable, objective standards of practice is the day we’ll perform better, more professionally, more reliably for the public. Everyone used to know this basic principle.

  • Bastard. I served under Ray Leyva at ELA when he was a sergeant and later a lieutenant. I found him him to be an honorable man who supported the troops. I met with him recently at the Hall prior to his dismissal. He was the same man I knew and respected as a young deputy. Perhaps your animosity is a result of being thrown under the bus?

  • 100% on point “Bastard”. I would have just added that snake Diana Teran in your post just to keep her dumb ass in the mix.

  • Bandwagon, I know Ray Leyva enough, I also worked for him and supported him during his 2006 campaign against Lee Baca. I always thought he was a good person, but I suspected he would not put his name down for me if I was ever suspected of any wrongdoing. His statements on the deposition confirmed what I suspected, he will not endanger himself in supporting others, under the false pretense of morality and righteousness. He then will go behind your back and stab you while smiling in your face, saying he was only trying to save you of yourself, good try.

    It is about Ray Leyva, only, and nothing else. Nothing wrong with that, unfortunately, the Sheriff Department is a cesspool, and at times shit may splatter on him, that is a place not suitable for him. Good thing his gone.

  • Bastard: I would be very disappointed if that were found to be true. You are certainly entitled to your opinion….I will hold my opinion of Ray unless further info/facts proves me wrong.

  • Right on, since there was a silence she took it as no good, and took her insurance policy. Under the McDonnell regime, she was told to railroad deputies and she ordered just that. Make a case against a deputy, fabricate evidence, get creative, work on the gray, interpret video, body language against the deputy, don’t worry about the constitution, is all good.
    Sad part is that they would fire a deputy for being evasive, during questioning, alleging the deputy was lying, yet, she did just that on her deposition…..hypocrites….

    Ray for instance disagreed with Gross regarding his assessment of the video footage showing Mandoyan doing what he was doing, and have it his interpretation most damaging to the deputy. Yet, when question why he went behind Alex back In getting Mandoyan file from Burson, to give it to the county counsel, he lied and said he was only trying to help Alex, another lier. Yet, they are the first to judge people in the most unfavorable light…..hypocrites….

  • Bandwagon, read his deposition and you will see Ray did just that. Just like the other new executives, they immediately promoted their best friends to higher positions keeping Alex in the dark. Ray immediately drafted a document to increase his salary to at least $22,000 per month, which Alex never signed. When things went wrong regarding Mandoyan, he immediately opted out, and began sabotaging Alex. He threw everybody under the bus, saying all disagreed with Alex…read it, it is very telling from his own mouth, I am not making it up….

  • Cognistator, and what is the problem? Once I had a trainee who was hired despite his DUI conviction. I found out when I was teaching him how to use the field finger print device called “blue check” don’t know if it is still used. When I ran his finger print his DUI booking face showed up on the MDC screen.

    Maya Lau would still write about it in a negative light, even if Alex’s son was the pope himself. You know that so come on, are you surprised?

  • Bastard

    “What is the problem”?


    Surely you don’t think that’s a good thing?

    Do you?

  • Oh come on Cognistator get out of here with your hypocrisy of high morals and righteousness, you don’t impress me. I don’t know who you are, but I am sure that if I could dig into your life I would find lots of dirt, at best I could twist the facts to make it look like that way.

    So I am assuming you don’t have any family members on the department and if your son wanted to join you would say because you were there, he could not?

  • Nepotism happens when someone is given preferential treatment because of a familial relationship. Living in Murietta and getting a background investigator in Chatsworth doesn’t sound like anything else but retaliation. The LASD has always used their own employees as recruiters, and each academy class probably has 25% of the recruits related to someone on the department. Standards have remained the same since Baca was in office, BTW. This is more sour grapes from the Times, still angry over their epic loss in November.

  • Folks:


    I redid the link because it looks like the topic of “questionable rehires” is going to be coming up on a frequent basis in the coming years, and it’ll probably be under much discussion in the next election.

    Here comes McDonnell?

    AV was in the military–that counts in his favor–so he should know not to shoot himself in the foot.

  • Cognistator, I do hope Alex can identity a few solid cases where the McDonnell/Teran/Ault/Mannis/La Bargue/Parra/Johnson regime had a hand in destroying those particular deputies. I am sure there are. Maya from the Times knows about a few cases where the former regime did destroy evidence, fail to property handle exculpatory evidence, hid exculpatory witness and testimony evidence, retaliated against particular deputies and their families like a common mafia would do, they did far worse than anyone can imagine, yet Maya, has chosen not to report any of that. Why?

  • Bastard:


    Because that stuff didn’t happen; it’s really, really hard–GOD it’s hard–to report stuff that didn’t happen

    AV is seven months into his term–surely by now, with the resources of IAB, ICIB, etc., he could’ve come up with SOMETHING against….

    If AV can’t do it how in God’s name can you expect Maya to do it?

  • Cognistator, you have a good point to a point. You also have to give time to Alex understanding he his fighting not only the outside actors, but also the internal actors. Think about Ray Leyva, went behind Alex back to sabotage him, and with no problem threw everyone under the bus. Now, how many pissed off higher ups are still there trying to sabotage him and make him look bad? I am sure he cannot and should not trust anyone, as they all only care about themselves and their fat pension.

    So, I am willing to give him more time, and I hope he gives himself time before he begins the next clean up. I hope he reassess his current inner circle and rotates some of them out. There are some top executives I do not trust, I did not trust them before because when you speak to them about issues their eyes tweak and they stutter, so I don’t trust them now. However, without evidence, I can just opine they are there just for themselves.

    I am sure Alex already knows who they are, but he cannot get rid of them quick enough, let’s be patient shall we?

  • Now, how many pissed off higher-ups are still there trying to sabotage him and make him look bad, Bastard? Well……that is why he should have been a lot smarter than to fire most of the executives on his arrival. Great recipe making instant enemies not only of them but their support staff.

  • Yup, you are right, the sheriff department is a cesspool and sure pissed off the leeches living in the cesspool. Speaking of leeches, can anyone explain why Diana Teran central, and right hand to McDonnell was not thrown under the bus by Alicia Ault? Teran was supposed to be the internal advisor.

    When she was appointed by McDonnell, she was getting paid $74,421.00 with the county counsel. McDonnell gave her a raise and she began getting paid $167,073 more than double, and later $8,426 average raise per year, for the following three years ending in December 2018 when she was fired by Alex making $192,353.00.

    ame Job title Regular pay Overtime pay Other pay Total pay Benefits Total pay & benefits DIANA TERAN CONSTITUTIONAL POLICING ADVISOR SHERIFF, UC Los Angeles County, 2018 $192,353.00 $0.00 $11,629.00 $203,982.00 $89,933.00 $293,915.00
    Los Angeles County, 2017 $182,680.00 $0.00 $9,539.00 $192,219.00 $94,783.00 $287,002.00
    Los Angeles County, 2016 $174,667.00 $0.00 $7,140.00 $181,807.00 $90,898.00 $272,705.00
    Los Angeles County, 2015 $167,073.97 $0.00 $7,724.95 $174,798.92 $73,337.77 $248,136.69
    Los Angeles County, 2014 $74,421.00 $0.00 $1,303.00 $75,724.00 $25,286.00 $101,010.00


  • By the way, for all those who know about Diana Teran, but cannot picture her, because of her low profile, of which she gets a kick in the pants, the third picture in the following link, it’s her. She is now on the right side, as she should have all along. Pictured at the ELA town meeting.


    I now know a “kick in the pants” and “low profile” are racist, sexist, and violent words, I hope a do not offend anyone.

  • “Diana Teran, the LA County Public Defender’s first-ever Law Enforcement Accountability Advisor“. What better person to put in this position to clean up the very shit she had her filthy hands in.

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