Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office will continue investigation into contracts awarded by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to a non-profit organization run by a close friend of Sheila Kuehl
The California Attorney General’s Office on Tuesday took control of a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) investigation into allegations of political corruption against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.
CADOJ will assume responsibility for the LASD investigation related to Peace Over Violence contracts.
In recent days, the public unfolding of an unprecedented investigation has raised serious questions for residents of Southern California and beyond. https://t.co/QO8n794BPw
— Rob Bonta (@AGRobBonta) September 21, 2022
LASD investigated contracts awarded by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to a nonprofit organization run by one of Kuehl’s closest friends.
Last week, deputies showed up at Kuehl’s residence with a warrant to search her home.
Related: Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Delivers Search Warrant at Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s Home
The state Department of Justice has asked the largest sheriff’s department in the United States to stop investigating her and to hand over evidence in the case.
A letter signed by Attorney General Rob Bonta indicates that LASD must cease its investigation, as well as refrain from any action in support of such investigations, including public statements or court documents related to the case.
Last week, Sheriff Alex Villanueva contacted the Attorney General’s Office asking it to investigate allegations that the county inspector general, Max Huntsman, and the county attorney’s office had tipped off Kuehl about a planned search of his domicile by bailiffs.
In response to that request, Bonta wrote in the letter that his office would investigate these allegations, but noted that since this matter is related to the underlying Kuehl investigation, Metro; Kuehl’s close friend, Patricia Giggans; and Giggans’ nonprofit group Peace Over Violence would also take it on.
“Given that Sheriff Villanueva has recused himself from the underlying investigation of Peace Over Violence and Patricia Giggans, and in seeking our assistance acknowledges that he should be recused from any related matters, I believe that DOJ’s handling of all these matters of Justice) will be of public interest. Therefore, we will take full responsibility for the underlying research of Peace Over Violence, Patricia Giggans, et al,” Bonta said.
For more than a year, LASD has been investigating nearly $800,000 in contracts awarded by the county’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority to the organization Peace Over Violence.
The Executive Director and CEO of Peace Over Violence is Patricia Giggans, a friend of Kuehl’s.
LASD said it was investigating whether Kuehl was improperly involved in securing contracts for the group.
Kuehl is a fierce critic of Villanueva and has called for his resignation. He appointed Giggans to serve on the Civilian Oversight Commission that oversees LASD.
The supervisor called the investigation retaliation by Villanueva, who has repeatedly clashed with the Board of Supervisors over budget and policy issues, while refusing subpoenas to appear before the county Civilian Oversight Commission.
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