As part of a criminal investigation into a county contract given to a nonprofit group owned by her close friend, Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators raided the home of Democratic County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl on Wednesday morning, according to the Los Angeles Times.
According to the report, deputies arrived at Kuehl’s Santa Monica residence at 7 a.m.
“Sheriff’s Office. We have a warrant.” Alene Tchekmedyian of the Times posted a video of one of the deputies yelling, “We demand entrance,” as he banged on the door.
Sheriff’s investigators are serving a warrant at the home of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl pic.twitter.com/qcWSICz4wu
— Alene Tchekmedyian (@AleneTchek) September 14, 2022
Kuehl showed up a little while later and was given some documents. As numerous deputies entered the home, she was led away, according to The Times.
The search was tied to an ongoing inquiry into a contract the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority gave to Peace Over Violence, a group led by feminist activist Patti Giggans, the article stated citing a copy of the warrant.
According to the Times, Kuehl is tight with Giggans.
According to The Orange County Register, allegations made by Jennifer Loew, a former employee of LA Metro, that Kuehl improperly assisted Giggans’ organization in obtaining a contract in 2017 to operate a hotline for people to report sexual harassment on public transportation served as the impetus for the investigation.
The “Off Limits” hotline, established through a succession of no-bid contracts, was reported to be costing county taxpayers more than $8,000 per call in September 2020 by KTTV-TV in Los Angeles.
It referenced Loew, who at the time worked for LA Metro as a special project manager for transportation security.
“Peace Over Violence was clearly reporting self-inflated numbers, but when I learned that Metro was turning around and conveying that same information that POV had inflated to the public, I would call that lying,” Loew said.
She continued, “They wanted to hide it from you as taxpayers in LA County, and I’m here to expose it.”
Loew said that she was the target of reprisal months later, according to Spectrum News 1. She said that her office had been transferred, among other things, to a musty basement room.
In April 2021, Loew claimed,“I’ve been put in a rubber room essentially after whistleblowing. They can pretty much stomp people who are trying to uphold the law and do good things for the agency and the riders.”
According to the report, she complained to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the LA County Sheriff’s Office, and the District Attorney’s Office.
Kuehl described the inquiry as “bogus” in an interview with KTTV on Wednesday, saying it is based “on an old obsession by a Metro employee.”
The county supervisor claimed that the warrant to examine her property was “signed by the judge who is a friend of the sheriff” Alex Villanueva and “had no information on it.”
Judge Craig Richman of the LA County Superior Court is the signatory on the warrant and affidavit documents that were obtained by KTTV.
Kuehl declared, “This is a bogus non-investigation. There’s no investigation going on that would support this warrant.”
According to the Times, she claimed that she “didn’t know anything about the contract” and that the Board of Supervisors did not decide whether to accept it.
According to the report, Villanueva and Kuehl have argued, and Giggins, a member of the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission, has even asked for Villanueva’s resignation.
Wednesday’s searches for the investigation did not stop at Kuehl’s house.
The Times claims that officers also searched Giggans’ residence as well as the Peace Over Violence, LA Metro, and county Hall of Administration offices.
Producing for TNT Radio, Cece Woods tweeted, “BREAKING: #LASD serving warrants in multiple locations in the criminal case involving @metrolosangeles @SheilaKuehl, Patti Giggans, @PeaceOvrViolnce & Phil Washington currently in nomination process by @JoeBiden for head of FAA.”
BREAKING: #LASD serving warrants in multiple locations in the criminal case involving @metrolosangeles @SheilaKuehl , Patti Giggans, @PeaceOvrViolnce & Phil Washington currently in nomination process by @JoeBiden for head of FAA. pic.twitter.com/cnu4ncwse3
— Cece Woods (@ceceswoods) September 14, 2022
More on this story via The Western Journal:
The warrant to search Kuehl’s house authorized investigators to look for and seize documents or electronic files “related to the Peace Over Violence contract acquisition,” the Times reported. CONTINUE READING…