Commits to investigating alleged advance warning regarding search warrants executed against Sheila Kuehl and Patricia Giggans
Issues letter calling on LASD to cease its investigative activity and transmit evidence to DOJ
OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced that the California Department of Justice (DOJ) will assume all responsibility for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s (LASD) investigation related to contracts awarded to Peace Over Violence, a nonprofit organization that offers services to people impacted by sexual and domestic violence. In addition, as requested by LASD, DOJ will assume responsibility for any and all investigations of whether any individuals committed a crime by allegedly giving advance warning to Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and Patricia Giggans, the Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, regarding search warrants executed against them by LASD. In conjunction with today’s announcement, DOJ has requested that LASD cease its investigative activity and transmit all evidence to DOJ.
“In recent days, the public unfolding of an unprecedented investigation has raised serious questions for residents of Southern California and beyond,” said Attorney General Bonta. “I recognize the deep uncertainty this has engendered and, given the unique circumstances, my team has committed to taking over this investigative process. Make no mistake: We are committed to a thorough, fair, and independent investigation that will help restore confidence for the people of our state. If there is wrongdoing by any party, we will bring it to light.”
Under the California Constitution and Government Code, the Attorney General has supervisorial authority over the state’s sheriffs and, when in the public interest, has the authority to take full charge of a criminal investigation if deemed necessary. On September 14, 2022, LASD executed search warrants in connection with an investigation into contracts awarded to Peace Over Violence at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority office, Peace Over Violence office, Office of the Inspector General of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority office, the office and home of Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, and the residence of Patricia Giggans. The same day, LASD subsequently requested an investigation by DOJ into the alleged advance warning provided regarding the search warrants. However, given that the requested investigation is intimately related to the underlying investigation from which the sheriff is recused, DOJ has determined that handling all of the matters is in the public interest.
A copy of the letter sent to LASD is available here. DOJ’s decision to take over the investigation of these matters is separate from its ongoing civil rights investigation into LASD’s policies and practices.