Today the Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis that directs a number of County offices to compile a chronological list of all claims and settlements related to Sheriff’s deputy gangs and cliques.
The motion calls for a report in 90 days that tallies the amount of money that has been paid out in claims since 1990 due to behavior by “gang-like” groups within the Sheriff’s Department as well as an evaluation of corrective action plans.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has a history of secretive groups of sworn deputies that have been the subject of investigations, disciplinary actions, damage claims, lawsuits and settlements involving excessive use of force, violence, and dishonesty against other Sheriff’s deputies as well as members of the community.
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, author of the motion, said, “Deputy gangs have cost the County many millions of dollars in claims and settlements, and have fostered a climate of inhumane treatment of inmates and civilians. This motion will give us a much-needed assessment of the County’s past liability, and assess the effectiveness of previous corrective action plans, so that we can sharpen our focus as we strive to eliminate dangerous cliques from the Sheriff’s Department.”
“Issues of cliques or subgroups within the Sheriff’s Department have been an ongoing problem for decades,” said Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “I am concerned about the lack of trust between our communities and the Sheriff’s Department, and the Board of Supervisors has a duty to ensure the safety of the public and of those who work at the Sheriff’s Department. Today’s action will shine a light on the extent of this issue, and the impacts of a culture that has historically allowed these subgroups to thrive, so that we may better address the root causes of this unprofessional behavior.”