A list of names of about 300 Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies who have engaged in serious misconduct cannot be given to prosecutors, a state appeals court panel has ruled.
The decision by the 2nd District Court of Appeal panel was a victory for deputies who argued that producing the names would infringe on the confidentiality rights of peace officers.
Ron Hernandez, president of the sheriff’s deputies union that sued the department to block efforts to give the list to prosecutors, could not be immediately reached. But Elizabeth Gibbons, an attorney for the Assn. for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, hailed the decision.
“It’s a victory for cops everywhere,” she told the Los Angeles Times.
In January, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant found that providing the list would clash with state law, but he allowed the LASD to turn over names of problem deputies who might be scheduled to testify in an upcoming criminal case.
The appellate panel’s ruling, however, blocked the revelation of any names to prosecutors.
“Denying disclosure of the list of Los Angeles County sheriffs deputies to the District Attorney’s Office of those who have a history of misconduct impacts the safety of the community the county is entrusted to protect,” according to the groups. “We believe that under the law, prosecutors in California have an obligation to hand over any evidence that could help the defense, even if that evidence undermines a deputies credibility.”
Sheriff’s deputies on the list were notified by the department in October.
–City News Service
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