An Orange County sheriff’s captain who oversees the jail in Santa Ana has been put on leave amid an internal investigation into “off-duty conduct,” a sheriff’s spokeswoman said Friday.
Capt. Lane Lagaret, who was promoted from sheriff’s public information officer to head of the Intake Release Center last year, was placed on paid administrative leave Tuesday, said Carrie Braun, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Braun declined to comment further.
An attempt to contact Lagaret for comment was not immediately successful.
According to multiple sources, Lagaret was involved in some sort of relationship with a woman with a criminal history dating back to at least 2009.
The woman, whose attorney declined comment, was most recently arrested on Memorial Day in the city of Orange after neighbors called police to say she was vaulting fences, among other odd behavior. She is due in court Monday for a hearing to determine if her probation will be revoked. Probation officials recommend a six-month jail sentence and having her evaluated for eligibility for a special drug court program.
On her Facebook page, the woman identifies herself as “Lanes Chick.” One of her photos shows her cheek-to-cheek with Lagaret.
Lagaret was the latest captain put in charge of the Intake Release Center of the troubled Orange County Jail complex in Santa Ana. Before Lagaret’s promotion to captain last year, he was the department’s spokesman.
While he was the department’s public information officer, Lagaret was called to testify in an evidentiary hearing on the so-called snitch scandal revolving around the case of Scott Dekraai, who killed at people at a Seal Beach beauty salon. The county’s worst mass killer was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole when an Orange County Superior Court judge found enough wrongdoing in the handling of the case to take the death penalty away as a possible punishment for Dekraai.
Lagaret was a witness in the evidentiary hearing because he had been a supervisor in the sheriff’s confidential informant program, under which Dekraai’s attorney alleged that snitches were used to work cases in illegal ways. Lagaret showed up on a jailhouse log that chronicled the efforts to use snitches to gather information against inmates.
Lagaret acknowledged during the hearings he was aware that a couple of deputies involved in the unit falsely claimed under oath that there was no informant program, but he didn’t come forward to report the information.