Video released Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Civil Service Commission shows recently reinstated sheriff’s Deputy Caren Carl Mandoyan trying to break into a former girlfriend’s home.
Mandoyan was fired in 2016 after officials determined he lied when he denied trying to break into the woman’s apartment, but was reinstated after Sheriff Alex Villanueva defeated incumbent Jim McDonnell in November’s election, setting off a conflict with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
The Board of Supervisors, which has limited authority over the sheriff because he is an elected official, filed suit to void Villanueva’s decision to reinstate Mandoyan, who was fired after being accused of domestic violence, although prosecutors declined to file charges against him.
Mandoyan’s termination was upheld by the Civil Service Commission. The board is arguing that the sheriff doesn’t have the authority to override the commission’s decision.
Villanueva says he wants to right wrongs created when new standards of discipline were put in place. Those standards have been challenged by the union representing rank-and-file deputies and a hearing officer of the Employee Relations Commission found they were prematurely implemented.
Stricter punishment for deputy misconduct was implemented by both Sheriff Lee Baca and McDonnell based on recommendations from the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence.
Villanueva characterized those changes as “trying to chop off as many heads as possible to then claim to be a reformer,” while the board and criminal justice advocates worried about reverting to 2012 standards.
The video was recorded in 2014 by Mandoyan’s ex-girlfriend, also a deputy, who accused the 10-year department veteran of domestic violence and sought a temporary restraining order against him.
Mandoyan volunteered on Villanueva’s campaign and was on stage with him when he was sworn in.
Villanueva said at a news conference Wednesday “there was no evidence of domestic violence, there was no evidence of attempted burglary” against Mandoyan.
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