Inside L.A. County sheriff’s dubious corruption probe of Sheila Kuehl, another watchdog group is now suing to force the Sheriff’s Department to comply with federal law and release records on the two cases. One case involves a man who allegedly was beaten more than 20 times by Sheriff’s deputies and then jailed on felony arson and assault charges. The other involves a suspected drug trafficker who was allegedly harassed and intimidated by the sheriff’s deputies who raided his apartment in 2010 and arrested him on drug possession and drug dealing charges. The lawsuits follow the recent release of a report by the L.A. County Bar, which documented the number of complaints from other attorneys who said they also were targeted by the sheriff’s deputies in their investigations. Attorney General Eric Holder ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation to open an investigation into the sheriff’s department in May 2011. His office has refused to share the information.
The lawsuit being filed today comes on the heels of an August 16 opinion by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in the Kuehl case, which stated that the sheriff’s department must make a “good faith effort” to release the records in the case. The sheriff’s department has appealed that decision. The two lawsuits are against the sheriff, its attorneys and the county. Both are seeking class action status with respect to all the lawsuits. A hearing in the Kuehl case at L.A. Superior Court is scheduled for September 17, 2014. The Sheriff’s Department has been ordered to release files on the two investigations within 60 days of that hearing.
The lawsuits include:
Kathleen Arrington v. Sheila Kuehl
The case was filed on November 2, 2013 and seeks to represent all persons she represented who have been affected by her misconduct, including the public. She claims she is an “exceptional” public official who committed no wrongs except those of her own making.
The claim is that Kuehl failed to follow California law in investigating a citizen’s complaint that a deputy threatened injury to another resident. There would have been a conflict because of her public position and thus she should have immediately terminated the