LA County

Re-Hired Sheriff's Deputy Re-Terminated by LA County Executive

Mandoyan served as a volunteer and advisor during Villanueva's campaign last year, and he was on stage during Villanueva's swearing-in at East LA College.

A former Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputy fired after a domestic violence complaint -- then rehired by Sheriff Alex Villanueva -- was ordered to turn in his badge and gun by the county's chief administrator.

A letter from Auditor-Controller John Naimo was hand-delivered to former deputy Caren "Carl" Mandoyan late last week after Villanueva apparently failed to notify Mandoyan that he'd been terminated on Feb. 20. 

"It is my understanding that he declined to communicate this message to you," Naimo wrote in the two-page letter obtained by NBC News and other media outlets. "Please be advised you are no longer a County employee." 

Mandoyan served as a volunteer and advisor during Villanueva's campaign last year, and he was on stage during Villanueva's swearing-in at East LA College. 

Mandoyan's initial termination from the Sheriff's Department was finalized in May of 2018, after LA County's Civil Service Commission voted 5-0 to end his employment. That followed an internal investigation of a 2016 domestic violence complaint made by a female deputy, who also alleged Mandoyan stalked and spied on her.

The female deputy applied for a temporary restraining order against Mandoyan, though it was never put in place by a judge, according to LA County Superior Court records. 

Villanueva said he personally began the process to reinstate Mandoyan within days of taking office, but the sheriff denied the move was any type of reward for the campaign or other work at a news conference in January.

Instead, Villanueva said, Mandoyan was just the first of many former deputies whose terminations were to be re-investigated by a so-called, "Truth and Reconciliation Commission."

Days later, the sheriff told the LA County Board of Supervisors that he believed the Civil Service Commission was corrupt and had unjustly fired numerous law enforcement officers.


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Over the weekend, Villanueva sent a statement through a spokesperson that suggested the Mandoyan matter was still under review, even though the Naimo letter said Villanueva had no authority to reopen Mandoyan's termination case. 

"This personnel matter is under review and will be decided through the legal employment process," Villanueva's prepared statement said. 

"While the specific facts of this case are protected under the Peace Officer Bill of Rights and civil service procedures, I can assure that an objective, honest, and fair assessment was conducted before reinstatement. We will let the process continue forward as we work to determine the final outcome," the statement said.

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