Lawsuit Alleges Misconduct, Retaliation by L.A. County Sheriff
Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell is facing allegations of illegal conduct from a former high-ranking member of his department. The accusations are contained in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Tuesday by former Assistant Sheriff Todd Rogers, who also happens to serve as a member of the Lakewood City Council.
Rogers was one of the candidates competing against McDonnell in the 2014 race for L.A. Sheriff. During the campaign, he claims McDonnell directed a surrogate to bribe him to drop out of the race in exchange for a promotion -- a violation of state law. Rogers refused. Two years later, he says he was forced to resign and take an early retirement. He also says he became the target of a vicious smear campaign led by a group of fellow employees.
Rogers’ allegations appear to have been around for some time. He says he notified the Public Integrity Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office of the alleged quid pro quo in 2015. Prosecutors didn’t believe there was sufficient evidence to pursue it.
The alleged middleman, former Undersheriff Jerry Harper, has admitted he advised Rogers to drop out of the race but says he was acting on his own. However, Rogers’ lawsuit claims there is “audio evidence of Harper’s criminal misconduct and Sheriff McDonnell’s involvement” in the possession of prosecutors.
A spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department has denied Rogers’ claims. Read more about the lawsuit here.