Early Wednesday morning, dozens of officers from the L.A. County Sheriff’s office searched the home of a prominent Los Angeles County official.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl (D) shared with reporters from KTTV that officers “pounded on her door” at 7 a.m.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the sheriff’s department searched the home as part of a criminal investigation regarding a county contract awarded to a nonprofit organization run by a “close friend” of Kuehl’s.
Los Angeles Times reporter Alene Tchekmedyian noted that the officers’ early morning visit surprised the supervisor. Video shows that after knocking on the door, an officer shouted:
“Sheriff’s Department. We have a warrant. We demand entry.”
Kuehl opened the door and was handed paperwork (apparently, a copy of the warrant authorizing the search) after which she was led away from her home by officers.
The Western Journal notes that the search concerned an ongoing investigation into a “contract the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority awarded to Peace Over Violence, a nonprofit run by feminist activist Patti Giggans.”
Reportedly, former L.A. Metro employee Jennifer Loew charged Kuehl of improperly awarding the contract and bias toward Giggans’ organization based on their relationship.
According to the Orange County Register, the 2017 contract concerned the coordination of a sexual harassment hotline for people utilizing public transit.
At the time, the KTTV report cited Loew, a transit security special project manager for L.A. Metro, as their information source.
Loew charged: “Peace Over Violence was clearly reporting self-inflated numbers, but when I learned that Metro was turning around and conveying that same information that POV had inflated to the public, I would call that lying.”
Loew added: “They wanted to hide it from you as taxpayers in L.A. County, and I’m here to expose it.”
Loew shared with Spectrum News 1 that months later, Kuehl’s office targeted her for retaliation, noting that “among other things, her office was moved to a moldy room in the basement.”
“I’ve been put in a rubber room essentially after whistleblowing,” Loew said in April 2021. “They can pretty much stomp people who are trying to uphold the law and do good things for the agency and the riders.”
The current investigation report shows that Loew filed complaints with the L.A. County Sheriff’s office, the District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Kuehl dismissed Loew’s charges during a Wednesday interview with KTTV, saying the investigation is based “on an old obsession by a Metro employee.” She later referred to the charges as “bogus.”
“This is a bogus non-investigation … I didn’t know anything about the contract. … There’s no investigation going on that would support this warrant.”
During the interview, it was noted that Kuehl had a “turbulent” relationship with the sheriff’s office and that the judge who signed off on the warrant was a personal friend of the sheriff’s.
According to the Times, the sheriff’s office also searched Giggans’ home and the offices at Peace Over Violence, L.A. Metro headquarters and the county Hall of Administration.
“BREAKING: #LASD serving warrants in multiple locations in the criminal case involving @metrolosangeles @SheilaKuehl, Patti Giggans, @PeaceOvrViolnce & Phil Washington currently in nomination process by @JoeBiden for head of FAA,” TNT Radio producer Cece Woods tweeted.
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