WEST HOLLYWOOD— The trial examining the validity of Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s decision to reinstate a deputy who was fired over domestic violence allegations has been delayed. On Friday, July 10, a judge granted more time for lawyers to depose a Los Angeles County Human Resources Department executive.
Deputy Caren Carl Mandoyan was fired in 2016 under then-Sheriff Jim McDonnell. This was due to claims of domestic violence, stalking, and harassment of a woman he dated. He met her when the two worked together in 2012 at the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station. Video footage provided by the woman documented the incident. According to the Office of Inspector General report, the sheriff’s department also discovered that Mandoyan lied to Internal Affairs investigators.
Mandoyan has maintained that he is innocent and was reinstated by Sheriff Villanueva. Villanueva has defended this decision and accused the county’s Civil Service Commission of ignoring evidence that could clear Mandoyan of the allegations.
Villanueva stated: “There was no evidence of domestic violence, there was no evidence of attempted burglary.”
“She locked the door and she refused to answer it; and Mandoyan’s car keys were in there, his gun, his badge… because he was living there four to five days out of the week,” said Gregory Smith, Mandoyan’s attorney.
However, L.A. County has argued that the Sheriff cannot rehire or reinstate Mandoyan without authorization from the Board of Supervisors or County Counsel. Mandoyan was required to surrender his gun and badge.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff said that he will need all documents a week before the non-jury proceeding scheduled to take place on August 28. The proceeding will handle the firing and rehiring of former Deputy Caren Carl Mandoyan.
“I said from the beginning I want to get it resolved,” expressed Beckloff. However, the trial may have to wait until February of 2021 if it is unable to go forward in August.
As of last summer, the ongoing lawsuit’s attorney fees alone have cost taxpayers more than $3 million.