Villanueva under investigation for campaign donations

By Breanna Fierro

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is under investigation after soliciting campaign donations from deputies. 

In the final days of his race for sheriff, a video of Villanueva was sent to members of the Sheriff’s Department, asking for campaign donations. 

The East Los Angeles Police Department refused to further comment.

In this video he complains that the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS) and the deputy union failed to support him, as they did in 2018, despite endorsing him again. 

The endorsement of Alex Villanueva for Los Angeles County Sheriff in the November 2018 election, was announced in an official statement by ALADS President Ron Hernandez in August of that same year. 

Over a million dollars in political donations were made by ALADS that year. 

The association only contributed $1,500 to campaigns in 2022.

Soliciting public contribution is a state law that prohibits an officer of a local agency from indirectly soliciting money for a political contribution, “from an officer or employee of that agency, or from a person on an employment list of that agency. 

“With knowledge that the person from whom the contribution is solicited is an officer or employee of that agency.”

The same policy set for the sheriff’s department was violated by knowingly soliciting political contributions directly or indirectly, on or off duty from county employees including department members. 

Violation of this section is punishable as a midemeanor. 

ALADS did not establish an independent expenditure committee for the 2022 campaign, but according to campaign finance records, the union gave Villanueva a $1,500 donation.

“This year I have the same endorsement however, there is no independent expenditure coming from ALADS. 

“Which means they’ve left the membership high and dry, and me to the fate of fighting George Soros and Jeff Katzenberg all by myself,” he said in the video clip. 

Villanueva was recently defeated as sheriff by former Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna and replaced one week after the election.  

Luna won 68.3% of the vote and Villanueva received 38.7% of votes. 

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