As LA County Civil Oversight Commission Criticizes Former Sheriff Alex Villanueva, OIG Max Huntsman Under Investigation by the California Attorney General


LA County OIG Max Huntsman

Max Huntsman is a pivotal figure in the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles County, where governance and oversight intersect. Appointed as the Inspector General (OIG) for Los Angeles County, Huntsman’s role has been to shine a light on the operations and conduct of the county’s law enforcement, ensuring accountability and fostering trust between the community and its protectors. Integral to his mission is the Los Angeles County Civilian Oversight Committee, a body designed to provide a platform for public input into law enforcement policies and practices. Together, they form a crucial part of the checks and balances that underpin the democratic governance of the county.  Huntsman has been aggressive in his criticism of  Former LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

Yet, the very fabric of this oversight mechanism is now under scrutiny. The Current Report has confirmed that LA County OIG Max Huntsman himself is the subject of a criminal investigation led by none other than Attorney General Rob Bonta.

According to Adam Loew, one of the nation’s foremost experts in public corruption, he and others have interviewed the Attorney General’s office regarding the role that LA County OIG Max Huntsman played in tipping off disgraced former LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl about warrants served to her in September of 2022.  The news has sent shockwaves through the community, raising questions about the integrity of the Los Angeles County Civilian Oversight Commission and those tasked with overseeing law enforcement and the implications for governance in Los Angeles County.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta and former LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva

Overview of the Criminal Investigation against Max Huntsman by Attorney General Rob Bonta

Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office has launched a comprehensive criminal investigation into Max Huntsman, focusing on allegations of public corruption. This investigation marks a significant turn in Huntsman’s career, transitioning from the overseer of accountability to the subject of scrutiny. The reasons behind Bonta’s probe are yet to be fully disclosed. Still, the gravity of the situation suggests that the allegations are serious, have far-reaching implications, and may lead to Huntsman’s indictment.

Deputy California Attorney General Paul Seo

The investigation’s core revolves around Huntsman’s conduct as LA County OIG. While specific details remain under wraps, recordings of the June 30th 2023, interview between Loew and Deputy Attorney General Paul Seo obtained by The Current Report indicate that the involvement of the Attorney General’s office could pertain to misuse of office, improper conduct, or other forms of corruption that undermine the very principles Huntsman was appointed to uphold. “I was shocked,” said Loew. “I thought I was being interviewed about an allegation of Public Corruption by Phillip Washington, and instead, all Deputy Attorney General Seo wanted to talk about was Max Huntsman.”  This development has sparked speculation and concern among the public and government circles.

Understanding the nuances of this investigation requires a closer look at the mechanisms of oversight in LA County, the checks and balances in place, and how an investigation of this nature could impact the broader governance landscape. As Attorney General Bonta proceeds with his inquiry, the outcomes could have lasting effects on the county’s structure and perception of political oversight.

The Role of Warrants in the Investigation, with a Focus on LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl

Central to the investigation are the warrants issued to Former LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and her involvement with Public Corruption at Los Angeles Metro. These warrants signify a deepening of the probe, suggesting that the investigative net is being cast wider than initially anticipated. The focus on Kuehl, a prominent figure in LA County’s governance, underscores the seriousness with which Bonta’s office is pursuing potential leads.

The issuance of warrants by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the raids on Kuehl’s home and office are steps that signal a substantial basis for the investigation. The Attorney General’s office is currently scrutinizing the evidence gathered by the LA County Sheriff’s Department. AG Bonta’s office now can compel testimony and analyze financial and communication records that could shed light on the allegations against Huntsman. The involvement of Kuehl, whether directly or peripherally, adds a layer of complexity to the case, hinting at a broader examination of governance and oversight practices within the county.

This investigation phase will be critical in determining the direction and scope of Bonta’s inquiry. As evidence is gathered and analyzed, the implications for Huntsman, Kuehl, Former LA Metro CEO Phillip Washington, current LA Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins, and potentially other figures within LA County’s governance structures will become clearer. The role of warrants in this process cannot be understated. They act as both a tool for investigation and a symbol of the seriousness with which the allegations are being taken.

Details of the Allegations and Charges of Public Corruption

At the heart of the investigation into Max Huntsman are allegations of obstructing a public corruption investigation. While the specific allegations against Huntsman have not been made public, the nature of obstructing a public corruption investigation allegation typically involves the abuse of power, embezzlement of public funds, bribery, or other forms of unethical behavior that betray the public trust.

The investigation seeks to uncover whether Huntsman, in his role as LA County OIG, engaged in activities that compromised the integrity of his office and the broader mission of law enforcement oversight. The seriousness of these allegations cannot be overstated; public corruption undermines the foundation of democratic governance and erodes public confidence in the institutions designed to serve and protect the community.

Should the allegations against Huntsman materialize, they will likely hinge on evidence gathered during the investigation, including documents, communications, and financial records. The legal criteria for proving public corruption are stringent, requiring a clear demonstration of intent, breach of duty, and, in many cases, personal gain at the public’s expense. As the investigation progresses, the specifics of the allegations will become crucial in understanding the potential legal and ethical violations at play.

Examination of the Conviction of Mark Ridley-Thomas for Bribery and its Connection to the Investigation

The investigation into Max Huntsman does not exist in a vacuum. It unfolds against the backdrop of the conviction of Mark Ridley-Thomas, a former LA County Supervisor, for bribery. Ridley-Thomas’s conviction sent ripples through the political landscape of Los Angeles County, highlighting the vulnerabilities and potential for corruption within its governance structures. Mark Ridley Thomas created the Los Angeles County Civilian Oversight Commission, and given his conviction and the allegation of misconduct of the LA County OIG, an advisor to the Civilian Oversight Commission, indeed invokes questions of integrity.


The connection between Huntsman’s investigation and Ridley-Thomas’s conviction is not direct, but the latter case serves as a poignant reminder of the challenges facing public oversight in LA County. Ridley-Thomas’s fall from grace underscores the importance of vigilance, transparency, and accountability in preventing and addressing corruption within the ranks of public officials.

As the investigation by California Attorney General Rob Bonta into Huntsman proceeds, the lessons learned from the Ridley-Thomas case loom large. They serve as both a cautionary tale and a benchmark for understanding the dynamics of power, the temptations of corruption, and the critical role of oversight mechanisms in maintaining public service integrity. The shadow of Ridley-Thomas’s conviction will undoubtedly influence the public and legal scrutiny of Huntsman’s case, shaping perceptions and expectations as the investigation progresses.

Reaction and Responses from Max Huntsman and the Los Angeles County Civilian Oversight Committee

In the wake of the investigation, Max Huntsman and the Los Angeles County Civilian Oversight Committee have found themselves at the center of a storm. For his part, Huntsman has maintained his innocence, expressing confidence that the investigation will ultimately exonerate him. He has emphasized his commitment to transparency and accountability in his conduct and professional role as OIG.

The Civilian Oversight Committee, meanwhile, has been placed in a delicate position. Tasked with overseeing law enforcement and ensuring accountability, the committee must now navigate the complexities of an investigation involving its Inspector General. The committee has reiterated its commitment to its mission, emphasizing the importance of due process and the presumption of innocence.

The responses from Huntsman and the committee reflect the tension between the need to uphold the principles of oversight and accountability and the challenges posed by the investigation. As the inquiry unfolds, balancing these competing priorities will be crucial in preserving the integrity of the oversight process and maintaining public confidence in its outcomes.

Analysis of the Implications and Potential Impact on LA County Government

The investigation into Max Huntsman has far-reaching implications for LA County’s governance. At stake is not only Huntsman’s reputation and career but also the credibility of the oversight mechanisms that underpin the county’s governance structures. The outcome of the investigation could have a lasting impact on the relationship between law enforcement, public officials, and the communities they serve.

A finding of wrongdoing on Huntsman’s part could erode public trust in the oversight process, casting doubt on the effectiveness and integrity of the mechanisms designed to hold law enforcement accountable.

Beyond the immediate implications for Huntsman and the oversight committee, the investigation may also prompt a broader reassessment of governance practices within LA County. It could lead to calls for reforms, increased transparency, and enhanced mechanisms for ensuring accountability among public officials. The ripple effects of the investigation could thus extend well beyond the immediate parties involved, shaping the future of governance and oversight in LA County.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts on the Criminal Investigation against Max Huntsman

The criminal investigation into LA County OIG Max Huntsman represents a pivotal moment in the governance of Los Angeles County. As the investigation unfolds, it will undoubtedly raise questions about the integrity of oversight mechanisms, the challenges of maintaining ethical conduct in public service, and the importance of accountability and transparency in government.

The implications of this investigation extend far beyond the individuals directly involved. They touch upon the foundational principles of democratic governance, the trust between the public and those tasked with overseeing law enforcement, and the mechanisms in place to ensure accountability within public institutions.

As we await the outcome of Attorney General Rob Bonta’s investigation, it is essential to reflect on the importance of vigilance, integrity, and transparency in public service. The case against Max Huntsman is a stark reminder of the continuous effort required to maintain these standards and the consequences when they are not upheld.

In the end, the strength of our democratic institutions and the public’s trust in them hinge on the commitment of all public officials to uphold these principles.

Cece Woods

The Current Report Editor in Chief Cece Woods started The Local Malibu, an activism based platform in 2014. The publication was instrumental in the success of pro-preservation ballot measures and seating five top vote-getters in the Malibu City Council elections.

During the summer of 2018, Woods exposed the two-year law enforcement cover-up in the Malibu Creek State Park Shootings, and a few short months later provided the most comprehensive local news coverage during the Woolsey Fire attracting over one million hits across her social media platforms.

Since 2020, Woods was the only journalist reporting on the on-going public corruption involving former L.A. Metro CEO Phil Washington. Woods worked with Political Corruption expert Adam Loew, DC Watchdog organizations and leaders in the Capitol exposing Washington which ultimately led to the withdrawal of his nomination to head the FAA.

Woods also founded Malibu based 90265 Magazine and Cali Mag devoted to the authentic southern California lifestyle.

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