Former Sheriff Alex Villanueva Says Social Media Account Suspension is “Dirty Politics”

With just under two weeks before the primary election, former L.A.County Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s X account (formerlt Twitter) was suspended. Villanueva maintains this has more to with “dirty politics” than his alleged harassment of incumbent Janice Hahn who is running for re-election.

Villanueva is appealing the decision.

Photo byAlex Villanueva

While Villanueva’s posts were true to form for a political candidate and while he insists he “kept it clean”, his past history of harassment of county officials is well documented. Hahn’s office denied reportin the account.

Villanueva went live on Instagram doubling down on his campaign message “We’re going to keep harassing with the truth, the truth will continue to come out no matter what Janice Hahn throws our way.”

Villanueva encouraged viewers to follow him on his new X account @SheriffV33.

Back in 2020, CEO of L.A. County Sachi Hamai retired with a 1.5 million settlement and a security detail as a result of Villanueva’s alleged public harassment of her.

The case was never litigated and settled within 10 days according to emails obtained by The Current Report.

During Villanueva’s campain for re-election, a number of his detractors also reported harassment by Villanueva and his inner circle but the most egreious attempt was the threat of a criminal case against LA Times reporter Alene Tchekmedyian and those responsible after a video was leaked by the LA Times regarding a jail incident that had an inmate in a chokehold a year earlier. What many believe to have been an attempt to stoke the fires of George Floyd activists.

After the video was leaked, Villanueva called a press conference displaying posters of his detractors for the press and threatened criminal prosecution for leaking the video.

The story went national and had a profound affect on his bid for re-election. Villanueva lost to Robert Luna in the November 22 run off.

Attorney General Max Hunstman was also included in the former Sheriff’s threats to criminally prosecute and has been the recipient of on-going public harassment by the foormer Sheriff.

These public threats and discriminatory statements led to a hearing resulting in a decision by the County to issue a “Do Not Rehire” be included at the top of former Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s personnel file.

According to sources in the department, the County Equity Oversight Panel consisting of Constance Komoroski, Mercedes Cruz, Roberta Yang and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Chief Laura Lecrevain, met by teleconference on October 17th, 2023. The recommendation was confirmed to have been adopted via department sources. The committee determined Villanueva had violated several county policies against discrimination and harassment.

Although Villanueva was no longer sheriff, he had already announced his candidacy for Board of Supervisors, challenging incumbent Janice Hahn.

Villanueva wrote in an email statement to the LA Times “This is but another brazen attempt by the Board of Supervisors to engage in electioneering to influence the outcome of the race for 4th District supervisor,” he wrote in an emailed statement to The Times. “Much like the special hearings of the Civilian Oversight Commission, this unprecedented effort by the county is neither supported by fact or the rule of law.”

“It seems clear that it is a bold strategic gambit, meant to cripple any possibility that he (Villanueva) ever becomes sheriff again.” retired Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Captain Mike Bornman told The Current Report. “However, these wounds also seem to be self-inflicted” said Bornman on the Undercover LA podcast, referring to the inflammatory rhetoric which also provided the fuel behind the “Do Not Rehire” status issued by the County Equity Oversight Panel.

Villanueva’s campaign seems to be suffering too as a result of his history of public attacks as we head into the home stretch to the California primary March 5th.

It seems his donor pool has dried up leaving him very little resources to reach – and convince – the amount of voters needed to unseat Janice Hahn and take over her district on the Board of Supervisors.

In 2022, Villanueva managed to raise a cool $2.9 million dollars after enlisting the services of top entertainment publicist Jessica Meisels.

But not even her 20-year career working with billionaire brands like the Kardashians, Nobu Hotels and Circ Vodka (just to name a few) and her efforts supporting the Sheriff wooing a good portion of the LA and Hollywood industry elite, could sway the outcome of his bid for re-election.

Sources close to the campaign say that Villanueva’s donors currently won’t return his phone calls and are intentionally “ghosting him”.

According to The LA Times, who reported on Villanueva’s most recent fundraising report, he owes $17,000 to the firm running his campaign, TAB Communications and loaned himself $7,500.

As of Jan. 20, he had a little less than $7,800 cash on hand, the report said.

Villanueva has raised roughly $71,000 in cash so far, not including his loan.

Hahn, in stark comparison, has raised $617,000 in cash, with a little more than $300,000 on hand, according to her most recent campaign finance statement.

Top LA poltical strategists are calling Villanueva’s recent fundraising efforts a “joke”, likening it to what a candidate in a small municipality might raise – not the former head of the largest Sheriff’s department in the country who unseated the incumbent for the first time in the department’s over 150-year history.

It seems Villanueva’s combative communication style has taken its toll on the second campaign vying for political power in LA County.

Should Villanueva’s campain for surpervisor prove unsuccessful, there is a possibilty that Villanueva will run again for Sheriff in spite of the “Do Not Rehire” status the county has issued as the Sheriff is an elected position.

On his “Goodbye Tour” shortly after losing the 2022 election, Villanueva told his troops “I’m not done yet.”

So far, Villanueva has made good on his word despite mounting self-created obstacles that continue to plague his efforts to secure another position of power in in LA County politics.

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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