Ranking member of the Senate on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Senator Ted Cruz, gave an update yesterday at the senate confirmation hearing on the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s criminal investigation that led to criminal warrants naming the Biden FAA nominee, Phillip Washington.
The criminal investigation spanning three-years produced substantial evidence to justify issuing the warrants based on thousands of documents (many reviewed by The Current Report) dating back to the Peace Over Violence hotline scandal that FOXLA broke in 2020.
Washington has made several public statements stating he was not the subject of a criminal investigation. The investigation was a result of alleged Fraud, Waste, Abuse and Pay-to-Play that occurred under Washington’s tenure at LA Metro.
Cruz provided valuable insight and an update on the investigation at the Senate hearing detailing his recent communication with California Attorney General Rob Bonta regarding the criminal investigation which was confirmed on record as “on-going” and that Washington is “materially involved”.
On September 14th, 2022 at approximately 7:27 a.m., Sheriff’s deputies gained entry into LA Metro Headquarters to seize documents and evidence associated with the Pay-to-Play and Public Corruption regarding the sole source contracts with Peace Over Violence and CEO Patti Giggans, a close friend of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.
The Current Report was the only news outlet present at LA Metro HQ when the warrants were served despite the high-profile involvement of Washington named in the warrants, who was hand-picked by President Biden just two months before to head the FAA.
The new information from AG Bonta confirming “months more” to go investigating the Pay-to-Play contracts involving Kuehl, Giggans and Washington support the LASD pursuit of the case and is in stark contrast to the narrative Kuehl pushed via local media the morning the warrants were executed.
“I really don’t think a responsible sheriff would allow a bogus search of anybody’s home, much less a supervisor, based on nothing,” Kuehl said. “They gave me a warrant, which said nothing.” Kuehl told NBC LA the morning the warrants were executed.
Kuehl offered her take on the motivation for the search, which she said may stem from the awarding of a county contract to nonprofit Peace Over Violence, which is run by Giggans. Giggans also is a member of the Los Angeles County Civilian Oversight Commission. As investigators searched her home, Kuehl told reporters that she had been alerted the night before by an attorney in the county counsel’s office who she said heard about the impending search from Inspector General Max Huntsman.
“What this is all about is a disgruntled employee at Metro who was let go who became obsessed with a contract that Metro took with Peace Over Violence related to sexual harassment,” Kuehl said. “She claimed that I had something to do with the contract, which is completely false. It never came to the board.”
As a result of Kuehl’s public statements about the criminal case, a $5 million defamation suit was filed on January 26th, 2023 by whistleblower Jennifer Loew, the “disgruntled” former LA Metro employee Kuehl was referring to. Loew is the original whistleblower who exposed Washington’s nepotism hiring at LA Metro and the fraud, waste, abuse and Pay-to-Play that lead to the criminal case against Giggans, Kuehl and Washington.
Mainstream media continued to push the “vendetta” narrative highlighting the contentious relationship between former Sheriff Alex Villanueva and the Board of Supervisors, namely former Supervisor Sheila Kuehl (who retired after mid-term elections). The false narrative pushed by Kuehl and the media most definitely had lasting effects on Villanueva’s campaign for re-election.
Villanueva has yet to make a public statement regarding Cruz releasing new information about the case at the highly publicized hearing which included mentioning the “L.A. Sheriff” specifically.
Cruz’s statements and the AG update support the criminal case not only has merit, it also debunks the local media narrative who cast Villanueva as a bully seeking retribution (although he recused himself) targeting his political enemies Kuehl and Giggans, as the reason for the investigation.
While Villanueva made many questionable decisions he was sharply criticized for during his time as the head of the second largest law enforcement agency in the country – and rightly so – this specific case Villanueva is not only proving to be justified in pursuing, Washington may end up a casualty costing him the position as head of the FAA.
Not to mention, Villanueva giving the green light to LASD pursue this case three years ago, could, in the end, save millions of lives as Washington has shown over and over he is neither qualified or fit to oversee an administration responsible for the safety of over 2 million passengers a day.
Watch Cruz’s testimony: