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Courthouse News Service is reporting that a judge has ruled that the process used the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to obtain a warrant to search the homes of LA County Supervisors and others involved in a criminal corruption probe was legally valid. The judge, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge William Ryan told a packed courtroom that he was unable to find that there were any problems with the warrant or the manner in which it was sought.

There has been a long running feud between LA County Sheriff Villanueva and LA DA Gascon who is closely allied with the Board of Supervisors. Sheriff Villanueva has criticised Gascon and the Board for allowing violent criminals back out onto the streets, including a convicted rapist who sexually assaulted a young woman at a South Whittier grocery store this week.

The warrant authorized deputies to search the homes of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and Patti Giggans, both big whigs in the Democratic Party which has rushed to their defense. Giggans is a member of the Police Oversight Board which sought to block the sheriff's from going after newly released violent convicts as part of the group, Peace Over Violence.

Investigators left with 67 devices and Giggan's car was towed because it contained evidence, including blood. The MTA's main offices were also included in the search.

Giggans attorney blasted the search, accusing Villanueva of being a Pro NAZI fascist.

Others have spoken out against the searches and seizures based on the limited information available. One Los Angeles councilmember suggested that elected officials should not be subject to the same laws as everyone else.

Councilman Mike Bonin accused the sheriff's department of abusing its power. He said that law enforcement did not have any power to investigate local officials for wrong doing.

The Board recently recruited former Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna to replace Villanueva in this years midterm elections. Luna attacked Villanueva at a recent debate for refusing to "go along with the program".

Villanueva is not part of the investigation, having recused himself, but liberally biased media outlets and Democratic Party activists who support Kuehl and Giggans have demanded that the sheriff's department stop its investigation regardless.

The warrant at issue was part of an investigation into corruption at both Peace Over Violence and the MTA. Whistleblowers reported that a contract worth more than $800,000 in tax payer money was paid by the MTA to Peace Over Violence to operate a hotline for people to report sexual harassment they experienced while riding the county agency's buses and trains. A 2020 investigation by a FOX Television affiliate found that the service recieved very little actual calls and that nearly all the calls that year were fake harrassment reports from employees assigned to falsely call in fake accounts of being groped. It was found that not only were the employees not groped but they were not even on the bus or train at the time they claimed in their calls. The calls were used to justify continue funding of the program. The investigation centered around the whistleblower reports of an MTA employee who was close to the situation.

The whistleblower has since been identified as MTA employee Jennifer Loew after she filed a recent defamation case against both Kuehl and Giggans, accusing them of trying to destroy her life in retaliation for blowing the whistle on the operation.

Kuehl has called Loew a liar and said her report was all lies.

This week Attorney General Rob Bonta, a Kuehl political ally, took over the investigation and banned the sheriff's from being involved in any way, shape, or form.

There were questions on why a different judge was used for the current warrant than one that was issued in 2021. According to legal news services, the judge in the 2021 case, Eleanor Hunter is currently on vacation. In that case, Judge Hunter appointed a special master to make sure that attorney client privileges were not being violated, as in the Florida Trump case. No one was ever appointed to the position however.

Just last week, Judge Ryan had barred the Sheriff's Investigators from looking through the devices they had seized.

Kuehl's attorney demanded the return of the devices but Judge Ryan rejected the demand which was also made by Giggans and the MTA.

The case may not lead to another investigation. It turns out that someone involved in the current corruption probe had tipped off Supervisor Kuehl that the warrant had been issued and investigators were coming to her home. Judge Ryan said that would amount to a felony crime. He said, "It's a very serious allegation that the supervisor had been tipped off that a search was coming. That's not nothing. It's a potential felony."

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