3rd whistleblower lawsuit accuses LA Sheriff Villanueva of coverup in leaked jail video

Yet another lawsuit has been filed against Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva in connection with the leaked jail video showing a deputy with his department kneeling on a handcuffed inmate's head.

In the lawsuit, former LASD Chief Lajuana Haselrig claims Villanueva was "desperate and panicked for a cover story, turned around and illegally fabricated" that Haselrig and LASD Assistant Sheriff Robin Limon were the ones in the department that did the coverup instead of him.

Haselrig's lawsuit comes just days after Limon filed her lawsuit against Villanueva. In her lawsuit, Limon claims that Villanueva lied about when he found out about the incident and ordered a coverup. Her account questions Villanueva’s claim that he learned of the incident eight months after it happened and took immediate action.

In this third lawsuit, Haselrig claims Villanueva issued an ultimatum whether to retire or be demoted – an allegation Limon also claimed in her lawsuit against the LA County Sheriff.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Second lawsuit filed accusing LA Sheriff Villanueva of coverup in leaked jail video

Haselrig claimed in her lawsuit that she was "forced retired" and Limon was ultimately demoted four ranks to lieutenant.

"Due to the Sheriff’s illegal conduct, Complainant’s long career in law enforcement is over and illegally destroyed by the County of Los Angeles and its employees," the lawsuit alleges. 

Haselrig had been with the LASD for 34 years, according to the suit, until she was "wrongfully terminated on March 29, 2022."

Commander Allen Castellano was the first to file a lawsuit against Villanueva, claiming that he has routinely blocked or stalled investigations and covered up misconduct to avoid bad press in his re-election campaign.

In his lawsuit, Castellano claims he sent the video of the March 10, 2021 incident to Limon immediately afterward.

The suit says Limon watched the video with Villanueva and Undersheriff Tim Murakami on March 15.

Castellano claims the sheriff delayed an administrative investigation into the deputy’s actions for nearly a month and prevented the department’s Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau from reviewing the incident.

Villanueva continues to deny any allegations. During a press conference last month, Villanueva said the department had launched a criminal investigation into how the media obtained the video.

He has since gone on to address one of the lawsuits as "false."