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Report: Sheriff's Department Hired Criminals

Sheriff Lee Baca. Photo by NewsSpy via the LAist Flickr pool.
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A Los Angeles Times investigation into the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, specifically the hiring of employees in 2010, reveal that applicants who were hired by the department had questionable histories, including one who admitted to sexual activity with a minor.

This would not be the first time the department has come under fire for employee misconduct. Earlier this year, a sheriff's deputy lost his assault rifle. More disturbing were allegations of a clique that glorified officer-involved shootings within the department. One can come to the conclusion that the department's shoddy hiring practices may have led to these incidents.

The numbers the Times puts forth in this new report are disturbing, to say the least: of the applicants that were hired by the department in 2010, 188 were rejected by other departments and 29 were fired or forced to resign from their previous law enforcement jobs.

The most egregious example involves David McDonald, a jailer, who admitted to the department that he had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl with he was 28. "We just like made out, hugging and kissing kind of things. We went out on a couple of dates," McDonald said, adding that he never had intercourse with the minor, according to the Times.

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In addition, Ferdinand Salgado, another jailer, was arrested in 2004 for soliciting a prostitute who was actually an undercover agent, the Times reports. He was also accused of trying to fake his way through a polygraph test by controlling his breathing. A deputy, Hector Sinay, was accused of finding a meth pipe while searching a property and then hiding it without notifying anyone.

In addition, a number of Sheriff's Department employees have been accused of using excessive force while on the job, including McDonald, who was fired by the Santa Clara Sheriff's Department for using excessive force on inmates before being hired by the LASD to work in their jails, the Times reports.

You can read the entire report, complete with an interactive map featuring the worst offending employees, here.

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