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Ex-Sheriff Alex Villanueva suspended from social media site X

Former Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who is running for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, had his main account on X (formerly Twitter) shut down on Monday after someone reported him for harassing an opponent during his campaign. said that it was done.

“This morning I learned that my X account or Twitter account has been temporarily suspended,” Villanueva said in a video posted to Instagram. “This is just Dirty Politics 101.”

A spokesperson for her opponent, incumbent Janice Hahn, said the supervisor and her campaign had nothing to do with the suspension of Villanueva's account.

“This is laughable,” said Dave Jacobson, a consultant for Mr. Hahn's re-election campaign. “This is just further evidence that a lying, disgraced and failed former sheriff is once again trying to mislead the public with baseless claims.”

Former Sheriff Alex Villanueva's primary X account has been suspended.

(screenshot)

In X, @AlexVilanueva33 On Tuesday, I received a message that my account had been suspended.

The message said, “X will suspend accounts that violate the X rules.” It did not say which rules the account violated or whether it was related to the harassment on Mr. Hahn's account. Hahn's account is one of several Rules that Villanueva regularly tags in combative posts.

The site did not respond to questions from the Times about why it suspended the account. Messages sent to his email address for media inquiries were returned with something like an automatic reply: “I'm busy at the moment, please check back later.”

Asked for comment, Villanueva said there was no evidence that his suspension was in response to his interactions with opponents.

“Although the notice did not indicate a reason, the content suggests that this is probably where the complaint came from,” he wrote in an email to the Times. “Criticism of an elected official's performance should always be protected speech.”

Villanueva encouraged people to follow him on Instagram, Facebook and his new X account. @SheriffV33.

“We will continue to harass and tell the truth,” he said on Instagram. “No matter what Janis Hahn throws at us, the truth will continue to come out.”

This is not the first time Villanueva has addressed harassment accusations. Last month, the Times reported that Mr. Villanueva had discriminated against and harassed Supervisor Max Huntsman, repeatedly calling the county watchdog by his foreign-sounding birth name and at one point telling the Times' editorial board. The committee recommended that Villanueva be deemed ineligible for re-employment. Although he offered no evidence, Huntsman was a Holocaust denier.

At the time, he was in the midst of an unsuccessful bid for re-election as sheriff in 2022. Villanueva He promised to provide evidence to support his claims “in due course.” He hasn't done that yet.

After Mr. Huntsman reported Mr. Villanueva to the county in March 2022, the Sheriff's Department investigated the charges, and in October 2023, the County Fairness Oversight Board met and announced that Mr. Villanueva had several charges of discrimination and harassment. It was determined that the policy had been violated. Although Villanueva was no longer sheriff at that time, the commission recommended that he “become eligible for sheriff status.” The personnel file is marked as “prohibited from reemployment.'' The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department confirmed to the Times last month that it was following the recommendations.

Villanueva previously described the outcome of the Huntsman case as “a brazen attempt by the Board of Supervisors to engage in campaign activities to influence the outcome of the District 4 Supervisor's race.”

Also in October, panel found It said Villanueva had harassed, discriminated and retaliated against another county employee. The records were revealed this month after the Times formally requested a copy of the findings of an investigation into allegations that the former sheriff discriminated against either the inspector general or a law deputy to Supervisor Hilda Solis. After creating an extensive record on Huntsman's case several weeks ago, the county in early February produced a six-page record on the case involving Deputy Attorney General Esther Lim, but officials redacted her name. .

Records reviewed by the Times do not reveal the exact allegations in the case, but the county Board of Fairness Oversight once again recommended that Villanueva receive a “not-reemployable” label. Lim did not respond to requests for comment via his email on Tuesday.

In an email Tuesday, Villanueva reiterated the incident as a “brazen campaign attempt” and questioned the timing of his release.

“This new report from October 2022, which was conveniently withheld for maximum effect in the March 2024 primary, amounts to defamation, and I condemn all parties responsible for this act of retaliation. “We will pursue legal remedies against the parties involved,” he wrote.

He also noted that he had previously sparred with the deputy attorney general, in which he said he was “ignored” when he filed a complaint about her.

In 2021, the county alleged that Lim acted unprofessionally when he allegedly questioned the competency and impartiality of law enforcement in a tweet, according to county records reviewed by the Times. refused to investigate. Records show the allegations were considered outside the scope of the county's fairness policy grievance process.

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