News

Petition Filed to Decertify Undersheriff for Alleged Perjury After ‘Deputy Gangs’ Testimony

Petition Filed to Decertify Undersheriff for Alleged Perjury After ‘Deputy Gangs’ Testimony

Los Angeles County Sheriff's cars in Compton, Calif., on March 3, 2009. (David McNew/Getty Images)

Cece Woods

Cece Woods

1/26/2024

Updated: 1/26/2024

Commentary
This week, a petition was filed with the California Commission for Peace Officers Standards and Training with the intent to decertify the second most powerful law enforcement officer in Los Angeles County, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The petition filed by attorney Alan Romero alleges Undersheriff April Tardy perjured herself on the stand while testifying in a civil trial in May 2023.
At a Civilian Oversight Commission (COC) hearing in 2022, Ms. Tardy, then a chief, testified acknowledging the transfer of a deputy subgroup “shotcaller” who ordered a “work slowdown” at the Compton station, reported the L.A. Times.
A year later, Ms. Tardy was called to testify in a civil trial as a witness and denied that deputy gang activity existed at the station, allegedly contradicting her earlier sworn testimony at the COC hearing in 2022.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Romero “said the inconsistent testimony showed such dishonesty that the state should permanently take away her peace officer certification.”
California’s Senate Bill 2 passed in September of 2021 allows for the decertification of peace officers for serious misconduct, including perjury.
However, inside sources at the department, who have requested anonymity due to fear of retaliation, believe the efforts to decertify Ms. Tardy are motivated by Mr. Romero’s losing streak with whistleblower, retaliation, and harassment cases against the department, including in the Waldie civil trial last summer, which is mentioned in the petition.
According to Sheriff Alex Villanueva, Mr. Romero lost multiple whistleblower and retaliation cases against the department and the county, including at least one case where personal, punitive sanctions were imposed by the court on Mr. Romero and his client.
Mr. Villanueva also mentioned another attorney who tries similar cases.
“If the repetitive names of these two attorneys sound familiar, it is because they teamed up in pushing the ‘deputy gang whistleblower’ narrative years ago, but have yet to win even one case in court on the subject. Not so coincidentally, almost every ‘witness’ who appeared to speak at the ‘Los Angeles County Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission, Special Hearings on Deputy Gangs in the Sheriff’s Department’ have a past or present lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) and are represented by Attorney Alan Romero or Attorney Vincent Miller,” he said in a statement.
Some say that if Ms. Tardy’s decertification is successful, it would give Mr. Romero an opportunity to re-try the Waldie civil case, which Mr. Romero could be using as a last-ditch effort to potentially win the $26 million dollar case.
However, it would be increasingly difficult to prove Ms. Tardy willfully committed perjury, which is what it would take for the petition to decertify to be successful.
While Sheriff Robert Luna has made no formal statement, the Los Angeles Times published a statement from the department in support of the undersheriff:
“Out of respect for the process, the sheriff will refrain from commenting on the specific allegations of the petition while the administrative process runs its course, but he reiterates his confidence in the ability and character of Undersheriff Tardy.”
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Cece Woods

Cece Woods

Author

Cece Woods is editor-in-chief of The Current Report. Ms. Woods also started The Local Malibu in 2014, and founded Malibu-based 90265 Magazine and Cali Mag. She has reported extensively on hot topics such as the Malibu Creek State Park Shootings, wildfires, and local public corruption.

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