Ex-sheriff Alex Villanueva suspended from social media site

Alex Villanueva speaks at a community reception on November 20, 2018.
(Katie Falkenberg/Los Angeles Times)

Ex-sheriff Alex Villanueva suspended from social media site

LA politics

Keri Blakinger

February 21, 2024

Former Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who is that?


running for a spot on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, said Monday that his primary account had been enabled

the social media site

X, formerly Twitter, was shut down after someone allegedly reported him for harassing his opponent during the race.

This morning I found out that my X or Twitter account was temporarily suspended,


said in a video on Instagram. This is straight up dirty politics 101.

Spokespeople for his opponent, incumbent Janice Hahn, s


the supervisor and her campaign had nothing to do with the suspension of Villanueva’s account.

This is laughable, says Dave Jacobson, an adviser to Hahn’s re-election campaign. It’s simply more evidence of a lying, disgraced and failed former sheriff once again trying to mislead the public with baseless claims.

The account in question


showed a message on Tuesday saying it had been suspended for violating the site’s rules.

On X, @AlexVilanueva33

On Tuesday the message was ‘Account suspended’. MOVED BELOW: The post did not specify what rule the account broke or whether it was related to harassment on Hahn’s account, one of many that Villanueva regularly tags in combative posts.

X suspends accounts that violate the


ules, the message said.

It did not specify what rule the account broke or whether it was related to harassment on Hahn’s account, one of many that Villanueva regularly tags in combative posts.

The site did not answer questions from The Times about the reasons behind the account suspension. A message sent to an email address for media inquiries received a seemingly automatic response: Working now, check back later.

When reached for comment, Villanueva


he had no evidence that the suspension was in response to his interactions with his opponent.

The report did not give a reason, but based on the content it seems very likely where the complaint came from, he wrote in an email to


Time. Criticism of the performance of elected officials should always be protected speech.

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

We continue to harass the truth, he said on Instagram. The truth will continue to come to light no matter what Janice Hahn throws our way.

This isn’t the first time Villanueva has faced harassment allegations. Last month, The Times reported that an oversight panel recommended Villanueva not be considered for reappointment because he discriminated against and harassed Inspector General Max Huntsman, repeatedly referring to the provincial watchdog by his foreign-sounding birth name and at one point editors of The Times said without providing evidence that Huntsman was a Holocaust denier.

At the time, amid his failed 2022 bid for re-election as sheriff, Villanueva

promised he would

provide evidence to support his claims

on time. He has yet to do that.

After Huntsman reported Villanueva to the county in March 2022, the Sheriff’s Department investigated the allegations and in October 2023, the County Equity Oversight Panel met and found that Villanueva had violated several policies against discrimination and harassment. At that time, Villanueva was no longer sheriff, but the panel recommended that he receive a “Do Not Rehire Notation” in his personnel file. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to The Times last month that it was following the recommendation.

Villanueva before

described the outcome of the Huntsman case as a brazen attempt by the Board of Supervisors to engage in electioneering to influence the outcome of the race for 4th District supervisor.


in October, the panel also found that Villanueva had been harassed, discriminated against and retaliated against


another provincial employee. The data came to light this month after The Times filed a formal request for copies of findings related to allegations that the former sheriff had discriminated against the inspector general or deputy justice of Supervisor Hilda Solis. After producing extensive documents related to Huntsman’s case several weeks ago, the county produced six pages of documents related to the case involving Deputy Justice Esther Lim in early February, although officials had redacted her name .

It’s unclear from documents reviewed by The Times what the exact charges were in that case, but the

County Stock Oversight Panel

again recommended that Villanueva receive a Do Not Rehire designation.

On Tuesday,

Lim did not respond to an emailed request for comment on Tuesday.

Villanueva not only once again described the case as a “brazen attempt at election fraud,” but also questioned the timing of the release in an email Tuesday.

“This new October 2022 report, conveniently held for maximum effect in the March 2024 primaries, amounts to defamation and I will take legal action against all parties responsible for this act of retaliation,” he wrote.

He also pointed out that he and the examining magistrate had fought each other before, when he filed complaints about her that he said were “ignored.”

According to provincial records reviewed by The Times, in 2021 the province declined to investigate an allegation that Lim had behaved unprofessionally when she allegedly questioned the competence and impartiality of law enforcement in her tweets. The claim fell outside the scope of the province

Policy Policy

of the stock complaints process, the data shows.


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