LA Deputy Sheriff Says Career Derailed After Friend of Sheriff’s Wife Said She Was Unfit
LA County deputy is suing over allegations that sheriff Alex Villanueva’s retired cop called her a “c***” and made her life hell by refusing to recruit the woman’s “unfit” boyfriend to the department
- Deputy Lina Pimental said in a lawsuit filed in LA County Superior Court that her ‘career advancement has now effectively ended’
- Pimental’s suit describes Vivian Villanueva’s frenzied diatribes against her after she claimed in her position that a friend was not qualified for a job
- Villanueva is the wife of LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and a former deputy herself
- Vivian Villanueva, the indictment alleges, would “warn others to keep Plaintiff away from her because ‘f**k her’, and ‘I’m running away’.
- Villanueva is also accused of calling Pimental a ‘c***’ in earshot of others
- The sheriff’s office declined to comment on the allegations, citing pending lawsuits, but released a statement praising Alex Villanueva.
An LA sheriff’s deputy is suing over allegations that her boss Alex Villanueva’s wife called her a “bitch” and a “c***” for failing to recruit one of her unfit unfit friends.
Deputy Lina Pimental said in a lawsuit filed in LA County Superior Court that her “career advancement has now effectively ended because of Vivian Villanueva’s personal attacks on her.” Many of the vile insults and threats are said to have been made in earshot of colleagues by Vivian, who also worked as a sheriff’s deputy until her retirement.
Pimental’s lawsuit details Vivian Villanueva’s force-laden tirades against her, beginning in March 2020, after she alleged in her position as a recruit training officer that Natalie Garcia — a friend of Villanueva’s — was not qualified for a position with the office.
Garcia worked in the county jail but failed her physical exam to get to the sheriff. Pimental – who had been a recruiting training officer since August 2019 – made that decision, reportedly fueling the ire of Vivian Villanueva.
In retaliation for Plaintiff’s dismissal of her friend as unqualified, Villanueva reported to the Academy and called Plaintiff a ‘c—‘ and a ‘b–h,’ the indictment said. ‘Villanueva also made threats at Plaintiff’s workplace and warned others to keep Plaintiff away from her because ‘f–k her’ and ‘I’m going for that b—-h.’
The sheriff’s office declined to comment on the allegations, citing pending lawsuits, but released a statement praising Alex Villanueva.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva (right) and his wife, Vivian Villanueva, at a 2019 academy graduation ceremony
The LA Sheriff Who Declared War on the City’s Wake Up Policy
Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva has been a fighter against progressive District Attorney George Gascon’s “wakeful” policy of revamping the area’s criminal justice system.
Villanueva was previously a Democrat but switched to the GOP after being shunned by his former party last year.
Villanueva is increasingly concerned about whether Gascón will fully prosecute violent protesters and has complained that he essentially made prostitution legal by refusing to prosecute.
“If there is a lack of prosecutors, that could encourage some of our antifa, anarchist mob, the radical elements, to try and hijack peaceful protest for their own personal gain or agendas,” Villanueva said.
He said Gascón is exceeding his authority and essentially changing laws by refusing to prosecute existing statutes.
“We cannot comment on pending lawsuits, but what we can say is that Sheriff Alex Villanueva has been the most transparent sheriff in history and he is confident that these allegations will prove false,” the statement said.
The LA Times tried to talk to Vivian Villanueva on the phone, but she said, “I’ll call you back” and hung up.
Garcia had worked in the Sheriff’s Department as a child custody assistant for 20 years before making two attempts to enter the academy to become a deputy, the lawsuit alleges.
Pimentel said she determined that Garcia was physically unable to complete the program.
Garcia, the lawsuit alleges, then falsely told Pimentel’s superiors that she had been forced to do additional physical training in violation of her medical restrictions.
The file also states that Garcia filed a complaint against Pimentel because Pimentel told her, “The sheriff isn’t here to save you.”
She also accused Garcia and Villanueva of using their ties with the sheriff to obtain a homecoming vehicle and other benefits.
Pimentel said she learned about Vivian Villanueva’s tirades against her shortly after and that she was subsequently moved and demoted several times.
She had also been considered for the position of sergeant, but Vivian Villanueva was assigned to the Advanced Officer Training Department.
In July 2021, Pimentel was relegated several times.
“This lawsuit is another example of a sheriff who has little respect for his deputies and instead always puts his selfish self-interest first,” said Alan Romero, a lawyer representing Pimentel.
“This gross example of favoritism, abuse of office and harassment at work has been reinforced by current Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who allows his wife to verbally abuse female deputies in the workplace,” the suit reads.
Pimentel had worked in the sheriff’s office since January 2007 and landed a job as a recruit in 2019.