(L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell in Downtown Thursday. Photo by Eric Leonard.)
Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said Thursday he planned to ask the California Supreme Court to decide whether a list of deputies with histories of dishonesty or other misconduct - may be shared with local prosecutors.
"We're trying to balance - where are we with this, and there was not the clarity we need," McDonnell said of a recent lower court ruling, that sided with the deputies' union in blocking the release of the names.
"It is a balancing act, and it's something that we work very hard to ensure that we're looking out for everybody's rights," he said.
The union, ALADS, filed a legal challenge late last year after hundreds of deputies were warned in letters that their names might be given to the L.A. County District Attorney's Office.
The union argued successfully at the state appellate court that such a list violated California's extraordinary police secrecy laws and a 1970s U.S. Supreme Court decision that govern the disclosure of misconduct and discipline records.
McDonnell and other officials said the intent was to warn prosecutors - in the interest of greater transparency - about deputies who might be called as witnesses in criminal cases.