LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy testified today that his first trainer at the Industry station told him to falsely state in a report that a methamphetamine pipe found after a suspect's SUV was stopped was recovered from the motorist's clothing when it was actually found in the vehicle's console.
Deputy Andrew Rodriguez testified that he told the training officer, “I don't want my name on it (the report).”
His testimony came during trial of the lawsuit he filed against Los Angeles County in October 2017, alleging he was subjected to a hostile work environment for speaking out against what he believed was wrongful conduct within the sheriff's department while working as a patrol deputy at the Industry station, where he was assigned in December 2013.
Rodriguez said he saw no reasonable suspicion for stopping the motorist. He told the Los Angeles Superior Court panel that when he asked the training officer, Joanne Arcos, why she did so, she refused to answer. He said he also saw her make questionable searches of trunks of vehicles during traffic stops that appeared to conflict with the legal grounds to do so that he had learned at the sheriff's academy.
According to Rodriguez's lawsuit, then-Capt. Tim Murakami, who was the head of the Industry station at the time, told him in August and September 2014 that he would “find something” to get the plaintiff fired. Murakami is now an undersheriff under Sheriff Alex Villanueva and is scheduled to testify next week.
According to the lawsuit, another training officer threatened Rodriguez in the station parking lot and he was eventually reassigned to the station's jail for complaining about the alleged illegal actions he had seen take place.
Rodriguez said he is still a member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, but is not active. He said that although he was raised in Orange County, he grew up a fan of the LASD and was enamored at an early age with its yellow star symbol.
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