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Sheriff’s lieutenant takes stand in obstruction trial

Posted: June 12, 2014 5:54 p.m.
Updated: June 12, 2014 5:54 p.m.

One of six sworn Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officers accused of obstructing a federal investigation into the Los Angeles County jail system took the stand Thursday.

Lt. Stephen Leavins, 52, of Valencia, who worked for a section of the Sheriff’s Department that scrutinizes the actions of deputies, is one of six sheriff’s officers named in the obstruction case. The trial is in its second week at the downtown Los Angeles federal courthouse.

Last week, prosecutors finished presenting their case against the officers, paving the way this week for defense lawyers to present their case.

Leavins was among 18 sworn Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officers named in a December FBI probe into allegations of corruption and of civil rights abuses in the jail system.

The Valencia resident was assigned to the LASD’s Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau, which scrutinizes the conduct of LASD deputies.

The alleged obstruction occurred when Sheriff’s Department personnel assigned to Men’s Central Jail learned an inmate was an FBI informant and was cooperating in an FBI civil rights and corruption probe of the jail, prosecutors said.
On Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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