L.A. Sheriff's official resigns over offensive emails

Reuters News
Posted: May 02, 2016 6:26 PM

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A high-ranking Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department official has stepped down over emails he sent that mocked Muslims, blacks, Latinos, overweight people and others while in a previous law enforcement job, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The resignation of Tom Angel, former chief of staff to Sheriff Jim McDonnell, comes after some 19 current or former members of the department were convicted of federal charges stemming from a long-running federal investigation of corruption at the country's largest county jail system.

Angel was not implicated in that wrongdoing.

The emails, which Angel sent in 2012 and 2013 while he was a top-ranking officer for the police department in suburban Burbank, were obtained by the Times through an open records request.

The emails, published by the newspaper, make offensive references to Muslims and Islam, as well as forwarding "politically incorrect" jokes that take aim at African Americans, Latinos and women.

In April the former second-in-command of the department, Paul Tanaka, was convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of justice in connection with the corruption probe.

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, 73, pleaded guilty in February to lying to federal investigators about the case, which clouded the final years of his long career with the department.

Baca, who retired in 2014, faces sentencing later this year as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors that calls for him to serve six months behind bars.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Sandra Maler)