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A judge found Thursday that a Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigator followed proper protocols when he obtained a warrant to search the home and office of county Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and others, clearing him of allegations that he’d sought out a friendly judge to sign off on the searches.

“The court concludes that the process to obtain the new warrant did not deviate from established processes for law enforcement to obtain a warrant,” Superior Court Judge William Ryan wrote in a document laying out his findings.

He said that Sheriff’s Sgt. Max Fernandez, who wrote the statement of probable cause that was presented to Judge Craig Richman ahead of last week’s raids, attempted to get the warrants signed Sept. 8 by another judge who had handled proceedings related to earlier warrants in the case.

That judge, Eleanor Hunter, was on vacation. So Fernandez went to the bailiff’s office and was directed to another open court, which happened to be that of Richman, Ryan found.

“Detective Fernandez did not select Judge Richman,” Ryan wrote. “At the time, Detective Fernandez did not know Judge Richman and had never heard of him before.”

California

Sheriff ordered to halt search of some computers linked to Supervisor Kuehl investigation

A Superior Court judge orders L.A. County sheriff’s officials to stop searching some computers seized in sprawling Metro investigation.

Kuehl and Patti Giggans, who runs the nonprofit and also serves on the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission, have clashed fiercely with Sheriff Alex Villanueva and called for his resignation. Giggans’ home and nonprofit offices were also searched. They both have denied wrongdoing.

Ryan on Thursday extended his prior orders barring sheriff’s investigators from searching the seized devices, including 67 devices seized from Kuehl and Giggans, 50 of which have been wholly or partially imaged. Ryan said he planned to appoint a special master to sort through the material for privileged communications.

Of the items seized, sheriff’s investigators have reviewed 250 text messages and two voicemails on Kuehl’s phones related to her being tipped off the night before the raid, the judge said.

During an impromptu news conference as investigators were searching her home, Kuehl told reporters that she had been alerted the night before by an attorney in the county counsel’s office who she said heard about the impending search from Inspector General Max Huntsman.

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L.A. County sheriff’s investigators arrived at County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s home early Wednesday with a search warrant.

Kuehl’s attorney, Cheryl O’Connor, said in court Thursday that she was “gravely concerned” by the review of texts and voicemails, as it indicates that investigators were looking for material beyond the scope of the warrant Richman signed.

Villanueva had asked California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta to investigate whether Kuehl and Giggans were illegally tipped off, and in agreeing to do so this week, Bonta took over the entire case. He said sidelining the department was in the “public interest.”

“In recent days, the public unfolding of an unprecedented investigation has raised serious questions for residents of Southern California and beyond,” Bonta said in a statement. “I recognize the deep uncertainty this has engendered and, given the unique circumstances, my team has committed to taking over this investigative process.”

Lawyers in Bonta’s office were at Thursday’s hearing and asked sheriff’s investigators to provide all the seized material to them within two weeks.

News Source: latimes.com

Tags: for subscribers for subscribers for subscribers for subscribers sheriff’s investigators sheriff’s investigator sheriff’s investigator county supervisor sheila kuehl county sheriff’s county supervisor sheila superior court judge superior court judge investigators were supervisor kuehl the night before some computers thursday the warrant

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Mystery as two die and 11 are hospitalized after revelers fall ill for ‘unknown reasons’ at San Diego music festival

POLICE have opened an investigation after two people died and 11 were hospitalised after falling ill at a San Diego Music Festival.

On site medical staff said that revellers became unwell for “unknown reasons,” during the Nocturnal Wonderland music, dance and art festival in San Bernardino, California.

5Hundreds of thousands flocked to the festival which began on September 16Credit: Facebook / Nocturnal Wonderland 5Eli Gillespie-Rodriguez is said to be one of two who died from a mystery illness at the eventCredit: GoFundMe

According to sheriff officials, two of those individuals were later pronounced deceased.

No further deaths have been reported.

One of the deceased was reportedly Eli Gillespie-Rodriguez, 27, of Montebello, who attended the music festival before passing away, according to his family.

His mother, Marcellina Rodriguez, allegedly told FOX11 that her son went with friends to the festival, where she claims he either bought or was given drugs.

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While the man’s aunt, Monica Rodriguez Espinoza said Rodriguez died on September 17 – one day after the festival started – believing he may have accidently taken a drug laced with fentanyl.

 “We know Eli had a great love for life and his family,” Espinoza told the outlet.  

“He would never have purposely done anything to lose any of that.”

Mercilla Rodriguez, later described her son as a loving man who was a “protector” of people.

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Cops say the deceased have yet to be formally identified.

The claims come after sheriff deputies arrested several festival attendees on suspicion of rape , spousal abuse, domestic battery, being drunk in public and petty theft.

They also issued a citation for possession of a controlled substance, sheriff staff said.

Official figures suggest that 70,000 revellers attended the four-day event that began on September 16.

And police have urged anyone with information regarding the incidents that occurred at the festival is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Department via the  contact the EDM Taskforce at the Central Station at 909-387-3545.

While callers wishing to remain anonymous can also contact the We-Tip Hotline at 800-78-CRIME (27463).

5Eli's mother, Marcellina Rodriguez, believes her son accidently took drugs at the festivalCredit: CBS LA 511 others were said to have been hospitalised for 'unknown reasons' according to onsite staffCredit: CBS LA 5Police say they arrested one individual for possession of a controlled substance during the four day eventCredit: CBS LA Topics
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