The county of Los Angeles has agreed to pay its retiring CEO Sachi Hamai $1.5 million to settle a harassment complaint against Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
In a letter obtained by Fox 11, attorney Louis Miller who has represented the county in several lawsuits writes “She has been subjected to abuse and harassment, the likes of which I’ve never seen in my almost 50 year law career. It’s emanated from, and been instigated by, the sheriff, and it’s been unrelenting and brutal.”
Miller accused Villanueva for retaliating for moving the county’s emergency services to the CEO office. Miller repeats Hamai’s request for $1.5 million in exchange for not filing a lawsuit against the county.
Under the settlement, Hamai will also receive private security as long as Villanueva is sheriff.
“She’s been targeted and threatened on social media,” Miller continued. “She’s been the brunt of ethnic slurs.(e.g. “She looks straight outta Wuhan.”)”
According to LA Weekly, Villanueva has called the charges “nonsense.”
“I think for the 700-plus Sheriff’s department employees who will be losing their jobs because supposedly we’re in a financial crisis, giving any county employee $1.5 million on their way out the door as a ‘golden handshake,’ that really, I think that’s outrageous and maybe the Board of Supervisors can clarify this information,” he tweeted.
“From my perspective, it looks like a gift of public money,” Villanueva said. “I think this would be the first time in history that a recognized public official is claiming that a policy dispute is harassment,” he told Fox 11.
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