The results of an extensive LA Times investigation recently revealed the existence of a secret list within the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department containing the names and crimes of hundreds of problem cops who are currently employed by the county. Blowing the bad apple theory completely out of the water, the list revealed over 300 deputies with histories of dishonesty, misconduct, and brutality—who all still have their jobs.
Despite the discovery of this list, however, the LA Times was unable to look at it and it remains a tight secret among the department's top brass. Not even prosecutors can access it—and this is a problem.
As the LA Times reports, amid growing public scrutiny over police misconduct, Sheriff Jim McDonnell wants to give the names on the list to prosecutors, who are required by law to tell criminal defendants about evidence that would damage the credibility of an officer called as a witness. But McDonnell's efforts have ignited a fierce legal battle with the union that represents rank-and-file deputies.