LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reportedly gave preferential hiring treatment to friends and relatives of its employees — even though some had criminal histories.
The Los Angeles Times says they were hired under a special "Friends of the Sheriff" program that's now being eliminated.
The paper says a friend of Sheriff Lee Baca's driver was hired despite a sexual battery conviction and Baca's nephew became a deputy despite drunken driving and burglary arrests.
Spokesman Steve Whitmore says some applicants were fast-tracked because of their department ties but they were held to the same standards as other recruits.
The revelations come a day after the department said it would reform other practices that permitted the hiring of 80 deputies with histories of misconduct, crime or other issues.
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