Report: LA County sheriff gave preferential hiring

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Updated: 12/18/2013 9:00 pm

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.

©2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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