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Sheriff’s investigator did not seek friendly judge to approve Supervisor Kuehl searches, court finds

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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.

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