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Top sheriff's official faulted in jail report retires

December 12, 2012 |  5:58 pm

A top Los Angeles County sheriff’s official blamed for failing to raise alarms about deputy abuse of inmates will be resigning, a department spokesman confirmed Wednesday.

Earlier this year, a county commission created to examine abuse in the jails found that Assistant Sheriff Marvin Cavanaugh was among the top officials in the department who had failed to alert Sheriff Lee Baca of excessive force under their watch.

Cavanaugh oversaw the jails from 2007 through 2010, a period in which former department supervisors said the lockups were plagued by problems with deputy cliques and inmate abuse. A former commander told The Times last year that he tried to warn Cavanaugh and others of the jail’s problems but was rebuffed and told the lockup’s culture could not be changed.

Abuse and other misconduct in the jails is now the subject of an FBI investigation.

Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said Cavanaugh’s retirement, which will begin Jan. 1, had nothing to do with the jails scandal. He said Cavanaugh was with the department for four decades and “it was time.”

“He is a valuable asset to the department,” Whitmore said, “and he will be sorely missed.”

Cavanaugh did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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-- Robert Faturechi

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