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L.A. County sheriff's officials remain tight-lipped about why a captain was relieved of duty [Updated]

April 27, 2011 | 11:00 am

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials remained tight-lipped Wednesday about why a captain and her relative, who also works for the department, were relieved of duty in an ongoing probe.

Officials confirmed Tuesday that Carson Capt. Bernice Abram was relieved of duty last week on the same day that her relative was relieved.

Sheriff Lee Baca declined to comment on the scope of the internal probe concerning Abram and Chantell White, a South L.A. station custody assistant believed to be Abram's niece, but he said the actions against both were connected.

"We're not sure to what extent the pieces fit," Baca said. "There are too many unanswered things we can't even comment on."

Calls to Abram were unanswered. [Updated at 1:19 p.m.: White was reached by phone but directed all questions to the Sheriff's Department before hanging up.]

Following the April 20 action against Abram, Baca told the Times that the internal investigation into the department veteran would not affect any existing criminal cases.

He indicated the probe was spurred, at least in part, by "concerns presented from outside the department."

Baca said the investigation of Abram was administrative and would be completed as quickly as possible.

Abram is a two-decade veteran of the department, where she has risen through the ranks with stints in the special victims bureau and at the Compton station.

Baca has called her a "terrific leader" and "highly respected."


L.A. County sheriff's captain suspended during administrative probe

-- Robert Faturechi