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LA sheriff wants politicians to return badges

Critics say the badges and identification cards given to people with no law enforcement duties appear to be rewards for political contributions


Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — About 200 official-looking badges given to local politicians by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department are being recalled.

Critics say the badges and identification cards given to people with no law enforcement duties appear to be rewards for political contributions and have the potential for abuse.

Sheriff Lee Baca's decision to recall the badges comes two weeks after the FBI arrested three Cudahy officials on bribery charges.

The Los Angeles Times says the move was prompted by the U.S. Attorney's office release of a photo of a woman with two handguns and wearing a councilman's badge in a Cudahy nightclub.

But sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore says a 2007 state attorney general's warning prompted the badge recall and the timing is a coincidence.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press

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