LA Sheriff’s deputy says career was derailed after friend of Sheriff’s wife said she was unfit

LA County sheriff’s deputy is suing over claims sheriff Alex Villanueva’s retired cop wife branded her a ‘b**ch’ and made her life hell for refusing to recruit wife’s ‘unfit’ friend to the department

A sheriff’s deputy in Los Angeles is alleging that her boss Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s wife – a former co-worker – is behind the stalling of her career after she was critical of her friend. 

Deputy Lina Pimental said in a lawsuit filed in LA County Superior Court that her ‘career progression has now been effectively terminated because of Vivian Villanueva’s personal attacks on her.’

Pimental’s suit describes Vivian Villanueva’s expletive-laden tirades against her after she claimed in her position as a recruit training officer that Natalie Garcia – a friend of Villanueva – was unqualified for a position with the office. 

‘In retaliation for Plaintiff dismissing her friend as unqualified, Villanueva reported to the Academy, and called Plaintiff a ‘c—‘ and a ‘b–h,’ the suit said. ‘Villanueva also made threats at Plaintiff’s workplace, warning others to keep Plaintiff away from her because, ‘f–k her,’ and ‘I will go off on that b—-h.’  

The Sheriff’s office declined to comment on the allegations, citing pending litigation but issued a statement praising Alex Villanueva. 

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva (right) and his wife, Vivian Villanueva, at an academy graduation ceremony in 2019

The LA sheriff who’s declared war on the city’s woke policies 

Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva has been a fighter against ‘woke’ progressive DA George Gascon’s policies to revamp the area’s criminal justice system.

Villanueva is increasingly concerned with whether Gascón will fully prosecute any violent protesters and has complained that he has essentially made prostitution legal by refusing to prosecute.

‘If there is a lack of prosecutorial fist, that might actually embolden some of our antifa, anarchist crowd, the radical elements, to try to hijack peaceful protest for their own personal gain or agendas’, Villanueva said.

He said Gascón is exceeding his authority and essentially changing laws by declining to prosecute existing statutes. 

‘We are unable to comment on pending litigation, but what we can say is Sheriff Alex Villanueva has been the most transparent sheriff in history and he is confident these allegations will be proven false,’ the statement said. 

The LA Times attempted to talk to Vivian Villanueva via phone, but she said ‘I’ll get back to you’ and hung up.    

Garcia had worked for two decades in the Sheriff’s Department as a custody assistant before she made two attempts to enter the academy to become a deputy, the lawsuit alleges.

Pimentel said that she determined Garcia was physically unable to complete the program.  

Garcia, the suit claims, then falsely told Pimentel’s superiors that she had been forced to do extra physical training in violation of her medical restrictions. 

The filing also states that Garcia filed a complaint against Pimentel because Pimentel had told her, ‘The sheriff is not here to save you.’

She also accused Garcia and Villanueva of using their their ties to the sheriff to obtain a take-home vehicle and other benefits. 

Pimentel said that soon after, she began hearing about Vivian Villanueva’s tirades against her and that she was subsequently moved and demoted multiple times.

‘This lawsuit is another example of a sheriff who has little regard for his deputies and instead will always put his selfish self-interest first,’ said Alan Romero, an attorney representing Pimentel.

‘This gross example of nepotism, abuse of office and workplace harassment has been ratified by current Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who allows his wife to call female deputies names … in the workplace,’ the suit states. 

Pimentel had worked in the sheriff’s office since January 2007 and was given her recruit training job in 2019.   


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