LOS ANGELES – Sheriff candidate Eli Vera filed a lawsuit against the County claiming he was demoted due to political retaliation, but a recently settled lawsuit could be the root of his problem.
In September 2015, while serving as Cpt. under then Sheriff Jim McDonnell, Vera was named in a RICO lawsuit where it was alleged the parties listed engaged in extortion, wrongful termination, intimidation, and organized crime under RICO.
The claimant Tappan Zee, was a deputy sheriff turned lawyer, who filed his lawsuit in Superior Court, that was moved to Central District court in 2016. Zee’s law firm represented him.
Meanwhile in 2017, Vera filed a lawsuit against the County claiming political retaliation and violation of his police officer bill of rights.
Court documents detail the Tappan case was quietly settled in April 2018, months before the November election of Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
Typically, cases are settled to publicly avoid embarrassment of details that could be revealed during trial.
In this case, it would appear that if Vera was demoted, it could be related to allegations made in the Zee case, that could have been proven to be true.