Fired Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy Caren Carl Mandoyan is attempting to return to the department again as a deputy trainee, Eyewitness News has learned.
Mandoyan says he wants to return to the LASD and is taking steps in hopes of getting a favorable decision from the judge.
A preliminary court ruling last summer upheld his termination. Now, letters from the L.A. County Director of Personnel Lisa M. Garrett to Sheriff Alex Villanueva and Mandoyan state that Mandoyan applied for a position as "Deputy Sheriff, Trainee" last month and was then placed on the department's list as eligible to be hired.
Mandoyan's lawyer Greg Smith tells Eyewitness News that there is no backdoor attempt to re-enter the department - that Mandoyan won't be rehired until a judge allows it.
MORE: Rehired LA sheriff's deputy fights back against stalking, abuse accusations
Mandoyan says that what he is doing is "totally legal and legitimate," and that the county told him previously that "he can always re-apply."
"I am not going to be homeless, I have to provide for my family," Mandoyan tells Eyewitness News. "I haven't done anything wrong -- I am not a problem child."
Mandoyan was fired in 2016 for alleged domestic violence and stalking, although the D.A. declined to file criminal charges. Mandoyan has consistently denied the allegations and points to an October 2019 report by the Sheriff's Office that concluded he was denied due process and that "newly discovered exculpatory information" was not part of the 2016 internal affairs investigation that led to his dismissal.
Villanueva rehired him days after he was sworn into office, but in August 2019, a Superior Court judge granted a preliminary injunction at the request of L.A. County after it argued the Sheriff could not rehire or reinstate Mandoyan without authorization by the Board of Supervisors or County Counsel. The judge ordered Mandoyan to surrender his gun and badge pending a trial on the issue scheduled for June 2020 or further order of the court.
Court filings by the county state that Mandoyan also sat for a "Deputy Sheriff Trainee" exam on March 12.
In her letter to Sheriff Villanueva, County Director of Personnel Lisa M. Garrett directs him "to remove the name of Mr. Mandoyan from the above-referenced eligible register, effective immediately."
The ongoing lawsuit filed by Los Angeles County challenging Sheriff Villanueva's authority to rehire Mandoyan is costing taxpayers. As of late last summer, attorney fees alone had added up to more than $3 million.
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