assistant District Attorney has filed a $1.6 million claim, saying the San
Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department for years has engaged in political
Former Assistant District Attorney Dan Lough said the sheriff and other
county officials did not have legal cause to record Lough’s conversations
with Ed Scott, who ran against incumbent Fifth District Supervisor Jerry
Eaves in November. Those conversations centered around unflattering but
public information about Eaves’ checkered past.
After it became public that Lough was helping Eaves’ opponent, Lough was
demoted as District Attorney Dennis Stout’s top aide.
Lough’s $1.6 million claim names Sheriff Gary Penrod, Stout, Board of
Supervisors Chairman Fred Aguiar and other officials. He says they violated
his right to privacy and freedom of speech as well as damaging his
reputation and making him unemployable outside the county.
Former Chief Investigator Barry Bruins, who also was linked to attempts to
help Scott’s campaign, also filed a claim for more than $1.7 million.
Penrod says the allegations are not true.
“I’ve been in the department 30 years and I’ve never heard of that,” Penrod
The sheriff said he has confidence in the work done by the corruption task
“All I can say is I’m sure everything they’ve done is legal,” Penrod said.
Officials released Lough’s, Stout’s and Bruins’ taped conversations with
Scott. The tapes came from Scott, who wore a recording device at the request
of a corruption task force comprised of personnel from the Sheriff’s
Department and the FBI.
Lough and Bruins were investigating Eaves at the time.
“Sheriff’s personnel wanted information on the progress of the District
Attorney’s office investigation in order to aid Eaves and prevent
embarrassment to the sheriff,” Lough said in the claim.
Scott also taped at least 15 other prominent local people and elected
officials. At the Sheriff’s Department’s request, there is a gag order
regarding the names of the 15 others Scott recorded, Lough said.
The Sheriff’s department can use public resources to gather information for
criminal investigations not political spying, Lough’s claim said.
“There was no crime they’re trying to create something for their own
political agenda,” Lough said.
Lough believes political spying in the Sheriff’s department has gone on for
years, and it will come out in his lawsuit.