Lawsuit Accuses L.A. County of Bilking Contract Cities

The City of Lancaster has filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County, alleging overcharges for public safety services. According to the suit, the sheriff’s department has pocketed $10 million from Lancaster and dozens of other cities that rely on the county for policing.

Lancaster pays LASD around $25 million a year to cover pay and benefits for 70 deputies. But staffing shortages have left some of those positions vacant, and LASD has been unable to assign as many officers as the contract calls for. 

“By late last year, department records show, more than 20% of sworn positions were vacant or held by deputies who were out on medical leave, relieved of duty or otherwise unavailable to work,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

“That’s why, according to the lawsuit, for the past several years the county has assigned only 51 deputies to the Lancaster station.”

Instead of discounting for those vacancies, Lancaster claims LASD is illegally keeping the savings as profit. The city says LASD is doing the same to other municipalities. It’s pursuing a potential class-action suit on behalf of all 42 of the county’s contract cities.