Southern California breaking news and trends

LASD recalling 200 official-looking badges and identification cards

Sheriff Badge cudahy

Photo via U.S. attorney's office

The U.S. attorney's office released this photo it says was taken at a Cudahy night club showing an unidentified woman wearing Councilman Osvaldo Conde's sheriff's badge as she holds his gun in one hand and his bodyguard's in another. Conde was one of three Cudahy officials arrested last month on bribery charges.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is recalling about 200 official-looking badges and ID cards that were distributed to local politicians.

The faux credentials, handed over to people without law enforcement responsibilites, have the potential for abuse, say critics, who believe the items may have been rewards for political contributions.

Sheriff Lee Baca's decision to round up the badges comes only weeks after the FBI arrested three Cudahy officials on bribery charges.

The L.A. Times reports the move to recall was prompted by the release of a photograph showing a woman in Cudahy nightclub with two handguns, and wearing a councilman's badge.

LASD spokesman Steve Whitmore told the Times the timing is a coincidence, and said a 2007 state attorney general's warning is what prompted the recall.