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Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff's Captain Relieved of Duty

The captain of the sheriff's Malibu/Lost Hills station is under investigation for allegedly sexually harassing a subordinate, a claim he denies.

The captain of the L.A. County Sheriff's Malibu/Lost Hills Station has been relieved of duty with pay during an investigation into claims that he sexually harassed a subordinate.

"He has been relieved of duty with pay. That is our right so we can continue this probe," said Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the sheriff's department.

The investigation began in early January when a female deputy alleged that Capt. Joseph Stephen Jr., who is assigned to the Lost Hills/Malibu Station, retired Chief Ronnie Williams and recently-retired Capt. Anthony Ward coerced her into sexual relationships.

Both Stephen and Williams have denied the allegations made by the deputy, who is the daughter of a top aide to Sheriff Lee Baca.

Stephen told The L.A. Times that the woman's allegations were "absolutely, unequivocally" untrue.

The female deputy is on leave, without pay, because of unrelated felony vandalism and misdemeanor battery charges.

Lt. Matthew Squire has been named as acting captain of the Lost Hills/Malibu Sheriff's Station.

R Y A N January 24, 2013 at 07:25 AM
It is important to not rush to judgment on allegations like these. The Department will be put through its processes in this matter which unfortunately will take time. Until the Department concludes its investigation, it was, and is, unfair to guess and posture on the validity of the accusation.
Sobe Chin January 26, 2013 at 01:01 AM
All the people relieved of duty over the years and this is the first time I have ever seen the removal of a command staff picture publicly portrayed in the media. Looks more like guilty than suspected or alleged. Why not "unfriend" him too.
Zuma Skipper January 27, 2013 at 06:54 AM
I think it's safe to say his days are over at Lost Hills even if he is absolved of the allegations. He would be reassigned to another bureau within the Sheriffs Department or retire altogether.

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