FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Compression Tactical Bra - Cheata Tactical
Patented technology is designed to provide the stability of 2-3 sports bras,...

Top News

Top L.A. Sheriff's Official Steps Down Amid Investigation Into Purchase of Stolen Car

October 13, 2015  | 

A high-ranking Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department official announced his retirement Tuesday after an internal investigation was opened into his purchase of a stolen Audi sedan from a tow-yard owner with a department contract, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Assistant Sheriff Michael Rothans, 53, is two years from the age when he would have maximized his county retirement benefits.

The investigation began on Oct. 1 after The Times inquired about Rothans’ purchase of the car. The probe is expected to continue despite Rothans' retirement.

In an email to Sheriff's Department executives, Rothans said he is retiring on Oct. 26 because of long-term health issues "that have recently been exacerbated and need to be addressed."

Rothans bought the Audi A4, which he believed to be a 2010 model, for $3,000 last May from Lisa Vernola, who owns Vernola’s Towing in Norwalk.

Rothans has said he did not believe the purchase was unethical because he bought the car from Vernola, not her tow company. Because she was a friend, he said, he did not ask about the car’s history and did not know the car was one step removed from her impound lot.

In fact, the car was a 2012 Audi A4 that had been stolen new from a dealership in Mission Viejo. Rothans and Vernola said they had no idea the car was stolen. Sheriff's officials are prohibited from purchasing property that has been seized by the department.

Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

Brian @ 10/13/2015 9:33 PM

Me thinks Undersheriff has a little splainng to do. Even a 2010 Audi A4 is a $10-13k car.
$3000??? I would have asked some question. Not a smart purchase.

Mark Tarte @ 10/14/2015 9:36 AM

I would have to call BS. Regardless of what he thought, he is in a position of authority, both as a peace officer and as a command officer. His example is the worst kind of abuse of power. If criminal intent is found, I hope he is prosecuted. We need to change the laws of California to allow the removal of a government pension of ANY government worker who commits a crime.

Join the Discussion

POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent News

Third Man Charged in Deadly Shooting of MO Officer
A third man is under arrest and facing a charge in the deadly shooting of Clinton, MO...
Helicopter in Fatal VA Police Crash Had Past Engine Problems
The police helicopter involved in a crash that killed two troopers near the chaotic events...
IL Bill to Allow Ambulances for Injured K-9s Signed into Law
Illinois House Bill 2661 was signed into law today. It allows police dogs injured in the...
Video: CO Sheriff Contracts West Nile Disease
Sheriff Joe Pelle of Boulder County, CO, took to social media to let people know the West...
FBI Agent Injured in NY After Flash-Bang Accidentally Goes Off
A flash-bang grenade accidentally went off inside the garage at Federal Plaza in lower...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Zip Code:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine