Former Malibu Sheriff’s Captain relieved of duty

Lost Hills/Malibu Sheriff’s Station Capt. Joseph Stephen

The recently ousted captain of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s station has been relieved of duty with pay from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after becoming the subject of a sexual misconduct investigation, a spokesman confirmed Thursday. 

“He is stripped of his law enforcement powers and he is still continuing to get paid until the probe is complete,” said Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore. 

Former Capt. Joseph Stephen was removed from his post at the Malibu/Lost Hills station on Jan. 11, days after news broke that he had been accused of sexual misconduct by a former deputy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. 

The female deputy is the daughter of “a top aide” of Sheriff Lee Baca, according to the Los Angeles Times. She has also been relieved of duty without pay stemming from an arrest in San Bernardino County, Whitmore said.

Two other LASD officials, retired Chief Ronnie Williams and Capt. Anthony Ward, are under investigation as well.

Stephen denied the allegations in the Los Angeles Times when news of the investigation first broke.

Some reports indicated Stephen had decided to resign, but on Thursday Whitmore again denied any talks of resignation.

“He didn’t resign, he didn’t retire, those were just some of the options,” Whitmore said.

There’s no timetable for how long the investigation will take and it’s unclear whether Stephen will be reinstated, Whitmore said.