Watch CBS News

High-Ranking LA County Sheriff's Official In Hot Water For Emails Allegedly Joking About Minorities, Women

LOS ANGELES ( —  A LA County Sheriff's Department official is in hot water Wednesday after the LA Times printed a series of emails Tom Angel apparently forwarded to people from his work computer.

KCAL9's Tom Wait says Angel, chief of staff for Sheriff Jim McDonnell, apologizes for what he did.

But Wait reports the apology is ringing hollow for some activists.

Angel is facing serious backlash after offensive emails that he sent were published.

The Times reports Angel forwarded the incendiary messages from his work account when he was the second-highest-ranking official in Burbank's police department in 2012.

One message reads:

"I took my biology exam last Friday. I was asked to name two things commonly found in cells. Apparently 'Blacks' and 'Mexicans' were NOT the correct answers."

Another message makes fun of Muslims who are worried about profiling and belittles the religion's rituals.

"It's despicable because I can't believe that a person of such authority can use government services – using a government Listserv to circulate such trash against all minorities," says Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Al-Marayti says he met with McDonnell and Angel, who was in disbelief that the emails became public.

"He was stunned. And I think at this point he's still stunned," says Al-Marayti.

Ironically, Angel was hired to help clean up the Sheriff's Department after a scandal involving brutality at the jail brought down the former sheriff and his top brass.

Al-Marayti says Angel's emails are a setback that will require community outreach.

The Sheriff's Department released a statement regarding Angel: "Although his judgment in this situation is of concern to members of the Sheriff's Department, no one is more distressed about it than Chief Angel himself. His apologies for this uncharacteristic act have been profuse and sincere."

The sheriff is scheduled to meet with community leaders next week.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.