Sheriff's official probed over inmate golf
Friday, April 6, 2012
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A yellow jail jumpsuit isn’t the usual golf wear. But Canadian pro golfer-turned-thief Frank Carrillo says that’s what he wore when a sheriff’s official took him to a Catalina Island golf course to offer pointers.
Los Angeles County Capt. Jeff Donahue is under investigation for allegations of having an inappropriate relationship with an inmate, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Donahue, who heads the sheriff’s force at Avalon that polices California’s Catalina, nearby islands and waters, is on medical leave. A message left at the station seeking comment was not immediately returned Thursday.
Carrillo, 41, was serving two years after pleading guilty to stealing cash and jewelry from people at golf courses — including the World Series ring of former Dodgers catcher Jimmy Campanis. He has since been released.
He was at the Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles when his good behavior helped earn him a transfer to sunny Catalina, where he became a trusty.
“It was like camp,” he said.
Word got around that he had been a professional golfer in Canada and after meeting Donahue, Carrillo suggested the idea that they play some golf.
“I knew it was a crazy thing to say,” Carrillo told the Times. “But the first thing he said was, ‘Maybe I need a few pointers.’”
The captain escorted him in a patrol Jeep to a hilltop golf course when Carrillo gave him pointers to reduce a double-digit handicap last summer, Carrillo said.
“They don’t really have a driving range. It’s a net,” he said.
The trip proved divisive among deputies at the station, where some had no problem while others thought it was illegal, according to Deputy William Cordero.
Cordero, who disapproved, filed a claim contending that other deputies harassed him when he spoke out about the incident. He has since been transferred.