LANCASTER — A bloody, painted cow's tongue found outside the entrance to a welfare office represented "a Santeria or voodoo ritual" but not a death threat, concluded a report by Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators released Thursday.
Scraps of paper bearing the names of 14 workers at the county Department of Public and Social Services office were pinned to the yellow-painted tongue, which was discovered hanging from a tree at the department's office on East Avenue K early on July 28.
Two or more department employees carried out the ritual, which they considered would "prevent certain employees from gossiping or speaking badly about an administrator at that facility," according to Sheriff's Deputy Tonia Bower.
Sheriff's Sgt. Jerry Wolf said office politics had created a "hostile work environment," and some of those who sympathized with the administrator left the tongue in an attempt "to make someone stop talking evil."