By Kelsea Valerio
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva came under fire at the latest LA County Citizens Oversight Commission (COC) meeting—he was accused of making no effort to form a relationship with the Board of Supervisors, refusing to provide oversight of the LA Sheriff’s Department, and hindering the progress of implementing long overdue reforms.
Further malfeasances of Villanueva include challenging Lebron James over the radio to double the monetary reward for finding the gunman who shot two Los Angeles County deputies, and not taking any action to prevent inappropriate distribution of graphic photos of Kobe Bryant’s crash scene by his own deputies.
It was only last month that the former CEO of LA County, Sachi Hamai, was awarded a $1.5 million settlement in a trial against Villanueva, who was found to have lied to the press saying that Hamai purposely withheld first responders’ salaries during quarantine.
Former United States District Judge and current member of the COC, Robert Bonner, commented that Villanueva “has demonstrated on multiple occasions that he lacks the judgment to be the sheriff, and that he’s unable to provide the leadership needed by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.”
Fellow member of the COC Sheila Kuehl was in support of Bonner’s call for Villanueva’s resignation. The sheriff is an independent elected official and can only be stripped of his position in office through a recall or being voted out in a regular election.
Mark Ridley-Thomas, member of the La County Board of Supervisors, said he agrees with Commissioner Bonner, and tweeted, “I remain deeply troubled by the Sheriff’s conduct and the way he has interfered with advancing reform and enhancing accountability. He has consistently failed to cooperate with the @LACountyCOC and the Office of the Inspector General. It. Is. Time.”
I remain deeply troubled by the Sheriff’s conduct and the way he has interfered with advancing reform and enhancing accountability. He has consistently failed to cooperate with the @LACountyCOC and the Office of the Inspector General. It. Is. Time. https://t.co/a90rBuUiLL
— Mark Ridley-Thomas (@mridleythomas) September 18, 2020
It is clear Villanueva intends to continue to hold his position until the end of his term in 2022. He tweeted, “The Board of Supervisors proxy war against me continues unabated. This coordinated effort is direct retaliation for my efforts in exposing corruption at all levels of country government. I will not be deterred.”
The COC will resume at its next meeting October 15.
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