Los Angeles, CA–In a motion co-authored by Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sheila Kuehl, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 yesterday, to explore ways to remove Sheriff Villanueva from Office.
Villanueva has been under extreme public scrutiny despite his short time as head of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. During yesterday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Hahn said that “Villanueva acts like he’s not accountable to anyone but himself.”
Despite her criticism, Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn did not support the motion, saying they did not want to undermine the democratic process of an elected official.
Supervisors Barger and Hahn were not the only ones who showed resistance.
The Los Angeles Democratic Club fell below the 60% vote needed to pass a resolution calling for Villanueva to resign. Following the news, LACDP Chair Mark Gonzalez released the following statement:
“When Democrats elected Sheriff Villanueva in 2018, we elected a progressive to help change the course of law enforcement in our county, keep Angelenos safe, and ensure that the office of the Sheriff held each other accountable. The LA County Democratic Party has always worked to support qualified Democrats up and down the ballot who upheld our party values and worked towards the progress of our state and our country.
In 2019, our body passed a resolution calling on Sheriff Villanueva to, among other things, restore trust in his department and to where to the recommendations on hiring practices by the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission, to end inmate transfers to federal immigration agents and their contractors and more. Tonight, our body took up a formal resolution calling on Sheriff Villanueva to resign.
While a majority of members voted for the resolution, it did not meet the required 60% threshold to pass a resolution.
Make no mistake, while this resolution may have failed, our call for reform and accountability has never been more necessary and required. I stand with LA Democrats in continuing to urge Sheriff Villanueva to refocus his efforts on reforming his department, holding accountable those who fail to uphold their duty to protect and serve, and to work with Democrats across the county to restore trust in him as a leader in our county.”
Read More: LACDP Chair Mark Gonzalez Statement
A report on ways to remove Villanueva has been put on hold until January, when newly elected Holly Mitchell replaces Mark Ridley-Thomas on the Board of Supervisors.
This will be the first time the Board of Supervisors seats are held by all women in L.A County.
Earlier this year, L.A County Counsel Mary Wickham settled for $1.5 million with Hami Sachi, over a letter she sent to L.A County Board of Supervisors, stating she was concerned for her safety after clashing with Villanueva.
Villanueva has also been criticized for his lack of eradicating the alleged deputy gangs within the Sheriff’s Department such as the “executioners.”
“You earn your “ink” by doing violent crimes. It encourages violence. It also encourages a code of silence.”
These gangs recently again became the topic of conversation thanks to a whistleblower in the Compton Sheriff’s Department. Compton Mayor Aja Brown held a press conference in August addressing these deputy gangs.