OPTIONS FOR REMOVING THE SHERIFF… BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY, INCLUDING ABUSE OF THE SUBPOENA PROCESS AND POLITICAL THEATER
April 4, 2022
On October 27, 2020, a motion by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who has since been indicted on 20 counts of public corruption, ordered County Counsel, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Civilian Oversight Commission (COC), and “justice advocates” to pursue:
- Options for removing or impeaching the Los Angeles County Sheriff, including any necessary changes to the County Charter or County Code.
- Legislative changes required to authorize an appointed Sheriff, including the path and timeline required to amend the California Constitution and Los Angeles County Charter as needed.
- Legislative changes required to potentially remove certain existing responsibilities of the Sheriff, such as municipal law enforcement services and court services, as well as the authority of the County Board of Supervisors to appoint a County Sheriff.
- Any other mitigation measures that could be taken to curtail the Sheriff’s resistance to transparency, accountability, and the faithful performance of duties for the benefit of the residents of the County.
Since then, every move these entities have made involving the Sheriff’s Department has been part of a coordinated effort to achieve this goal. Today, the Court ruled on one of these coordinated efforts which has been weaponized regarding subpoena appearances. There are still many unanswered questions, and we will appeal this decision to the Court of Appeal.
It is important to realize the OIG and the COC receive regular updates as to their information requests and have received thousands upon thousands of documents to inform them regarding oversight. These subpoenas are political theater and if successful, I will be the first elected official subjected to this heavy-handed abuse of power, in the State of California. I seek a remedy in the appellate court to establish a fair process going forward where the rules and standards are clear for all sheriffs and Boards of Supervisors throughout the state in dealing with the new transparency laws should they find themselves in similar disagreement.
I remain committed to transparency and accountability, but under a process which is constitutionally sound, and not a political weapon to attack others, so I will appeal this to the court of appeal and await the outcome. In the meantime, I will be happy to engage in another public discussion on the issues, if the true motive is informing the public.
SHERIFF ALEX VILLANUEVA