The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to consider options to remove elected Sheriff Alex Villanueva from office rather than leaving his fate in the hands of voters.
Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn dissented in the 3-2 vote after Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sheila Kuehl co-authored the motion recommending that the county consult with lawyers, its inspector general, the Civilian Oversight Commission and its acting CEO to look at options for removing or impeaching Villanueva before his term concludes in 2022.
The board will also look into whether in the future the position should be appointed, like the Los Angeles Police Department chief, rather than elected. Another proposal under consideration is to create a county police department, diluting the power of the sheriff, CBS Los Angeles reports.
The Board of Supervisors has been at odds with Sheriff Alex Villanueva since he was elected to the position in 2018.
“Under the current sheriff, hard-fought vital progress is being undone, and community trust is rapidly eroding,” the motion states. “While the board has been able to navigate challenging times with previous sheriffs, this sheriff’s actions demonstrate the dire need to explore options for removing a sheriff who refuses oversight or, at a minimum, mitigating damages cause by unacceptable behavior.”
Villanueva released a video response Tuesday afternoon offering to work together with the board to come up with solutions.