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O.C. Undersheriff John Scott Named Interim L.A. County Sheriff

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The L.A. County Board of Supervisors made a decision today on who will lead the L.A. County Sheriff's Department until this year's election.Current Orange County Undersheriff John Scott was chosen after several closed-door meetings. The vote was a unanimous 4-0, with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas abstaining, the L.A. Times reports.

"With considerable experience in law enforcement and strong leadership qualities, John Scott will be a superb interim sheriff to lead the department until voters elect a new sheriff," Supervisor Mike Antonovich said in a statement.

Scott started his career in law enforcement with the LASD and stayed there for 35 years before retiring in 2005. He left for Orange County in 2008, according to City News Service. His wife, Alice, was also a captain in the department before she retired.

"The Sheriff's Department is at a crossroads, and John has the necessary experience and skills to step in right away and lead in the interim,'' said Supervisor Don Knabe in today's news conference. "During his tenure with Orange County, John has been instrumental in turning around a department that faced similar conditions to those we face today in Los Angeles County."

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Initially, Baca recommended in his resignation speech that Assistant Sheriff Terri McDonald should head the department until a new sheriff is elected. Those plans were quickly dashed when it was found out that McDonald did not have the necessary requirements for the job, the Times reports.

Scott takes over a beleaguered department that has been under a microscope in recent years. An FBI investigation into abuses in the jails led to the indictment of 18 current and former department employees. Baca resigned in early January, citing the desire to leave "on [his] own terms."

A primary election for sheriff will take place on June 3. If there is no clear victor, the top two vote-getters will move on to the Nov. 2 election.

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