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Some Civilian Oversight Commissioners Call For Sheriff Villanueva To Resign

Sheriff Alex Villanueva addressed the news media hours after two of his deputies were shot multiple times in Compton on Saturday, Sept. 12. (Josie Huang/LAist)
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Members of the Civilian Oversight Commission for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department called today for Sheriff Alex Villanueva to resign.

At the Commission's virtual meeting, Commissioner Robert Bonner said:

"It is with great reluctance that I am calling for Sheriff Villanueva to resign. I don't take this step lightly and I do so because it's become apparent that he's demonstrated on multiple occasions that he lacks the judgment needed to be the sheriff and that he's unable to provide the leadership needed by the Sheriff's Department. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department itself deserves better and the men and women of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deserve better."

Bonner is a former federal judge and prosecutor and former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Bonner also cited Villanueva's reinstatement of a deputy fired for misconduct and his resistance to oversight.

His viewpoint? Bonner said he believed no sheriff in modern history has had such a bad relationship with the Board of Supervisors. He said that relationship is key to a well-functioning Sheriff's Department.

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The commission tasked a committee with determining whether to draft a resolution calling on Villanueva to resign, a no-confidence motion, or something else.

At a news conference this afternoon about the fatal shooting of Dijon Kizzee by his deputies in Westmont, the sheriff told reporters he had not heard the calls for his resignation. He accused the commission of crossing the line between "watchdog and attack dog."

His department issued a statement this afternoon saying:

"The fact this motion is even being considered, particularly when two members of our department are recovering from a life-threatening ambush, is morally repugnant and emblematic of the political animosity of the politically-appointed commission.

It is becoming painfully obvious this commission is acting in retaliation against the sheriff for his efforts in investigating potential criminal conduct from county officials and for challenging the legality of subpoenaing the sheriff himself versus the LASD. The sheriff will remain focused on serving the residents of Los Angeles County as he leads the department in investigating the ambush, overseeing the response to the Bobcat Fire evacuations, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic’s impact to the jail system."

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