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High-Ranking Sheriff's Dept. Official Resigns Following Racist Email Scandal

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Tom Angel, chief of staff of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, resigned from his post today after series of racist emails he had forwarded were uncovered last week.

The emails, sent from his work account, included anti-Muslim, racist and sexist "jokes," including this clever gem, one of many obtained by the L.A. Times: "I took my Biology exam last Friday. I was asked to name two things commonly found in cells. Apparently 'Blacks' and 'Mexicans' were NOT the correct answers." Gross.

L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said in a press release, "This incident is one that I find deeply troubling. Chief Angel has offered his resignation, and I have accepted it. I thank him for his many years of service, and wish him and his family well."

He continued:

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In the immediate future, we will be meeting with constituent groups throughout the county to share thoughts and ideas about improving our understanding of the varied cultures and orientations and deepening our appreciation of the many ethnicities and religions that are part of the vibrant fabric of the population we serve. We will also examine our current training framework and evaluate our curriculum in these areas to maximize their effectiveness. In addition, we will assess existing policies and systems for ensuring accountability and enhancing cultural and ethnic sensitivity and professionalism among our personnel. For example, we will implement a new system of random audits of the e-mail accounts of Department personnel.

It's ironic, considering Angel was hired by the Burbank PD with the intent of reforming the department, which had been the target of discrimination and brutality allegations, according to the L.A. Times. Initially, McDonnell said he would not be disciplining Angel, as the emails were sent before he worked for LASD.

L.A. County Board of Supervisors chairwoman Hilda Solis praised McDonnell's decision, telling City News Service, "Sheriff McDonnell has done an admirable job of steering the department in the right directions with necessary reforms.We must move forward and strive for a law enforcement work culture that values diversity and promotes tolerance.'"