Sheriff-Elect Begins Department House Cleaning, Naming His Staff

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Sheriff-elect Alex Villanueva will follow thru on one of his main campaign promises to rid the department of officials he said contributed to a corrupt culture under previous administrations and some high- ranking executives in the department have already been informed they will be dismissed, it was reported today.

Among those being relieved of duty are Undersheriff Jacques La Berge, four assistant sheriffs, eight chiefs, a communications director and a community outreach director, Danny Leserman, a spokesman for Villanueva, told the Los Angeles Times. The department's two constitutional policing advisors are being transferred to new jobs with Los Angeles County and will be replaced, he said.

“The sheriff-elect said he was going to clean house, and he meant it,” Leserman told the Times. “This is just the start. This is about getting rid of the cronyism, getting rid of the dark parts of the department, so we can really restore the Los Angeles County Sheriff*s Department.”

Leserman made clear that not all of those being let go are accused of bad acts but said the sheriff-elect needed to move people out in order to deploy his team.

Villanueva, who will be sworn in on Monday, will bring back retired Cmdr. Ray Leyva as undersheriff and Cmdr. Robert Olmsted as an assistant sheriff, Leserman said. Capt. Tim Murakami and Lt. LaJuana Haselrig will also become assistant sheriffs.

Photo: Getty Images

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