Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva addresses vaccine mandates at a information convention in downtown Los Angeles on Nov. 2, 2021. Villanueva warned the county’s vaccine mandate is inflicting a “mass exodus’” within the sheriff’s division calling it an “imminent menace to public security’” if terminations happen in his division. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Occasions/TNS)

Alene Tchekmedyian

Los Angeles Occasions

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday moved to take COVID-19 vaccine mandate enforcement duties away from Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who has repeatedly stated he wouldn’t hearth deputies who refuse to get vaccinated.

“Sadly, the Sheriff’s Division is the one division within the county that’s refused to implement this coverage,” stated Supervisor Janice Hahn, who supported the proposal to alter civil service guidelines to present the enforcement authority to the county’s personnel director. “I believe we have been left with no different selection.”


Hahn and three supervisors voted to approve the movement; Supervisor Kathryn Barger abstained. The board requested for a draft of the brand new guidelines by subsequent month.

In remarks at Tuesday’s digital board assembly, Villanueva known as the transfer “in poor health suggested,” saying it will serve a “dying blow” to public security within the county.

“I simply urge you to de-escalate and dial again the rhetoric, and let’s discover some frequent floor — testing or vaccination, and we’re doing that proper now,” Villanueva stated.

On social media the evening earlier than, Villanueva made dramatic claims framing Tuesday’s vote as a movement to fireside 18,000 county staff — together with 4,000 from the Sheriff’s Division — for not being vaccinated.

Although the rule change would apply to all county departments, it permits the personnel director to present enforcement management again to division heads who’re complying with the mandate, and the county’s coverage provides staff 5 alternatives to adjust to the mandate earlier than they’d face termination.

As of Tuesday, a county spokesperson stated, 83% of the county’s roughly 100,000 staff have been totally vaccinated. Fifteen full-time staff and 133 short-term or seasonal staff had been fired for noncompliance.

“I can see why he wears a giant hat, as a result of he pulls a number of numbers proper out of it, most of which may’t be substantiated,” Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, the movement’s creator, stated about Villanueva. “We’ve elevated the individuals who work for him, we’ve elevated the price range. And on this case, we’ve an absolute proper to say these are our staff, not yours.”

Hahn prompt that the board raise the hiring freeze for the Sheriff’s Division and improve the variety of academy courses for brand new deputies to ensure the company maintains ample staffing ranges.

Villanueva has repeatedly criticized the vaccine mandate, saying he received’t drive his deputies to get inoculated. He has stated he’s requiring unvaccinated staff to get examined weekly and has threatened to self-discipline staff for insubordination in the event that they refuse to share their vaccination standing.

This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Occasions.

©2022 Los Angeles Occasions. Go to latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content material Company, LLC.

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