To the editor: Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell strove tirelessly to clean up the mess created by the lack of accountability and oversight in the out-of-control department overseen by his predecessor, Lee Baca.
Now we see our new sheriff, Alex Villanueva, striving equally tirelessly to undo those reforms and reinstitute the kind of cronyism that was seriously damaging the department. Since our sheriff is an elected position, a folly in itself, our county Board of Supervisors is nearly powerless to correct this travesty.
This leads me to two suggestions: the first is a recall effort to get rid of Villanueva, and the second is to determine how our supervisors can use their budget power to change the sheriff’s behavior. How about reducing the department’s budget by five times the salary of any terminated deputy that he rehires?
Gordon J. Louttit, Manhattan Beach
To the editor: Steve Lopez’s column expressing dismay over Villanueva’s election has the answer in the print edition’s kicker headline: “Recent history suggests electing the top cop isn’t getting us the most qualified candidate for the job.”
Substitute “president” for “top cop.”
The problems with elections, and democracy, are manifold. It is a terrible system, but the others are worse.
Kim C. Cox, El Cajon
To the editor: Now we have the “Trumpification” of the Sheriff’s Department. Since when has it been common for current officeholders to denigrate their predecessors?
Barry Davis, Agoura Hills