Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva has received bitterly disappointing news from the county board of supervisors, stripping him of his title as chief of emergency operations citing his prior ineptitude in times of crisis.
The decision was unanimous and comes following Villanueva’s flirtation with the idea of closing down gun stores during the coronavirus pandemic, but was made in response to his mismanagement of the 2018 Woolsey Fire.
The unanimous decision was made on Tuesday morning, several months after the board of supervisors brought up the need to remove the emergency responsibilities from the sheriff’s office. The decision does not change Villanueva’s designation as sheriff, a position he was elected to serve until 2022.
The decision consolidates the emergency response duties with the county’s chief executive, a move Villanueva has called a “brazen attempt to consolidate power.”
“This is pretty much a silent coup, what they’re trying to orchestrate,” Villanueva previously told the news agency, remarking that the board of supervisors was retaliating against him for trying to close gun shops. “We should be worried about masks, about test kits.”
“This is not about him,” Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said at Tuesday’s meeting, which was conducted online, reports the news agency. “He was not really elected to represent county residents. The five of us were,” she continued, arguing the move was a matter of public safety.