Sheriff: 4,000 in department will lose jobs over vaccine mandate

With Sheriff Alex Villanueva declining to enforce the county’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate among his deputies, the Board of Supervisors Tuesday gave preliminary approval to a proposal that would give the county personnel director overriding authority to discipline any employees who fail to comply with the requirement.

Villanueva condemned the proposal, calling it a “death blow to public safety” that would result in the firing 4,000 members of his department.

Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Holly Mitchell introduced the motion, saying countywide compliance with the employee vaccine mandate “remains a challenge four months after its issuance.” They noted that as of Feb. 1, 81.5% of the county’s 100,000 employees were fully vaccinated as required by the mandate.

But in the sheriff’s department, less than 60% of employees were in compliance with the vaccine mandate.

“Unsurprisingly, approximately 74% of the more than 5,000 COVID-19- related workers’ compensation claims filed by county employees as of Jan. 29, 2022, have been filed by employees in the sheriff’s department,” according to the motion. “This data illustrates vaccinations’ vital role in limiting the spread of COVID-19 and thus, the urgent need to increase vaccination rates across the entire county workforce.”

The motion directs county attorneys to work with the CEO and personnel director to develop proposed amendments to county Civil Service rules, giving the personnel director “overriding authority to discipline the employees of any county department for noncompliance with the county’s policy or directives related to the policy.” Those proposed amendments will be reviewed by the board at its March 15 meeting for final consideration.

The motion was approved on a 4-0 vote, with Supervisor Kathryn Barger abstaining.

The authority to discipline — or terminate — employees who violate the mandate currently rests with individual department heads, such as the sheriff. The motion states that such an arrangement “has allowed for inconsistent application and enforcement of the policy and wide variety from department to department.”

Villanueva, who has encouraged people to consider getting vaccinated, has spoken out against the county’s vaccine mandate, saying it would decimate the ranks of what he calls an already depleted department. He said deputies should have the option of undergoing regular testing rather than being forced to get vaccinated.

The sheriff spoke via telephone at the beginning of the Board of Supervisors’ meeting Tuesday, and called the proposed shift in disciplinary authority a “death blow to public safety in Los Angeles County” that would have little impact.

He said 9,881 department members are fully vaccinated, and in the last 30 days, 342 have tested positive, for a 3.46% positivity rate. Among the 5,766 unvaccinated members, 221 tested positive in the last 30 days, for a 3.83% positivity rate.

“Your motion is going to seek to basically cause us to actually lose 4,000 employees, for a grand total of 0.4% improvement in positivity rate,” he said. “(That) is not exactly benefit to public safety. We’re coming off two years of a historically high 94% increase in homicide rate, 64% increase in grand theft auto. And this is just not sustainable. The current situation is not sustainable. The hiring freeze is not sustainable.

“… This is ill-advised, illogical and probably in the long run illegal,” Villanueva said. “And by the time we figure out the legality of it, we’re going to be past the pandemic, which will make the result irrelevant. I urge you to deescalate, dial back the rhetoric and find some common ground — testing or vaccination, and we’re doing that right now.”

On Monday, an attorney for the Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association sent a letter to the board objecting to the proposal, saying it would violate the county charter and amount to an overstepping of the board’s authority.

“Any attempt to take over the sheriff’s ability to oversee the disciplinary process for his employees, it is submitted, would certainly not survive legal scrutiny by the courts who would likely fine the BOS exceeded their authority under well-established legal principals,” attorney James Cunningham wrote.

Citing a 1977 court ruling, Cunningham added, “Such supervisory control by the BOS would directly conflict with the admonition that `the board has no power to perform county officers’ statutory duties for them or direct the manner in which duties are performed.”‘

Under questioning by Kuehl, an attorney for the county said flatly Tuesday that the board has full legal authority to shift disciplinary authority for the vaccine mandate to the personnel director. Kuehl said employees’ refusal to get vaccinated or at least request an exemption “really puts county lives at risk, and it is simply unacceptable.”

“To protect county lives … we have to enforce this mandate,” she said. “Every department head must be serious about enforcing departmental and countywide policies. … Not all of our department heads have recognized that this policy is critically necessary and will save lives. … We are not going to permit county lives to be jeopardized by an individual decision not to comply with county policy. If you, county department head, will not take this seriously … the county director of personnel is willing to do so.”

Barger abstained from the vote, saying she didn’t support changing policy in response to the actions of a single person — Villanueva.

“To change now over one individual or one manager, I don’t feel is appropriate,” she said.

She suggested that county administrators need to do more to work with the sheriff’s department and labor union leaders to reach a solution that will not result in the mass firing of essential workers.

Supervisor Janice Hahn said she hopes the proposed change in policy would motivate more people to adhere to the mandate, saying she hopes “once they understand what the end game is, they will take the opportunity to get vaccinated.”

Hahn also said the county should consider lifting a hiring freeze on the sheriff’s department and increasing recruit academies to ensure the agency can maintain public safety if large numbers of deputies are terminated as a result of the vaccine mandate.


STATEMENT BY SHERIFF VILLANUEVA

Today the Board of Supervisors followed through on their threat and voted 4-0 (1 abstention) to form a suicide pact and start the process to fire 4,000 deputies for not being vaccinated.  Showing deliberate indifference to the obvious impact on public safety, the Board hid behind an alleged threat to public safety they couldn’t back up with data.  Tellingly, the Board’s own County Counsel (Rodrigo Castro-Silva) couldn’t offer even a basic legal opinion on the legality of the Board’s motion, or the obvious legal challenges they will face.

The Board, who ignored the comments made by thousands of their constituents today during their meeting, is now seeking to fire the very same personnel who were forced to work in person, exposing themselves to the COVID-19 virus when there was no vaccine, while the Supervisors and most of the workforce were telecommuting from the comfort and safety of their own homes.  Supervisor Kuehl falsely asserted in her motion that LASD employees represented 74% of infected County employees, ignoring the simple fact most infections were during pre-vaccine availability.

This moral failure of leadership represents a curious backtracking of their position on the authority of the Human Resources Director to override the authority of the sheriff.  At the beginning of my tenure they claimed I did not have the authority to hire and fire my workforce.  Now they are claiming the opposite and need to remove that delegated authority from me!

It is important to remember Department personnel who chose not to vaccinate are required to submit to weekly COVID testing, and have committed no administrative offense.

This is nothing more than another politically motivated stunt by the Board, which has no bearing on public health, but will definitely harm public safety.

Alex Villanueva

Sheriff

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

63 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
West
West
4 months ago

The threat to health we’re told this “novel coronavirus represents” is the same degree of threat as a typical seasonal influenza, and a threat to the same people: those close to the ends of their lives. Now you know this, you cannot tolerate what’s being done in the name of public health. But don’t look to figures of authority to point this out. They’re either captured in “mass formation” (they genuinely believe the narrative) or are the silent middle, who know it’s all wrong but who lack the knowledge and/or confidence to oppose what’s happening. It may make you shiver… Read more »

Danielle Harris
Danielle Harris
4 months ago

Question: Where is Supervisor candidate Lindsey Horvath on this? Silence while she wants the job.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
4 months ago

Villanueva has to go.

WehoFan
WehoFan
4 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

When will you resign?

Last edited 4 months ago by WehoFan
greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
4 months ago
Reply to  WehoFan

I really hope you get help for your paranoia.

Josh Kurpies
Josh Kurpies
4 months ago

The only “moral failure in leadership” here is the Sheriff himself for allowing his department to ignore masking mandates and vaccine requirements. The Sheriff whines about hiring freezes and low deputy counts yet turns a blind eye to the costs to the County associated with the fact that “74% of the more than 5,000 COVID-19- related workers’ compensation claims filed by county employees as of Jan. 29, 2022, have been filed by employees in the sheriff’s department”. The Sheriff is a coward for not standing up to the Deputies and LA Peace Officers Association from the beginning and enforcing the… Read more »

Stevie
Stevie
4 months ago
Reply to  Josh Kurpies

At least get your false facts right Karen, the LA Peace Officers Association isn’t the union for deputies, ALADS represents them. Now go play with the other queen hacks clutching your pearl necklace, it’s starting to fade.

Jimmy palmieri
Jimmy palmieri
4 months ago
Reply to  Josh Kurpies

^^this^^

John Ryan
John Ryan
4 months ago

Fire Villanueva.

WehoFan
WehoFan
4 months ago
Reply to  John Ryan

John Ryan? This must be a fake greeneyedguy account.

Danielle Harris
Danielle Harris
4 months ago
Reply to  John Ryan

Um, he’s elected if you hadn’t heard.

Mark Reese
Mark Reese
4 months ago

Only 4,000? Why not discharge the entire entity? Maybe first responders with a law degree tasked with assigning cases to specialized detectives would reduce malpractice, brutality and prejudice. This is a quasi-military entity that actually performs double duty in West Hollywood as unqualified “police officers”. I have been waiting for a year and a half for assistance with an identity theft, asset theft, burglaries, and worse. So far I have gotten hung up on and ignored in the precinct station. Where are all of the people? Is it just me or are others noticing the empty gay bars, sidewalks, streets,… Read more »

SeeMe
SeeMe
4 months ago

The real menace to society here is the Sheriff, a public servant who believes his morals are more important than mandates. His lack of enforcement and support of the mandate has trickled down to his deputies and the blood shed by their firing is on his hands. His statement is a threat, congruent with his reputation as a gang leader.

WehoFan
WehoFan
2 months ago
Reply to  SeeMe

Mandates didn’t work!

john
john
4 months ago

A few months ago there was a study/survey by the New York Times, where 40% of Democrats thought there was a 50% chance of being hospitalized if someone contracted Covid.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
4 months ago
Reply to  john

Can you link the study/survey you’re referring to?

john
john
4 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Yes

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/18/briefing/atlanta-shootings-kamala-harris-tax-deadline-2021.html

look at the chart…it’s actually 41%! Chart is below the first 6 or so paragraphs.

Why do you think everything you disagree with is made up?

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
4 months ago
Reply to  john

“Why do you think everything you disagree with is made up?” …I simply asked you to link the survey. Can you calm down? This is article from NYT is almost a year old. Why did you say a few months ago? The vaccine was not widely available yet. Seems as if Republicans were wrong about things as well: “More than one-third of Republican voters, for example, said that people without Covid symptoms could not spread the virus. Similar shares said that Covid was killing fewer people than either the seasonal flu or vehicle crashes. All of those beliefs are wrong,… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by greeneyedguy
john
john
4 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Dems think they are so informed. I bet you did not know about Hunter Biden using the N-word, several times, in texts to his lawyer…but if it was Trump’s son, left wing news would be nonstop on reporting on that.

WehoFan
WehoFan
4 months ago
Reply to  john

Ignore greeneydguy. He’s just looking for a chance to label and insult you.

Last edited 4 months ago by WehoFan
Tom
Tom
4 months ago

You know what’s a “death blow to public safety?” Not doing your fu@&ing job. Kick him to the curd.

WehoFan
WehoFan
4 months ago
Reply to  Tom

*curb. You’re violent and can’t spell.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
4 months ago
Reply to  WehoFan

Bullying people who disagree with you again?

Stevie
Stevie
4 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Bullying people? Chrissy Teigen, you’re too too too too too much. Now go get a new pearl necklace, it’s starting to fade.

WehoFan
WehoFan
4 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

.

Last edited 4 months ago by WehoFan
Citizen
Citizen
4 months ago

If this is the state of law-enforcement in Los Angeles County, and more specifically the sheriffs department, then I fear for the civic stability of Los Angeles. It is pathetic that a vaccine proven to be effective by tens of millions of people across the world, and preventing countless deaths, is “not good enough“ for these moronic Neanderthal thugs with guns we call “law enforcement officers“. Fire them all and hire people who actually have a sense of civic responsibility, intelligence , and commitment to protecting their fellow citizens. Firing them should be the most lenient punishment of the many… Read more »

carleton cronin
carleton cronin
4 months ago

Let’s seen – the pandemic is caused by a virus which is easily transmissible by air – exhaled breath – and a vaccine is available to prevent sickness and death and a simple filter paper mask can help contain infections. Yet, we have millions of people who refuse to acknowledge any of the above – despite success of the vaccines, statements from reputable scientists – but, wait a minute. You can’t tell me what to do! I’m an American!!

Mental Stability
Mental Stability
4 months ago

Perhaps folks should be mandated to take a mental stability test in order to exercise free speech and actions.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
4 months ago

Wow, someone doesn’t believe in our constitution…

Stevie
Stevie
4 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Yet someone wants to force an injection into other people against their will. Where is that allowed in the constitution?

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
4 months ago
Reply to  Stevie

Who wants to force in injection against someone’s will? Are you crazy?

How are the Nazi rallies in Florida?

TruthTeller
TruthTeller
4 months ago

Lol fabric (or paper masks) don’t prevent you catching and spreading Covid. That myth was dispelled a long time ago.

Vaccines are about personal health. Not public. When a triple vaxxed person can catch (and spread Covid), these mandates make zero rational sense.

At this point it’s just all politics and “punishing” those with a different value system.

If people want to remain unvaxxed that’s their poor choice. It doesn’t impact you at all, and if you argue it does you’re stuck in the past.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
4 months ago
Reply to  TruthTeller

Vaccines are about personal health. Not public.”

When hospitals got overwhelmed many many times throughout the pandemic and had to cancel elective surgeries and other procedures- it becomes public health.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
4 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

The whole premise behind wide spread vaccinations is to create “herd immunity” that ultimately eliminates the disease. This situation is so sad and it is pathetic for the Sheriff to claim to be defending the “moral high ground”.

Stevie
Stevie
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Wide spread forced vaccinations may cause “herd immunity” but it doesn’t stop the spread of the virus. Countless people have been infected after receiving the Lets Go Brandon jab.

TruthTeller
TruthTeller
4 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

If you suffer a heart attack tomorrow, I guarantee you, the hospital won’t turn you away. Hospitals were NEVER “overwhelmed”.

That’s hysterical nonsense. Be annoyed at this all you want. Someone else getting sick and dying from
Covid DOESN’T impact you if you’re vaccinated.

C.R.
C.R.
4 months ago
Reply to  TruthTeller

Well my mother has not been able to schedule spinal surgery because hospitals want to minimize whatever they can due to covid. The fact is people who refuse to get vaccinated and take up hospital space are a plague of their own and this does affect others unnecessarily.

TruthTeller
TruthTeller
4 months ago
Reply to  C.R.

I wonder how you feel about smokers with lung cancer? Their poor choices also clog up hospitals. As do obese people who suffer heart attacks. Again, more poor choices. And how about children who fall out of a tree and break their arm? Poor choices sending people to hospital again. And before you say it, vaxxed catch and spread Covid too, so “obesity isn’t contagious” is a moot point. An individuals choice to not get vaccinated is a poor choice. But unless you’re advocating that healthcare be allocated on a merit based system (that denies the obese/unhealthy/irresponsible) then you’re just… Read more »

C.R.
C.R.
4 months ago
Reply to  TruthTeller

No, the fact is the other ailments you have described are managed just fine in the hospital system. It’s almost entirely unvaccinated people who have to be hospitalized and that’s easily preventable with a free vaccine. There’s no vaccine which easily stops hospitalization from obesity or heart disease or drug addiction. Just to make this perfectly clear, the unvaccinated are not victims. They never will be either no matter how much time goes by. Years from now if someone tells me they chose not to get vaccinated during this time, you better believe that’s still going to be a morality… Read more »

TruthTeller
TruthTeller
4 months ago
Reply to  C.R.

“Morality dealbreaker”. And therein lies the problem. The politicization of Covid. It stopped being about “the science” a long time ago. Now it’s about punishing those who pose no threat to you beyond your fractured ego. It always amazes me the most bigoted, most intolerant in society, are also the most morally righteous. I mean here you are talking about morality, yet celebrating death as a comeuppance. I chose to get vaccinated. The vax status of others does not affect me. If you argue it does, you’re willfully ignorant. Let them make their choice and suffer whatever consequences come. That’s… Read more »

C.R.
C.R.
4 months ago
Reply to  TruthTeller

What did I say that’s “celebrating death as a comeuppance?” Nothing. The vax status of others does in turn affect others because the overwhelming percentage of covid patients taking up hospital space are UNVACCINATED and this is clearly unnecessary. So my mother cannot schedule her spinal surgery due to hospitals not taking on a lot of other patients’ needs and this has kept her in a lot of pain. COMPRENDE??? Unvaccinated people deserve to be persecuted socially for years to come over this. Your lack of caring about the healthcare system is what’s ghoulish. I fully encourage you to express… Read more »

TruthTeller
TruthTeller
4 months ago
Reply to  C.R.

What’s not resonating with you?

An unvaxxed person taking up a hospital bed is literally no different to an obese 40 year old who suffers a heart attack.

Poor personal choices lead to poor outcomes. Whether that’s to remain unvaxxed or eat to the point of obesity.

If you’re advocating that healthcare be allocated based on merit then keep that same energy for smokers/the obese/children falling out of trees etc.

But you won’t.
Because this is political for you.

C.R.
C.R.
4 months ago
Reply to  TruthTeller

What’s not resonating with me is that there’s not been a surge of heart attack patients that are overwhelming hospitals disproportionately so that other patient needs cannot be addressed in hospitals due to heart attack patients. As we have in fact seen with covid cases taking up disproportionate amounts of space. You’re done here, there’s no getting around this no matter what other pointless random ad hominems to covid patients you want to insert just to act the contrarian.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
4 months ago
Reply to  TruthTeller

Hospitals were NEVER “overwhelmed”

This is a lie.

TruthTeller
TruthTeller
4 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Not a lie. Hospitals never hit 100% capacity. Ever.

Not here in LA.

There were always empty beds and staff available.

You’re conflating overwhelmed with utilized.

TruthTeller
TruthTeller
4 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

I’d say it’s cute you think 10 hospitals at capacity is an “overwhelmed” healthcare system. But it’s not cute.

It’s actually scary. You’re so easily manipulated by profit driven media.

Fear mongering works. You’re proof of that.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
4 months ago
Reply to  TruthTeller

I have friends and family that work in the healthcare system. Are they lying too?

Fear mongering works”…right and thats why you conspiracy freaks will always fall for disinformation.

TruthTeller
TruthTeller
4 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

“My friends told me..”. Dude. Look at actual f*cking data. You can see the capacity of LA county hospitals at any given time at data.thecalifornian. You’re here sharing (profit driven) media articles about 10 hospitals in Southern California at capacity as though that’s supposed to carry some kind of gravitas? 10 hospitals in all of Southern California!? LA County alone has 90 hospitals! It’s called cherry picking data to push a narrative. Media agencies do it all the time to sell you the worst news possible. Be smarter. But you won’t though. Because you’re so emotionally invested at this point… Read more »

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
4 months ago
Reply to  TruthTeller

“Not a lie. Hospitals never hit 100% capacity. Ever.”

So are you admitting you lied now? Just because 100% of hospitals aren’t above capacity, means that none were?

“10 hospitals in all of Southern California!?”

I don’t think you understand how geography works.

And I only included anecdotal evidence because you already believe everything from the media is a conspiracy. Are all of those doctors and public health officials quoted in these articles lying to you?

Hospitals were NEVER “overwhelmed” <– this is 100% a lie and you’re trying to get out of it now. It’s pathetic and delusional.

Last edited 4 months ago by greeneyedguy
TruthTeller
TruthTeller
4 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

If you have 1,000 grains of rice. And 999 of them are white. 1 of them is brown. It is not accurate to say “the rice is brown”.

But if you want people to believe the rice is brown, you’ll focus on that one grain. Get it?

Not a difficult concept.
But here we are…

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
4 months ago
Reply to  TruthTeller

1000 grains of rice and 100 are brown.

There is brown rice. You can’t dispute this fact.

This is sad I have to explain this to you again and again.

Hospitals were overwhelmed. This is a fact. Continue to live in an alternate reality.

TruthTeller
TruthTeller
4 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Lol even with 100 grains of brown rice, the statement “The rice isn’t brown” is more accurate than “The rice is brown”.

If 10 in 100 hospitals were overwhelmed, then the statement “hospitals (as a collective group) were overwhelmed” is false.

The mental gymnastics required to make exceptions the norm must be exhausting.

Absolute bizarro world.

Randy
Randy
4 months ago

Sad, but true. This Country is pathetic. They are piling up thousands upon thousand of bodies in India, and elsewhere, while ass-hats continue with their science denial and BS.

WehoFan
WehoFan
4 months ago
Reply to  Randy

You are an angry guy Randy. This country isn’t your problem.

West
West
4 months ago

Actually, many scientist and Doctors have vigorously disagreed.

Including Nobel Laureates.

You didn’t hear about it, because you are trapped in an information prison.

Randy
Randy
4 months ago
Reply to  West

Please, snap out of your denial and ignorance. I was born in the 70’s. Up until recently, getting a vaccination to protect the public was non-controversial. Then it became partisan politics, a halo of toxic things that started with Palin, which reached a peak, after the 2016 Presidential election. Not that it is relevant, but you are too cute for that. Tragic, how you feel. You will regret this, later in life. You would regret this, if, God forbid, you, or someone you care about were to be seriously hospitalized and/or die from this completely avoidable virus. You said you… Read more »

WehoFan
WehoFan
4 months ago

Carlton, you are mocking working class people for losing their careers and livelihood. You have become the old curmudgeon elitist. You just can’t see it.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
4 months ago
Reply to  WehoFan

The vaccines are free. Nothing elitist about that.

TruthTeller
TruthTeller
4 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Lol at you thinking elitism is about money rather than power.

WehoFan
WehoFan
4 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Get off your laptop and drive a truck. Your food/packages don’t magically show up.

C.R.
C.R.
4 months ago
Reply to  WehoFan

The petulant special snowflake truck drivers who are opposed to getting a free vaccine like 90 percent of their colleagues in the trucking industry have, are not and never will be victims in this scenario. Every time you try to play this card for the unvaxxed by choice crowd, it’s going to be shredded, and that goes for years to come as well.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
4 months ago
Reply to  C.R.

Uh oh. You disagreed with “Wehofan”

He’s going to accuse you of being a city hall employee soon!

Click to Hide Advanced Floating Content

0
0
votes
Article Rating
63
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x