The Los Angeles Occasions’ article from July 19, 2019, bore the screaming headline: “Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s son was employed to be a deputy seven months after his father took workplace.” My son utilized to be a deputy when Jim McDonnell was sheriff, and for the report he joined the ranks of roughly 8,000 deputies when he graduated from the Sheriff’s Academy.  A proud second for any mum or dad for certain, despite the Occasions’ curious efforts at sensationalism.  

In stark distinction, when then-Rep. Janice Hahn gained her first time period on the LA County Board of Supervisors in 2016, she quietly employed her personal son to be her “chief strategist,” fairly the skilled leap for a person pulled from being the vice chair of the board of administrators of “Camp Yakety Yak.” So Mother is the direct report for her son, Mark Baucum.  She additionally employed her daughter-in-law, Jaclyn Baucum, to an government place inside county authorities.

Nepotism doesn’t solely reside with the Hahn monarchy. Mark Ridley-Thomas was convicted of public corruption expenses by a jury and sentenced to three ½ years in federal jail for a nepotistic bribery and fraud scheme that corruptly secured advantages for his son, Sebastian Ridley-Thomas.  Sebastian had been elected to the state Meeting on the age of 26, changing Holly J. Mitchell, practically solely because of his father’s political connections. Sure, the identical Holly J. Mitchell at the moment operating for reelection on the Board of Supervisors.

Sebastian abruptly resigned from workplace earlier than his third time period ended, as he was underneath investigation for 2 sexual harassment complaints, which might later decide he “extra seemingly than not” was responsible. Sebastian was now unemployed, so Daddy swooped in and engineered an unlawful “quid-pro-quo” scheme to acquire Sebastian a job as a professor on the College of Southern California, regardless of being unqualified and solely having a bachelor’s diploma when the job historically requires a PhD.

There’s yet one more offender. Allow us to not overlook former Board of Supervisors member Sheila Kuehl and the very fact she has been underneath investigation by the California Workplace of the Lawyer Common. The investigation centers round allegations that $800,000 in pointless and wasteful phone hotline “no-bid” contracts had been quietly awarded to Peace Over Violence, a company run by longtime Kuehl pal, Patricia Giggans. Giggans was additionally appointed by Kuehl to a paid position on the Los Angeles County Sheriff Civilian Oversight Fee.

In essence, corruption inside county authorities poses a extreme risk to the very foundations of democracy and public belief. Transparency and accountability can’t be restricted to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Division.  Good governance requires these values to exist throughout all of county authorities, together with the actions of the board of supervisors and the independently elected sheriff, district lawyer, and county assessor.

The board of supervisors should prioritize open communication channels, making details about decision-making processes, monetary transactions, and coverage implementations readily accessible to the general public. Establishing and sustaining a sturdy system for disclosing authorities actions can function a deterrent to corruption, as officers are held accountable for his or her actions when underneath the scrutiny of an knowledgeable citizenry.  

Implementing stringent oversight mechanisms is equally essential. The county ought to put money into impartial ethics commissions or watchdog companies to observe the conduct of public officers throughout all of county authorities. These our bodies ought to have the authority to analyze allegations of corruption impartially and with out concern of political interference. Common audits and evaluations of presidency expenditures will help determine irregularities and forestall malfeasance.  Appointments ought to be made by a mixture of nominations from all elected officers, not simply the board of supervisors.  At the moment the board nominates nearly all fee members.


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