Former Lengthy Seaside Police Chief Robert Luna wasted no time earlier than criticizing Sheriff Alex Villanueva within the first one-on-one debate for the highest regulation enforcement place in Los Angeles County.
“I consider the division, proper now, is dysfunctional,” Luna mentioned.
Villanueva defended his report towards Luna as the controversy became a back-and-forth between the 2 candidates. Each are vying for voters’ assist forward of the November election for Sheriff of Los Angeles County.
The digital occasion was hosted by the Sherman Oaks Owners Affiliation and moderated by Fox 11.
“Once I ran 4 years in the past it was to reform, rebuild and restore the Sheriff’s Division and we have now executed precisely that,” Villanueva responded.
The incumbent additionally criticized Luna, who not too long ago retired as Chief of Police for Lengthy Seaside, claiming there was a “failure of management” in the course of the civil unrest in 2020. Villanueva added that the Sheriff’s Division helped safe Lengthy Seaside in addition to different districts.
“We really managed to safe all the county areas underneath our jurisdiction [and] saved them protected,” Villanueva mentioned. “Then we went as far as [to] safe Lengthy Seaside, Santa Monica, the Fairfax district.”
The candidates had been additionally requested a couple of latest L.A. County Board of Supervisors vote that accredited a measure asking voters within the fall to grant them the ability to fireside the Sheriff.
“The Board of Supervisors, their objectives and aspirations [are] to regulate all of county authorities,” mentioned Villanueva. “They don’t wish to have an independently elected Sheriff who could make their very own impartial resolution.”
Luna mentioned that the Board wouldn’t have accredited the measure if there was not a “rogue sheriff” in workplace.
“The underside line is we have now a Sheriff that is not holding himself accountable,” he mentioned. “He isn’t complying with subpoenas.”
The 2 candidates did agree on the position of the Sheriff as the highest regulation enforcement official within the county.
“The Sheriff is the No. 1 regulation enforcement particular person within the County of Los Angeles,” Luna mentioned. “Though LAPD straight patrols your neighborhood, the Sheriff’s [deputies] oversee the courts. They oversee the jails, the custody operations.”
Whereas they agreed on the Sheriff’s position, Luna and Villanueva clashed on the division intervening within the homeless disaster, particularly, addressing the incident the place deputies cleaned up encampments on the Venice Seaside Boardwalk in June 2021.
“As the highest regulation enforcement official within the county, my accountability does not finish within the limits of my jurisdiction,” Villanueva mentioned. “I set foot on Venice as a result of Venice Boardwalk was actually falling aside.”
Luna rebuked the Sheriff’s response and claimed that the Sheriff was not “totally engaged” in fixing the homelessness disaster.
“Simply since you present up on the day of the cleanup sporting a cowboy hat, does not imply you had been really totally engaged in fixing it,” he mentioned.
Villanueva claimed that his presence on the boardwalk “made a distinction” and mentioned that Luna would somewhat “eat his personal liver” than taking such actions.
In the end, Luna mentioned that he’s the one who can restore the damaged relationship between county officers and the division. Whereas, Villanueva mentioned he has the assist of the L.A. County residents, which in his opinion, is an important relationship.