Embattled LA Probation Chief Jerry Powers Resigns – UPDATED


Late Tuesday afternoon, all five members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors accepted the resignation of LA County Probation Chief Jerry Powers.

As WitnessLA reported earlier, Powers is scheduled to leave his post on January 4.

Powers reportedly has negotiated what is said to be a generous exit package, although details have not yet been made public. This is despite the report that he was asked to resign around the issue of his alleged romantic relationship with his aide, Kym Renner, which sources close to the board said could open LA County to risks of high ticket lawsuits for sexual harassment, or related allegations, should Renner or other employees decide to sue.

In addition, county officials are also looking into reports that Powers bypassed the usual background checks to hire Renner, according to the LA Times’ Garrett Therolf.


LA County Probation Chief Jerry Powers is expected to announce his resignation on Tuesday.

Rumors had been swirling about whether or not Powers would step down as, in recent weeks, the the embattled chief reportedly negotiated privately with county officials about the terms of his possible exit.

Yet, although no announcement has been made in Los Angeles, we have learned that, when he saw a group of colleagues at a meeting for the Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC),where he serves on the executive committee, Powers chatted about the fact that he was leaving his post as the head of the nation’s largest probation department. Meanwhile, back in LA, his agency’s rank and file still didn’t know if their boss was staying or going.

The idea that Powers might be leaving his LA post sooner than planned began surfacing in late October of this year due to allegations of a personal relationship between the chief and his top administrative aide, Kym Renner.

The relationship was considered problematic, not merely because Renner, 42, is his subordinate, but because there was evidence that the 52-year-old Powers began the relationship prior to Renner joining the LA County Probation Department. In addition, Powers reportedly brought Renner on board at a salary that is now nearly twice what she was making in a prior position in Stanislaus County.

Powers, if you’ll remember, was the probation chief for Stanislaus County before taking the job in LA in the fall of 2011. Renner, who was married when Powers took the LA job, worked in Human Resources for the same county with a base salary of $87,812. In August of 2013, Renner—who was then still going by her married name of Vieira—-left Stanislaus to take a job as director of human resources in Redondo Beach, at a base salary of $32,505.

Four months later, on December 16, 2013, Vieira/Renner went to work at LA County Probation as Chief Powers’ closest aide. At present, Renner oversees the department’s $820 million budget, accounting and expenditures, for a base salary of $159,660, plus benefits—bringing the total package well past $200,000.


Due to concern that Powers’ alleged relationship with Renner could potentially leave the county exposed to a large sexual harassment lawsuit, should Renner wish to take legal action, LA County officials hired an outside law firm to look into, among other things, whether any romantic relationship preceded her hiring.

One of the elements that caused the relationship rumors to hit critical mass in October was when each member of the board received an anonymous email that contained what were purported to be scans of receipts for three-different purchases and deliveries of flowers sent by Powers to Renner, each complete with a mushy message along the order of: I LOVE YOU AND I ALWAYS WILL.

(WitnessLA too received the mailing with the flower receipts.)

The first of the supposed flower deliveries took place on December 6, 2013, when Renner was still working at Redondo. The second floral arrangement was supposedly delivered to Renner at probation headquarters on January 8, 2014. The third delivery of two dozen long-stemmed roses was again supposedly sent to Renner at probation headquarters, this time on February 11, 2014, in advance of Valentine’s Day.

In addition to the flower orders, WitnessLA, along with at least some of the supervisors, received a copy of what appears to be a receipt for COSCO-purchased airline and accommodations reservations for a trip for two to Jamaica booked for May 8-15, 2015, in the names of Jerry Powers and Kym Renner, for a total package price of $4277.98, with Powers listed as the purchaser.

WitnessLA also has a copy of a receipt for a 2014 trip to Mexico, with both Powers and Renner listed on the reservations.

More tellingly, perhaps, in addition we have a receipt showing flowers and candy sent to Renner, along with a note signed: JP (YOUR HERO). The delivery date for the items is October 15, 2013, two months before Renner was hired at LA County Probation.

Word is that Powers may leave his post as chief as soon as January 4.


  • He is in an at-will position and should have immediately been fired as soon as his corrupt acts were discovered. He publicized his discrimination against employees over age 50 within the first 3-6 months of being hired. He should have been fired right then. Most of the corrupt LA County managers hold at-will positions.

  • I hope to sue for my job back. Since I was fired, after being shoved off a flight of stairs by a fellow probation officer, even while fighting a Workman Comp case. It was this Cheifs intentions to fire anyone who did not abide by every little rule. Or had a perfect work record. With all the close minded management in this department to screw every staff member, it’s amazing that there’s any staff left!

  • He should be fired immediately! He did not hesitate to fire me in 2012 due to an off duty incident that occurred while I was on vacation in Las Vegas.

  • What a joke many current high ranking la county officials have done much worst and by firing chief they will continue with their fraud and immoral practices. Much of the department is a disgrace an un biased audit would make the allegations against the chief look meaningless.

  • What is truly enraging is the fact that Powers will receive his full salary (possibly even more when his perks and benefits are factored in) in retirement. A lifetime paid vacation on the taxpayer. He has been known to boast about “double dipping” by getting onto the State payroll or obtaining a consulting job with Warner and Pank LLC, a highly regarded governmental relations and legislative advocacy firm.

    As far as Powers’ mistress goes, how humiliating for Jeremy and the rest of the Renner family to read the social media comments referring to her as pr#$@!tute and h*%. Clearly, she didn’t have the credentials to get the job on her own. Now we know she doesn’t have the intelligence and work ethic to be successful in the position.

    @ Anny mous: Your comment makes no sense. “by firing chief high ranking county officials will continue with their fraud and immoral practices.” Looks like something the mistress would write.

  • The Board of Supervisors utilize an exhausting process to seek and secure the most a moral individuals to hold the position of chief probation officer, all to serve as a means to an end; these individuals are expected to act on every irresponsible action and or instruction given by the Board of Supervisors. JERRY Powers spent a ridiculous sum of the taxpayers’ money On a baseless Workmen’s Comp. fraud investigation that fail to net any results close to the allegations publicly made by chief JERRY Powers. He has at the request of the Board of Supervisors or with their knowledge actively created financial hardships to force injured employees to return back to work , Behavior contrary to their medical providers instructions and a great risk to them medically. Via the creation of bogus policy or suspects directives he has force disabled and or aged employees (majority African-American )out of the department; change in the distribution of Long term and Workmen’s Comp. benefits, utilizing discriminatory practices in the distribution of 4850 benefits disallowing employees the use of their time on the books, forcing employees into situations where medical benefits must be paid out of pocket and utilizing practices during the hiring of new employees to ensure African-Americans are the last to be hired and the first to be eliminate.
    Please understand JERRY Powers is just a symptom LA County Board of Supervisors is the disease.


  • He should be fired along with her. If they have enough proof that such acts (fraud, theft, etc) exist, there should not be “negotiating” with him. If anyone else does it, they would not be offered “an exit package”. It is immediate intervention by firing. His administration have been the ones really running the department while he is out on vacation all the time, [WLA edit] and misusing of county time and taxpayers monies, so why wait til Jan. 4. It has been widely known that he had this date (1-4-16) target a while ago so again he is leaving on his terms and the not the terms of the taxpayers! He must go now. Message needs to be sent out to his future employers……….Do NOT HIRE HIM or HER in any criminal justice JOBS or positions in this STATE!!!

  • Decades in this dept, and I continue to be disappointed. To be fair, Powers took a sinking ship and righted it. He brought the dept back into the forefront of community corrections and was at the helm during some tremendously progressive moves (AB109 rollout, the end of DOJ and ACLU, revised promotional processes, etc). He raised the bar on Profesionalism and accountability. People were once again proud to say that they worked for the largest Probation Dept in the world. That being said, you absolutely cannot claim those victories and live a lie, holding yourself to a different standard. Time to go. Who/what is next? Is there anyone internally that can do the job? Bring someone from the outside who will immediately be met with distrust? Undoubtedly, the unions will push their agenda on the new BOS members and ask for payback for financing their elections. Be careful what you wish for, folks. Stop celebrating one man’s demise and think about what this means for you today, tomorrow, next year.
    In regards to the comments above… is incredibly difficult to get terminated from County employment. You practically have to be caught doing the dirty deed on camera, with multiple witnesses and be a repeat offender. There are so many layers of oversight with internal Counsel, County Counsel, Skelly Hearing, Civil Service Board, etc. No one individual has the power to terminate you. Time to look in the mirror.

  • Cheryl Denise, if memory serves me right, didn’t black probation employees win a class action lawsuit against the county, where they were awarded preferential treatment in both hiring and promotions? Didn’t the effects of that settlement result in a massive amount of black employees being promoted over all other groups, to the point that there are more black supervisors than any other group, even when they make up only 10% of the workforce?

    I agree Powers was a scumbag who had his comeuppance, but you are going to have a hard time complaining about the treatment of black employees from the perspective of other probation employees.

  • #14. The ranks of Probation Officers are full of thugs. Have you been to a Juvenile Hall lately? They dress and act like the thug children they are housing. They interfere when you try to interview a kid at a hall. They are a waste of county employee numbers.


    Hey, to the few of you who have posted—or tried to post—creepy sexist comments, kindly cease and desist. I’ve trashed several. Your mothers, wives, and daughters would not be proud.

    Thanks in advance,


  • LATGB,
    Please stay focused, in no way does critiquing and or addressing management ‘s treatment of aged and disabled African-American employees take away from any other disparities in treatment of other Ethnicities. If the only thing you got from that post was to make a criticism about something you clearly know nothing about, that’s unfortunate for you. Is this kind of limited focus that does not allow us to see and understand that it is possible To address disparities in treatment of one ethnicity without it being to the exclusion of other ethnicities. Again, stay focused we are not each other’s enemies,; we are supposed to be on the same team.

  • Hey Bruh you could have just drove down Fig and got yo fix. Now that he gone can we tell da kids to bobsled, or line up? Or are we still just passing out cookies and telling little Jerome that everything’s going to be okay just go see mental health and take this little pill. This department is broken. There isn’t anybody that can fix it. The management in this department should work for waste management because that’s what they are, GARBAGE. I personally watch them abused children throw their meal plates across the room and now they have the nerve to discipline the new staff for something simple as cursing. This department is a joke. I’m embarrassed to tell people that I’m a probation officer. I’ll just take my hundred dollar dollar of your job and hopefully retire because there is no hope for this broken department.

  • Finally the Devil got his nasty TAIL stepped on and unleashed his lil Romance Triangle that was discovered! He had this image that he was going to steer the Dept to the right direction… He scripted “Titanic II”…. Politics came into play like always,Upper Admin hooking up there own people. Now that the ATTENTION was focused on him for his wrongdoing, he decided to take the back door with his Devil TAIL between his legs. So much Power in his hands & he got burned. This is why this Dept is not recognized as a Legit law enforcement agency because the dirty crap staff leading to the Chief do within the Dept. Whatever happened to that Upper Management corrupted individual selling “Fake Diplomas” from UC & CSU institutions… remember that incident??

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