Sheriff Alex Villanueva

LA County’s 42 Contract Cities Write Letter to Sheriff Villanueva Expressing “a Unique Set of Concerns” With His Actions

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

The California Contract Cities Association, which represents the 42 cities that contract for law enforcement services with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, has sent LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva a letter expressing “unique concerns” about various news stories describing the sheriff’s recent actions.

The letter, dated April 15, which WitnessLA has obtained, points in particular to news stories about the sheriff’s ongoing conflicts with the county’s board of supervisors, which the association’s executive board members said they feared could result in “fewer resources to keep our cities safe and our deputies well equipped and trained.”

But worse than that, it seemed, were the stories about Villanueva’s controversial re-hires, which the executive board called “a cause of increasing concern” among the association’s membership.

Sheriff Villanueva, two weeks after his swearing in, speaking to members of the California Contract Cities Association at the Association’s December 18, 2018, Welcome Reception for the brand new sheriff: photo via the California Contract Cities Association.

“There is significant risk associated with reinstating deputies who have a history of excessive force or other misconduct and were previously dismissed in accordance with long-established department policy,” the  board of directors wrote.  This was “particularly” true, they said,  “if those deputies are ever assigned to a contract city.”

Such an assignment would pose “an increased risk and potential for costly and undesired liability,” they continued, should one of these reinstated deputies with problematic behavior in his or her past “be involved in any future incidents that lead to litigation.”

The board said that each of the cities owe it to their “residents and business owners” to make sure their cities were “served by peace officers of the highest quality and performance.”

On top of those concerns, the association’s board also expressed unhappiness with an exchange taken from an interview with the sheriff published on April 5, in the Los Angeles Times.  The portion they referenced was as follows:

Q. Is there anything you want to say to those voters, or to the mayors of the cities in Los Angeles County who contract with your department for policing, given all the turmoil that’s going on?

A. They couldn’t care less. The mayors of the contract cities, they’re excited that we’re actually turning over the process of picking who their station commanders are — their chiefs of police. We’re breaking down a lot of barriers. We’re using a collaborative process that reflects the will of the community.

This answer Sheriff Villanueva appeared to have given the LA Times turned out to be particularly disquieting for the board.

“While we realize quotes are sometimes taken out of context or not completely accurate,” the association wrote, “any representation that mayors, council members, or city managers ‘couldn’t care less’ is inaccurate and highly troubling. Each of our elected officials and city managers places public safety as their number one priority.”

With all of this in mind, the association asked Villanueva for a meeting to discuss the sheriff’s positions on their concerns, and to clarify their own positions, both as partners, and as “your largest customer in the County.”


Mutual benefit

For those unfamiliar, the contract service arrangement that the LASD began in the mid-1950s, offers policing to such incorporated LA County cities as Lakewood, La Mirada, Malibu, West Hollywood, Rosemead, Southgate, Lynwood, Palmdale, Lancaster, and lots more.

The contract model offers a wide range of services, and allows each city to choose the level of service they want, buffet style, thus choosing the number of deputies and supervisors, et al, that best meets the individual city’s needs.

Part of the attraction of the contract arrangement is that costs and resources are shared, with cities paying only their proportionate “user costs,” and not paying, if say, some of La Mirada’s deputies have to rush to Pico Rivera when there is an emergency. Thus, contract cities can draw upon the full resources of the largest sheriff’s department in the world, when needed, while on most days, only paying for the time and personnel that various cities require, which theoretically means far better policing for less money than a separate city police force could provide.

These contract law enforcement programs are also highly beneficial to the department, in that they provide combined annual revenue for the LASD of approximately $600 million.

According to the board, with every newly elected sheriff in Los Angeles County, the association and the sheriff’s department have been pretty successful at forging good relationships “based on trust and mutual respect.”

With this  in mind, the organization threw a welcome reception for the then brand new sheriff on December 18, 2018.

Now, however, the association’s various cities and their leaders are worried.

We asked Brian Moriguchi, who is president of the Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association (PPOA), for his thoughts on the letter.  (PPOA is the union that serves most of the LASD’s supervisors.)

“The comments made by the California Contract Cities Association should be of serious concern to the sheriff,” Moriguchi told us.  “These 42 contract cities are really the bread and butter of this department. And to sour that relationship could do significant damage, and not just to the department, but to the public that we serve in those contract cities.”

WitnessLA also reached out to members of the association’s board, and their executive director, Marcel Rodarte, to find out whether or not they have heard back from Sheriff Villanueva or a member of his command staff in order to set up the meeting they requested in the letter.

Rodarte got back to us late Wednesday afternoon, with kind apologies for not being available sooner.

“As we state in our letter,” he wrote,  “we hope to arrange a meeting with Sheriff Villanueva and his key staff in the near future to discuss our concerns.”

(Readers may read the letter for themselves here:  April 15 Letter to Sheriff Villanueva from Contract Cities)


Get this and other essential justice stories delivered directly to your inbox by subscribing to The California Justice Report, WitnessLA’s weekly roundup of news and views from California and beyond. Read past editions – here.

50 Comments

  • You quoted Mariguchi?? Hahahaha… He’s a clown that no one respects or takes seriously. Why don’t you write a story on Brian as to how he snuck money from our dues to a Sheriff’s campaign without the board’s approval. Ask Brian why he tried to barter/strongarm a promotion from Lindsey and Villanueva for a promotion to an influential position. Both of them told him to kick rocks. Ask Brian how did he endorse McDonnell without ever interviewing AV. That’s a story in itself Celeste.

    This letter from the board of contract cities is hogwash at best and if I’m AV, I wouldn’t even meet with them. This is a typical childish act by the BOS. Almost as stupid as the Mary Wickham telemarketer phone call.

    Consider your sources, especially when Brian is one of them. Enough already with this garbage reporting.

    • Would love to see evidence or proof of your speculations and hearsay regarding Brian, other than proving it, youre pissing in the wind.

          • @Enough already,
            You’re a typical whining voice in the crowd attempting to incite others who listen to your false narrative.

            Here’s a professional tip for you, other than your opinion, please have factual and actual information within your correspondence.

          • Ask your buddy Brian. Maybe he’ll post another explanation here.

            Or LASD Apostle will surface again with an explanation. GTFOH

    • Your allegations are proof of a crim7nal act. Have you 8nformed anyone of what you know ?
      Or are you intentionally suppressing indictable information.

      • @Ron Carter

        WTF are you talking about? “Suppressing indictable information?” Like I said, ask your buddy about it. Or better yet bring it up your next board meeting.

  • Wait, I just went to the CA Contract Cities Association’s web site and they have plastered photos with AV at a reception they hosted for him recently. There’s also a wonderful write up by them about AV. I really call BS on this story. Another self motivated and agenda driven story by Celeste. Like our parents told us, Consider the Source. No wonder no one reads this blog.

  • Editor’s note:

    “Enough already,” I’m so sorry for the confusion. I’ve updated the story to make it clear that the welcome reception you mentioned, that was held by the association for the sheriff—and resulted in all those great photos—took place on December 18, 2018. You can see for yourself if you click on the link to the photo album on Flickr I provided in the text and then click on any one of the individual photos, which you’ll then see are dated.

    Thanks for bringing it up. I meant to include one of the photos in the story originally, but I got rushed and forgot. One for that December 18 reception is in there now.

    Plus there’s now a link to the association’s letter.

    Thanks again.

    C.

  • “The problem with the media – is that if you talk to it, it will use things against you. And that if you don’t talk to it, it will use things against you”

  • Here’s my question, if the Board of the contract cities has a good relationship with the Sheriff, why not call him and invite him to a meeting or go see him regarding their concerns. Additionally, why was this letter leaked to the press? It’s obvious it was the BOS since they were cc’d on it just like every other leaked snap shot of a story they leaked. Finally, why the fuck would anyone want crooked Brian’s comments? He’s irrelevant and has no clue about anything except pretending to be smarter than he is. Quoting him made this story lose even more credibility than it had. It went from 1/2 to – 5.

  • “Enough Already,” enough already. You’re embarrassing yourself. No….I’m not Brian Moriguchi. I have little respect for the man. I once approached him for help with an obviously unfair process involving one of Tanaka’s minions, he ignored the issue and sided with Tanaka’s boy…making sure HE (Brian) stayed safe.

    Regarding the letter, as a patrol sergeant, I used to remind the troops that LASD is fundamentally different from LAPD. We operated much more like a business and our livelihoods depended on the level of service we provided the contract cities. Compared to LAPD and other agencies, I’ve always been proud of that service and intentionally live in a city patrolled by LASD for that reason. We just do a better job.

    The AV apologists will blame the media and everyone else for his missteps, mistakes and misstatements, but THIS, coming from all 42 of our customer cities is another indicator of his incompetence and should concern everyone. It’s a warning shot….cities HAVE ended their contract with us in the past and Lancaster is currently starting their own “safety” department to augment the Sheriff’s contract, which we’re not able to meet.

    Everyone knows station captains are highly coveted positions. I wonder if all the women who sit on the councils of those 42 cities will notice the disproportionate number of station captains who are men.

    • @LASD Apostle….your statement, “the disproportionate number of station captains who are men” appears to be self-serving. This was the case under the previous administration. Nonetheless, I believe AV has promoted more women and not just to the Capt. level. Please refrain from trying to create a #METOO movement.

  • When I read these comments of people placing blame everywhere except with Alex I wonder if the comments are made by enamored deputies, executives or Alex himself. They all seem to have the same attitude and just cant comprehend how bad he is at being Sheriff.

    • @Sad times…..when I read comments such as yours, they remind me of how the pundits, media and general haters stated that the POTUS didn’t know what he was doing. At times I ponder whether the disdain for AV is because he is the first Latino Sheriff or people just genuinely despise him.

      • He’s not the first Latino Sheriff. Look up the history of the LA County Sheriffs or look at the wall of pictures of all past Sheriffs in the Media Conf Room. Omg, give us a break and quit playing the race card.

  • Why would we blame Alex? All this staged nonsense against him is a political BS by BOS and PPOA Board. Don’t think your behind the door gatherings of the dumb and dumber is a secret. Your own self serving participants are also leaks to others as well.

    AV has done nothing but try to improve the department and right the wrongs of the past and provide opportunities for those who never had an opportunity because they weren’t the cool kids. The department LOVES him and you just can’t stand it. Mainly because none of you were promoted and even shipped out. No one takes the banter of disgruntled old men’s whining seriously anyway. Maybe you should have earned your keep during your careers and not skated on someone’s coattails while at the same time thinking you were smarter than everyone else. Move along and crawl back in your miserable hole.

    You have officially lost the popularity contest kid!

  • The clock is ticking for our sheriff. Would hope he understands the need for a positive relationship between the department and all the other stakeholders. If not, there will be more troubling times ahead. If he was ignorant enough to blow off a meeting with the Contract Cities, as suggested in these comments, it would deal a blow to the department we would not soon recover from. He might not yet fully understand the ramifications of his actions at this point, but if he continues on this path, a recall effort may well be in his future.

    • @Getagrip
      That was my suggestion if they were compelled to write that stupid letter by the BOS. Considering they recently hosted a reception for him and seem to love him and his approach to having them pick their own captains from a qualified list. The guy could find a cure for cancer and you haters will still find something wrong with it.

      You’ll be… “How could he find a cure for cancer? The pharmaceutical companies will go bankrupt and many people will lose their jobs, the economy will fail… Ughhhhh… He’s failing again.. He’s now found the cure for cancer… Recall him.. Before he finds other cures for deadly deseases… The horror…”

      Now you see how stupid you guys sound?

      • Interesting how when someone disagrees with you that you immediately go on a personal attack. I am by no means a “hater” of the sheriff. I do, however, rely on a few decades of experience in law and politics. I am not advocating one way or another; just pointing out the obvious: he has angered/confounded a number of people/agencies/departments he needs for LASD to function. By doing so, he is playing a dangerous and unnecessary hand.

        • @Getagrip

          He hasn’t angered anyone except the BOS and Brian. Everything else is a staged clown show they’re acting in just to make the Sheriff look bad. Don’t be fooled by what you read from Celeste, Maya Lau and the Times Editorial board. All these outlets are foolishly allowing their baseless sources to use them to further their hateful agendas.

          • So Richard Drooyan didn’t write his letter to the sheriff? The sheriff didn’t refer County Counsel as “sharks” during a Board meeting? He hasn’t caused unnecessary angst with residents of ELA by reactivating the “Fort Apache” mantra there? He didn’t fire Ray Leyva because Leyva wouldn’t give him a thumb’s up to some of his wackier plans? He isn’t insisting on rehiring a deputy who lost in Civil Service? We will see how this plays out. I know a lot of department members who have been horrified at what’s been going on. He has issues, and not all of them are good.

  • As a retiree all I can say is ALL of this is very sad and quite disrespectful for sworn and civilian line staff and citizens who are ill served by both the dialogue in social media and the apparent slide of what should be the preeminent law enforcement agency in the world. Aim higher please.

    • Again, if everyone loves the guy and it’s not in accord with your views, thoughts and feelings, therefore we’re all stupid and misguided. GTFOH with that bullshit.

      You’re freaking out because he’s gaining in popularity ten fold and your stupid plan is not only failing but backfiring.

      • “The Department LOVES him,” and “He’s gaining in popularity ten-fold.” I have not heard even one Department member say that. Open your eyes…

  • Those were some great pics of the executive board. Is it just me or do they not all seem to look miserable? The suits should have taken the time to either shine their shoes or buy a new pair.

  • @Enough Already
    You state that nobody reads this blog yet you have the most posts. Not sure why you hate PPOA so much or maybe you hate Brian. Did they not represent you properly on a case? You seem to have a vast knowledge on how things should be done, why don’t you become the president of PPOA. You could correct all the wrongs and we could call you “Little V”. So the contract cities have an issue and simply put it in a letter to the sheriff. That’s the way it works.

    People seem to blame AV, well, he is the sheriff. Who should get the blame?

    From what I gather AV is correcting all the wrongs, your words, from the past. It seems like he wants to give everybody a trophy. I really hope he does what some on here claim he will do. Time will tell.

    Contract cities don’t want problematic deputies in their area. As a city manager would I want my city on the news in a negative light when a problematic deputies steps out of line, perhaps again. The sheriff’s department provides a service, we should be dam good at what we do and who we hire to do it.

    • Someone has to put a lid on your fake news posts is the only reason I even visit this blog. Do I give it an ounce of credence, hell no!

      Nothing like allowing some slug run their mouths without getting checked. Since you won’t have the cojones to voice your beef to anyone in person, this is the only way communicate with you.

  • Is Enough Already for real? Or is it Madame Kong using another pseudonym? Even if one loves AV, one must admit he has made some stupid moves and picked the wrong fights. And, you should be grateful for that union of yours instead of complaining and whining. If it were not for the union, many of your ilk, perhaps you, would not have that nice job, it would be easier to fire you and would not have the great pay, job security and pension you have. So, please, stop whining. I, too, wish your union would disappear, but its not happening any day soon. Finally, please do not forget that those cities are, in essence, the folks that pay a significant portion of your salary. What happened to customer service. If I remember correctly, the words on the side of your patrol car say something about a tradition of service. Live up to it.

  • I have to laugh at all the suckers on this forum that bought into the BOS game. AV has made a lot of good moves and few bad ones, yet you wouldn’t know it by reading Celeste. This whole letter thing is a stunt spun by Sheila Khuel to make the sheriff look bad, and the contract board complied like meek little sheep. SHEILA is throwing everything she can at our sheriff to delegitimize him, but it won’t work in the long run.

    • Yes!!! How about we replace all the BOS and solve the problem. They just don’t like being told what to do by a paisa!

  • @Fed Up

    Exactly, finally someone other than me that gets it.

    Then we have the “ughhhhh.. What is your issue with PPOA? Brian is an honest guy.. Ughhhhh.. How dare you attack us… Ughhhhh… We PPOA old white guys are smarter than you and your minority Sheriff… Ughhhhh… This can’t be.. I was passed up and deserve to be promoted. Brian, do something… Make this bad man stop and promote me… Ughhhhh… I have no power to screw deputies over anymore… Ughhhhh “.. (while stomping feet and flailing arms).

    • @Enough already: You already shot your wad, especially with numerous unsubstantiated comments on the blog that you love to hate. Real winner you are.

  • Ever since I can remember I felt pain When I accidentally hit myself below the waist. As a child riding my bicycle up in the alps and slipping off my seat and onto the frame would hurt bad. Good times!

    We should line up all these self proclaimed bad asses and conduct a serious cup check. It’s time to stop living behind the shadows!!

  • Is it possible that Enough Already passed the psych assessment? Do other folks really understand him, as he believes? I certainly hope he no longer has a badge and a gun.

    • @cf

      I passed my psych and have had a great career and have my badge and gun. Unlike you, I paid my dues and worked my ass off and did over 10 years on patrol, DB, promoted and here I am. You’re so drilled into talking shit about AV that you can’t see beyond your desk monitor you’ve spent majority of your career staring at.

      I’m overly elated and happy along with every other department member that we finally have a Sheriff who has a mind of his own and cares about everyone. You and all the other haters just can’t fathom the idea that AV is taking this department in the right direction, cares about diversity and has allowed those folks who are diomonds in the rough to finally have an opportunity for growth.

      You most likely rode on someone’s coattails and were promised things you banked on until AV took your prize package away. You’re probably bitter because now you have to work and have been slung back to patrol to make up for all the lost years you avoided. Now go back to work and sign those PCD’s.

      • “Has allowed those folks who are diamonds in the rough to finally have an opportunity for growth.” Growth from Lieutenant to Chief or Assistant Sheriff? Who does that? Growth is promoting step by step and learning and gaining much-needed experience along the way.

        • It took McDonnell two years to assemble his crack management team, and they ended up being all the idiots who were promoted “step by step” by none other than Banaka. How did that work out? LOL. I much prefer the AV method, let’s see where it goes.

      • Not even…

        There is no one CF could be employed in law enforcement in any capacity. Maybe in a civilian support role or as a disgruntled uncivil servant. Perhaps even a wanabe who could never get hired by a law enforcement agency.

  • The sheriff said he was getting rid of the Norwalk captain! What happened with that?? I guess it was just a show, I hate to say this , but he’s always bashing the sheriff and his executive staff not cool. The sheriff and his staff should set up a meeting with the deputies asap. Lots of clicks there.

  • Hey PPOA what happened to your wanna be AFLAc insurance you shysters were trying to peddle? Give me back my money!!!

    • Joe Garza, shame on you for signing up for that sham. We all know that everything PPOA touches goes to SH*T. No one to blame here but yourself. Get out of PPOA dude and come over to LASPA where we treat you with respect. Also just get AFLAC and you’ll be ok.

  • As I read the posts, I am not only appalled but frustrated. AV becomes the new Sheriff makes changes (right, wrong or indifferent) and people begin to chastise him and want him removed from office. How pathetic is that? AV won the election fair & square. He is doing what he said he was going to do (R3). AV is a mature, intelligent individual. If he fails, then he has no one to blame but himself. We all know that the BOS (Khuel) is trying to prove that she has a bigger pair and is instigating (along with other possible Dept. members) to delegitimize AV’s position (I’ve heard this somewhere else before, hmmm). There are two options here, either go along or get along.

  • Y’all a bunch of pussy snitches throwing sand at each other. And if you are gonna throw shade on the president of PPOA at least learn how to spell his last name. Flippin moron.

Leave a Comment