LA County Probation Chief Jerry Powers to Answer Board’s Questions as Rumors of a Problematic Relationship Swirl

Although the closed-door meeting referenced in the story below resulted in “nothing to report,” the matter is reportedly not over, so stay-tuned for additional news this week. (Updated Sept. 9 2015)


On Tuesday, the LA County Board of Supervisors will reportedly meet in a closed-door session with Probation Chief Jerry Powers to discuss a personal relationship that Powers may or may not be having with his top administrative aide, Kym Renner.

If the allegations of a relationship are true, this will be problematic for Powers. For one thing, Renner, 42, is his subordinate. But, more relevantly, sources say 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 the present time, Renner oversees the department’s nearly billion dollar budget, accounting and expenditures, for a base salary of $159,660, plus benefits—bringing the total package well past $200,000.

As to who called the upcoming meeting with the supervisors, that depends on whom you ask. Powers says the Supes wanted to meet to talk about the reported personal relationship. On Monday night, sources close to the board told us that Powers wanted the meeting to announce his retirement that, according to our sources, would have taken place in January.

Most recently, however, according to department sources, Powers told several department members and others that he wasn’t leaving “with this out there.”

By “this” Powers presumably means the allegations of an improper relationship.


One of the elements that reportedly caused the relationship rumors to hit critical mass 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 purported 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.

Renner reportedly told the Times’ Therolf that she never received the flowers in question, and denied a romantic relationship with Powers, suggesting that union officials who have long-been at odds with the chief had ginned up the supposed receipts.

In addition to the putative flower orders, however, 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—the “Couples Negril Package,” to be exact— 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 the purported purchaser.

WitnessLA reached out to Chief Powers multiple times on Monday for comments on the above issues and on the retirement talk, but despite assurances that we would hear back, the day and evening ended without a call from the chief.


Initially, Powers was popular with many of the county’s juvenile advocates and others due to his strong support of such projects as the innovative Freedom School program that was expanded this past summer to multiple juvenile probation camps, and the $53 million Camp Kilpatrick project, a soon-to-open juvenile facility that, it is hoped, will pioneer a new relationship-centric, therapeutic model for helping kids.

More recently, however, Powers has been criticized for reportedly failing to accomplish a list of much-needed reforms in both the juvenile and adult probation realms despite a shrinking number of kids and adults on the county’s caseload and a yearly budget that is higher than it has ever been.

So will Jerry Powers stay or go?

In the last 48 hours or so, Powers has reportedly given his closest staffers conflicting messages about whether he is exiting or fighting to remain.

So stay tuned.


  • Under Powers the Department has quickly disciplined and at times imposed very harsh punishments. Staff have been ineligible for promotion or demoted post promotion based on an incident that occurred years prior that was previously resolved through the disciplinary process. Of course some people should never have been hired much less promoted and some deserved to be punished but this has been an empire of ruthlessness. If these allegations are true, how ironic that he of all people lied and covered.

  • Have some self respect and dignity to others, please leave LA County and take your trash with you.

  • Wow!!! Both deserve to be fired for defrauding the taxpayers and charge with a crime. Both should never be allowed to have another job in law enforcement. As a Chief you control all the hiring no matter what. He KNOWS better. The dotting of “I” and crossing “t” for her hiring was all a fraud and both knew it. his soon to be ex- wife in Staniulas County had to leave her career of double digit years in Probation because they chose their relationship (he was Chief there prior to LA) and rightfully reported well before he was Chief there. So he knew there was a conflict of interest with Renner from the get-go and he continued to hire the mistress=FIRE. I expect that our taxpayers’ money will be reimbursed by pressing charges for stealing $$$$ out of the county coffers? Now, I don’t believe one word he says or she. BOS can not accept a resignation or the voters will fire them at next elections. Do not cover this up. The right thing needs to be done so his and her wrongs can be righted. Fire both if such proof of flowers, trips, conferences( staying same room but wasting taxpayers by getting two rooms), and who know what else they did behind closed doors. I am sure both will say nothing did but We do not believe them anymore!!!!! ! Waste of our monies!!!! Wow!

  • Will the unions be pursuing a “no confidence” vote? Who wants liars to decide what other peoples’ working conditions will be? Both were incompetent to begin with so the dishonesty is just the icing on the cake.

  • To every single supporter, follower, … Kool Aid drinker of JP: go back and review the many news articles on him.
    Sadly, most have not been abt probation services but instead abt JP’s ineptitude, his ethics (or lack thereof), his hypocrisy, & now, his professional decisions (made with his other “head”) which has exposed LA County to a fat, sexual harassment claim & a loss of $10 mil in state funding — all bc he hired his seriously unqualified … uhhh, what do you call a person who’s providing “benefits” for 6-figures?!?!
    So I say to you JP cheerleaders: go back & review the articles, your comments … go back & review everything. In fact, here’s a link to your rah-rah in 2013:

    I beg y’all to ally yourselves with him now b/c if you don’t already know — it’s coming. JP has no other choice.

  • So is Renner going to be fired???? This lady has no budget background yet she is in charge of a billion dollar budget! She only has a background in HR, was never put through the background check that EVERYONE else is subjected to AND she has fleeced millions of tax payers dollars for her, Powers and probably many of those standing CEO Executives who allowed her to get hired and stay on the job KNOWING she was not qualified in the first place. Where does the hypocrisy end!!! How about those in the CEO office like Lisa Garrett who was in charge of hiring her and knew she did not go through a full background and vetting process. Garrett embraced this lady and “showed her the ropes.” REALLY?!?! Our tax dollars have been shafted for too many years! We are paying way too much for these officials salaries and there is no oversight! Renner, Garrett, Sheila Williams in the CEO Office and Sachi Hamai the CEO of the County all need to be FIRED! Board of Supervisors do your job and stop turning a blind eye to these illegal monstrosities! We need new leadership in the CEO and Board of Supervisors. It’s all a shame and the County of LA needs to wake up and clean house!!!!

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