The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California launched a website Monday to call public attention to the fact that the Sheriff of Los Angeles is an elected position and that Jim McDonnell, by refusing to participate in a debate this past Saturday, thinks he’s above making a case for the public trust he holds.
“Did you know that the Los Angeles County Sheriff is an elected official?” the ACLU asks. “The sheriff holds a tremendous amount of power with responsibilities… LA voters, it is up to YOU to decide who YOU think is the right sheriff for Los Angeles County.”
The site then lists bios for the candidates, explicitly noting that McDonnell refused to provide one.
“I spent 32 years with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, serving in 24 different assignments, and obtained the rank of Commander. In this time of complex law enforcement issues, the community deserves transparency, can handle truth, and doesn’t need a politically motivated solution packages to mislead the residents of the county. I will give unending and unparalleled attention to the communities of Los Angeles County and to our beloved sworn and professional staff of the Sheriff’s Department.”
Mr. McDonnell did not provide a photo, bio, or website.
“Villanueva has over 30 years experience with the LASD and was founding president of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Professional Association. A recognized reformer in the organization, Villanueva led the drive to ban smoking in the jail system and fought against corruption within the Baca administration. A military veteran, Villanueva holds a Doctorate in Public Administration and is a published author and educator in the field of criminal justice.”
The ACLU will be holding a second debate on Saturday, May 19 at 6 p.m, though it’s unknown if McDonnell will show up at that one either. Click here if you’d like to attend.
Also out Monday, National Public Radio reporter Frank Stoltze summarized the ACLU debate, highlighting McDonnell’s refusal to participate and some of the unrefuted arguments against him.
“We do not value serving the community,” Alex Villanueva is quoted as saying of LASD’s recent culture, particularly under McDonnell. “We value self-service.”