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Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva called a vote to fire 4,000 unvaccinated employees a “suicide pact” amidst spiking crime.
Villanueva responded to a recent vote by the county board of supervisors on his Twitter page calling the decision, “nothing more than another politically motivated stunt.”
This is nothing more than another politically motivated stunt by the Board, which has no bearing on public health, but will definitely harm public safety.
To view my full statement, please click on the link: https://t.co/ehY5TmWUsQ
— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) February 9, 2022
In the full statement, Villanueva emphasized the hypocrisy of the decision, pointing out that the board casting the vote had been working from home during the pandemic and that the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) employees at risk of termination were working in person before a vaccine was available.
The board’s vote, 4-0 with one abstaining, “ignored the comments made by thousands of their constituents today during their meeting,” Villanueva stated.
The vaccine requirement for county employees had been issued in August 2021 with a compliance deadline of Oct. 1, 2021, Fox 11 Los Angeles reported.
Villanueva has publicly criticized the mandate and declared in October that he would not enforce it.
“I don’t want to be in a position to lose 5, 10% of my workforce overnight on a vaccine mandate.”
LA Sheriff Villanueva says that he will not enforce a vaccine mandate, saying employees are willing to get fired over it. "I don't want to be in a position to lose 5, 10% of my workforce overnight on a vaccine mandate." pic.twitter.com/9DNJTeJUoY
— Alene Tchekmedyian (@AleneTchek) October 7, 2021
With the submission and approval of the motion introduced by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Holly Mitchell, that decision is no longer in Villanueva’s control.
The motion which shifts the power of enforcement from the sheriff to the county personnel director is filled with false claims, according to the sheriff.
“Supervisor Kuehl falsely asserted in her motion that LASD employees represented 74% of infected County employees ignoring the simple fact most infections were during pre-vaccine availability,” he said in an official statement.
Villanueva’s main concern surrounds the “harm [to] public safety” the decision presents. The county has experienced a “94% increase in homicides and. a 59% increase in grand theft auto instances over two years.”
“I say those are the two glaring numbers because, obviously, they’re definitely going in the wrong direction,” Villanueva said. “To date, I’ve yet to have the Board of Supervisors acknowledge this massive increase in criminal homicide. They won’t acknowledge it.”
The supervisors on the county board aren’t the only elected officials out of touch with the escalating crime wave in the state of California.
While visiting the Union Pacific railroad in LA in January, the site of a string of organized train robberies, Governor Gavin Newsom (D) asked, “what the hell is going on? We look like a third-world country.”
Of the thieves, Newsom stated, “These are organized gangs of people that are coming out, and forgive me for saying gangs, that’s not a pejorative.”
So, in the midst of spiking murder and theft that he was seemingly unaware of, Newsom took a reflective moment to make sure that he hadn’t offended the criminals by using the word “gangs.”
To make matters worse, Villanueva pointed to the fact that Los Angeles County refuses to address its current hiring freeze.
We are under a hard hiring freeze and have over 1,500 Department vacancies, yet yesterday the @LACountyCEO denied @LASDHQ’s request for 3 additional academy classes to address public safety. NOW, as we are on the downside of the pandemic, the @LACountyBOS want to terminate ALL pic.twitter.com/Pne12fVc2a
— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) February 3, 2022
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