Retired Long Beach Police chief Robert Luna Projection: To win the Los Angeles Sheriff election. This will remove a scandal-plagued incumbent. He has repeatedly covered up deputy misconduct, and retaliated towards public officials who tried bringing the department to account.

It was just four years ago. Alex Villanueva He was the first Democratic sheriff to be elected and the first person to defeat an incumbent sheriff for more than 100 years. But the moment was gone. Villanueva His support had evaporated when he was up for reelection. The Los Angeles County Democratic Party called on him to resign In 2021 and finally endorsed Luna This was earlier in the year. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors moved to ask voters to give the board the authority to remove an elected sheriff. During the June primary elections, Villanueva Only 30.66% of voters voted, prompting a runoff. LunaWith 25.85% of votes, he came in second.

Villanueva He conceded Tuesday’s race when it became obvious that the uncounted ballots couldn’t close the nearly 20% gap between him, and Luna. County Measure A would grant the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is expected to approve the power, by supermajority vote to remove an elected Sheriff for cause. This additional rebuke of Villanueva. As of Tuesday, more than 40 percentage points had been gained by the yes votes.

Despite being a Democrat, with vague promises of reform, Villanueva He quickly reacted to show contempt for the people who elected him to office. He called For putting “wokeism” “out of its misery in 2022” He refused to make COVID vaccine mandatory for his staff. He denied that there is a well-documented Gang crisis within the department. According whistleblowers to deputies, there are groups operating amidst this chaos. shadow branch of government. He has defied subpoenas from the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission related to his handling of COVID-19 in the county’s jails and allegations that he tried to cover up his deputies sharing photos from Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash.

Those who worked to hold the sheriff’s department accountable have faced personal attacks from Villanueva. For many years. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) investigated LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl was a outspoken critic VillanuevaFor taking bribes. After prosecutors declined to file charges, citing a lack of evidence, armed LASD deputies showed up at Kuehl’s home and seized phones, iPads and laptops, a move a Los Angeles Columnist for the Times described You can also use it as a “vindictive political stunt.” Below VillanuevaLASD also initiated a criminal investigation against Inspector General Max Huntsman. banned the county’s top watchdog from entering LASD facilities and databases.

After the Los Angeles Times reported on LASD officials’ attempt to cover up an incident in which a deputy knelt on the head of a handcuffed incarcerated man for three minutes, Villanueva threatened To pursue the journalist who reported the news in a criminal leak investigation.

Retired Long Beach Police chief Robert Luna It has been awarded the Los Angeles County sheriff’s contest.

Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

As sheriff Villanueva presides over the largest jail system in the country, which incarcerates nearly 15,000 people — most of whom have not been convicted of a crime. In September, American Civil Liberties Union accused Officials of running a “barbaric” In this system, prisoners are kept in chains for days and left to sleep on the ground without blankets. They also have no access to medicine or toilets.

Luna Has made vague promises to “reform and modernize” the sheriff’s department and “eradicate” Although deputy gangs were involved, progressives expressed doubts about his willingness to work for meaningful change. Vote Luna Is “about harm reduction,” Knock LA is a progressive, independent media outlet wrote in its voter guide.

“Luna meets the bare minimum requirements for a viable alternative to Villanueva as sheriff — he has demonstrated that he is capable of interacting with other elected officials in a functional, constructive fashion; he sees the role of sheriff as existing to fulfill a public purpose beyond the pursuit of personal grievances and political witch hunts; and he is not dedicated to using his platform to amplify the most disgusting right-wing conspiracy theories and extremist positions,” Knock LA wrote. “It’s an embarrassingly low bar, but he clears it.”