This afternoon (2/8/22), the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (BOS) voted to approve Agenda Item 18 (Amending the LA County Code to Enhance Compliance with and Enforcement of the County’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy).
This motion directs County attorneys to work with the County CEO and Personnel Director to develop proposed amendments to County Civil Service rules, giving the Personnel Director “overriding authority to discipline the employees of any county department for noncompliance with the county’s policy or directives related to the policy.” Those proposed amendments will be reviewed by the Board of Supervisors at its March 15 meeting for final consideration.
Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Holly Mitchell introduced the motion, which was approved on a 4-0 vote, with Supervisor Kathryn Barger abstaining. In Supervisor Barger’s press release, she asserted that “this action is in response to an individual – Sheriff Villanueva, to be specific.” She also expressed that County administrators need to do more to work with the Sheriff’s Department and labor union leaders to reach a solution that will not result in a large-scale termination of essential workers.
PPOA Attorney Jim Cunningham delivered a message from PPOA to the Supervisors today to make sure they understood this motion violates the County charter and oversteps the Board’s authority. His letter to the Board included the following statement: “Any attempt to take over the Sheriff’s ability to oversee the disciplinary process for his employees, it is submitted, would certainly not survive legal scrutiny by the courts who would likely find the BOS exceeded their authority under well-established legal principals.”
Following today’s hearing, County representatives contacted PPOA to begin discussions regarding this newly-approved motion. PPOA objects to this obvious abuse of authority and will fight vigorously to prevent any member from being harmed as a result of this action by the BOS. STAY TUNED for further developments on this matter.