Who is Alex Villanueva?

The question is serious. Who is Sheriff Alex Villanueva and can he be trusted with a second term?

Some call Sheriff Villanueva the democrat version of Donald Trump. He is brash, divisive and can’t take criticism

Sheriff Villanueva was the underdog, beating incumbent Sheriff Jim McDonnell in the last election. How did that happen? Villanueva himself said he didn’t think he had a shot at winning. He was severely underfunded and arguably underqualified having failed to ever rise above the rank of patrol lieutenant. Although “highly educated” Villanueva admittedly never ran anything more complex than an Excel spreadsheet. So how did an underqualified dark horse win one of the most powerful political offices in the state? He portrayed himself as a victim (starting to sound familiar?). Villanueva was simply unable to compete on a level playing field with Jim McDonnell so he defaulted to the ever familiar tactic; blame everyone else for my lack of success. Villanueva’s intent was never to be sheriff, but to retaliate against the system and the people who never recognized how valuable he was. Instead of having a real desire to be sheriff, he viewed his unlikely campaign as the final battle against a machine that kept him from his true potential. This was his last chance to save face and publicly unveil once and for all who Alex Villanueva really is.

To the public, candidate Villanueva was like a cool summer breeze and pledged transparency, cooperation and high ethical standards. He vowed to be the subject of public oversight and boasted at every opportunity that his lack of qualifications was actually his most dominant quality. Every other sentence from his talking points drew a stark comparison between him and previous department administrations. Meanwhile, he garnered the support of the ignorant among the rank in file inside the sheriff’s department and promised them everything short of free puppies for Christmas. His verbal hypnosis was so intoxicating that the deputy union (ALADS) spent $1,000,000 toward his election. But they were all empty promises made by a guy who never thought he would win. ….but he did.

So when the election returns came in and Alex was the Sheriff Elect, panic set in. “Now what am I gonna do?”

Lucky for him, Sheriff Elect Villanueva enjoyed a flood of applicants with executive experience on their department resumes. Feeling relief now that someone could show him what buttons to push and which keys to turn, Villanueva assembled a team of competent (seriously competent) department executives both active and retied. Together, they devised the first on the job training program for a newly elected sheriff. Okay, so far so good! Well, not really. Within months, they were all fired or transferred into a corn field because he did not like their experienced advice. And who did Villanueva replace his experienced advisors with? If you’re a department insider, you know that answer and if you are a member of the public, you don’t want to know that answer. This was a group of equally inexperienced yes men and women who were not threatening to Villanueva’s ego. And very much unlike the competent advisors Villanueva fired, these were at minimum people he could control. And the first leak sprung in the ship’s hull!

IDENTITY CRISIS

Just who is this guy? Well nobody really knows. After the election he was hailed as a prodigy. He was the common guy with that Disney theme story of rags to riches. He was a man of the people. But that wore off, and fast. Since then his own base has turned on him. The public has called him the liberal version of Donald Trump, a turncoat, a phony, and other things that aren’t worth repeating. Members of the sheriff’s department have noted him as a liar, a hypocrite, a nerd and a guy with more department cronies than Paul Tanaka and Leroy Baca combined.

Sheriff Villanueva’s bi-polar views are perplexing. Amid rising violent crime, he said gun stores should be closed and people should just call 911 when in danger, but as soon as he began fundraising for his reelection, he started issuing concealed gun permits to supporters (read “to donors”). He didn’t have any real desire to cure the homeless problem until the wealthy west side in Venice (which is NOT near a sheriff’s patrol area) encouraged him to do something about it in return for, (we allege) campaign contributions… Are there no homeless camps in the sheriff’s patrol areas to deal with before Venice Beach? When was the last time a politician did something radical without the hidden hairy hand of a donor controlling the puppet strings?

He is supporting the campaign to recall District Attorney George Gascon but seems to embrace most of Gascon’s philosophies such as bail reform. Villanueva ran a campaign against cash bail because it was racist, refuses to work with federal agencies to capture violent criminals in the county illegally and believes the system is rigged against persons of color. But when subjected to oversight he said was so lacking under Sheriff Baca and McDonnell, he rabidly defies the process. Villanueva says his schedule won’t accommodate his cooperation.

Too busy to answer subpoenas

During his campaign, Villanueva promised to follow the rule of law. In fact he is sworn to follow the rule of law, but he refused to testify under oath or obey legally issued subpoenas directing him to appear before the Civilian Oversight Commission. He says he’s too busy to answer subpoenas!

And in what must be the epitome of hypocrisy, Sheriff Villanueva has organized a special hit team whose sole purpose is to target “corrupt” public officials. Not just any corrupt public officials though, just the ones who want him to testify under oath about allegations of police misconduct inside the sheriffs department.

The truth is, since early in his career Villanueva has excelled at pointing fingers and ruffling feathers. Nothing is ever his fault. He seems to have a penchant for throwing sand in the eyes of anyone who dares to hold him accountable. And when it doesn’t go his way, he blames everyone else.

But Villanueva was like that for his entire career having filed a series of frivolous lawsuits and grievances against his supervisors anytime he did not get his way. Villanueva is a professional victim! Since elected, he’s made war with his own inner circle of experienced advisors, called the LA County Board of Supervisors criminals, maligned the Civilian Oversight Commission, Inspector General Max Huntsman, members of the LA City Council, the “racist” LA Times, bloggers like us, and others because they were simply critical of him.

Maybe Sheriff Villanueva is the smartest guy in the room after all! While we talk about this, nobody is paying attention to the skyrocketing murder rate that he is now trying to blame on the vaccine mandate. But that’s okay. He’s busy patrolling Venice Beach on a scooter and antagonizing LA City officials in a classless and unbecoming way. Just remember, nothing is his fault. Sheriff Villanueva is a victim of everyone except for the guy he sees in the mirror.

FINAL THOUGHT

For those of you employed by the sheriff’s department and to members of the public who are cheering the sheriff’s belligerent farce, remember this. He is hurting you. The people he is actually trying to piss off are the ones who are equally stubborn. But they hold the keys to his castle and to the bank account.

So while you are cheering at Sheriff Villanueva’s new found conservative version of himself, ask yourself where does this lead? How long will it be before the district attorney retaliates by filing frivolous charges against Sheriff Villanueva’s deputies? How long will it be before law abiding citizens are sacrificed after the Board of Supervisors starves the sheriff’s department resources? What will happen during the next county wide disaster when people are dying because there aren’t enough deputies to save them?

I’m sure Villanueva has thought of all this, but he doesn’t think ANY of it would be his fault, and he can quit any time. Where does that leave you and me? …trapped in the hull of a sinking ship.