Who is Vivian Villanueva?

Insiders point to the real sheriff of Los Angeles county, and it isnt who you elected.

Vivian Villanueva with spouse Sheriff Alex Villanueva

He seeks advice from others, and yes from me also.  Sometimes I’m glad he didn’t take my suggestions. ~Vivian Villanueva

Behind every man is a strong woman.  Antiquated slogans aside,  the wife of one of our state’s most powerful politicians is undisputably a strong woman.  But what role does Vivian Villanueva’s “machisma” play in the decisions made by the Alex Villanueva administration?  More than you know, and much more than it should.

It’s a troubling debate that decisions made at the highest levels of the world’s largest sheriff’s department are subject to input and approval by the sheriff’s wife.  Multiple sources have described her direct influence affecting a range of management decisions from promotions to personnel assignments.  In some cases, qualified candidates have allegedly lost promotions because of her while others have been chosen based upon Vivian’s personal feelings about them (AKA friendships).   How does she have such influence over the sheriff of Los Angeles County?  She is said to have a non-negotiable, legendary temper.  Simply stated, she is the alfa and Sheriff Alex is the subordinate. 

First, a little bit about her. Vivian retired from the sheriff’s department at the rank of deputy.  As a deputy, she might have learned a thing or two, but her entry level rank alone precluded her from making any command decisions that would affect the department as an organization.  It wasn’t until her husband was elected sheriff that Vivian was granted an honorary “position” on the sheriff’s Executive Planning Council. 

Here is how the department orders its chain of command:  Deputy, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Commander, Chief, Assistant Sheriff, Undersheriff, Sheriff.  A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing in the hands of a bossy spouse.  But like we all know, sometimes it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.   

One thing is for sure, hell in fact has no fury like a woman scorn and it will freeze over if there’s ever a time Vivian is alegedly not kept in the loop. But don’t take our word for it. 

Take for instance the words of Villanueva confidant, Mark Lillienfeld as memorialized in a recent LA Times article and The Current Report.  If you don’t already know, Mark Lillienfeld is a retired detective from the LA Sheriff’s Department.  When Villanueva became sheriff, he re-hired Lillienfeld to lead the new sheriff’s “Truth and Reconciliation Unit”.  But don’t take the “Truth” part with any credibility.  Prior to being rehired by Villanueva, it was widely reported by KTLA and other news that Lillienfeld was banned from entering any department facilities after smuggling contraband to an inmate while disguised as an active duty deputy.  That’s a serious crime, right?  Not to Sheriff Villanueva who should be impeached for hiring a possible felon. But let’s get back to what Lillienfeld has to say about Vivian Villanueva in a recorded statement. 

If Vivian Villanueva wasn’t calling the shots in the context of department business, why would Sheriff Alex Villanueva be described as “subservient” to her by a member of his inner circle?  And if the duly elected sheriff’s wife isn’t controlling department business, why would she be “busting” anyone’s “balls” as Lillienfeld describes?

Then there is the issue of her temper.  One inside source provided us with a recording said to be the voice of Vivian Villanueva as she called the East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station.  In that recording, an overworked dispatcher mistakenly answered the business line as if it was the 911 line.  Simple mistake right?  Listen here and judge for yourself.  We hope the deputy who was answering phones that day is still happily employed.  

Describing the “Sheriff she knows“, Vivian says in reference to the husband she loves that, “Many politicians make him out to be some loose cannon.” It’s more than likely that Vivian is the loose cannon and she has emasculated the sheriff.

Finally, there are the words of Vivian herself she so eloquently wrote on her husband’s campaign page.  “He seeks advice from others, and yes from me also.  Sometimes I’m glad he didn’t take my suggestions.”  Yes Vivian.  The citizens of LA County are glad too. 

And it seems kind of petty, but could the Villanueva campaign clarify something?  How long have you been married to “the love of your life?”  In the first paragraph you wrote “This is about the kind, brave man I have been married to for 24 years.” But in the photo it says “27 years strong”.  Which is it?