GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) --It's been a rough couple of weeks for Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell.
His department was rocked by scandal recently after it was revealed that his chief of staff had forwarded racist and anti-Muslim emails.
Former Chief of Staff Tom Angel resigned Sunday, a few days after information about the emails was reported publicly.
Angel had forwarded racist jokes and derogatory statements about Muslims in his email when he had worked at the Burbank Police Department, the Los Angeles Times reported.
In an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News, McDonnell said dealing with the issue and navigating the state's complex labor laws took some time.
"The reality is these situations are often far more complex than people realize," McDonnell said. "When you deal with labor-law issues, it goes into a lot of detail."
Ultimately, he said, the issue comes down to respect - not only for people in his department, but for the community.
"Our goal is to restore and build on the public trust we have. Everything depends on that. We have a business that relies on our credibility and our public trust."