LA County deputy misconduct sparks debate on punishment at supervisors' meeting

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Advocates urged Los Angeles County supervisors during a meeting Tuesday to support a motion that would make it easier to fire sheriff's deputies who've been found guilty of misconduct.

"There's no transparency, so we don't know actually how officers are being disciplined, to what extent that discipline is sticking," said Marc-Anthony Johnson, with group Dignity and Power Now.

This comes on the heels of a deputy who was on camera allegedly ignoring an emergency call while on duty. He is now on administrative leave.

Advocates said on many occasions deputies who are fired are rehired after appealing their case to the Civil Service Commission. They said even Sheriff Jim McDonnell has been blocked from turning in deputies accused of misconduct.

"We've seen Sheriff McDonnell identify 300 officers with misconduct in their records and tried to give that list to the district attorney. That list is on hold right now because the sheriff's unions have got two appellate judges to block the list," Johnson said.

The group delivered a petition with more than 12,000 signatures, demanding the list be turned in to the District Attorney's Office. They are also asking for the commission to be given more power, which would include firing or reassigning deputies.

But not everyone agrees.

"I speak against this motion for the following reasons: the Republic that the flag stands for is the separation of powers. The only thing that protects us against authoritarian rule is the self-restraint of the powerful," attorney Victor Manrique said.

The supervisors agreed to move forward with the motion and will receive a report within the next 60 days.
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