MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (KABC) -- For more than a year, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has discussed the possibility of creating a citizen's oversight commission that would oversee the sheriff's department. The nine-member commission would review public complaints about the agency.
Interim Sheriff John Scott says he's not against the idea, but says now is not the time.
"I think there's been some mischaracterizations about my position, actually, I support a civilian oversight commission, my concern was the timing," Scott said.
Scott has been on the job since January. After the sudden resignation of longtime Sheriff Lee Baca, Scott took over a department stricken with scandal, including allegations of inmate abuse and corruption at the county's downtown jails.
"It's been a very troubling time and as a person who worked here 36 years and was watching from afar, I was in dismay," Scott said.
But Scott says right now he is focused on building a productive relationship with the newly created office of the inspector general, which was created by the L.A. Board of Supervisors to serve as the department's independent watchdog.
"Having an OIG that is not fully implemented, and then trying to get another entity up and running, in this case, the civilian oversight commission, I felt was going to be difficult," Scott said.
County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has long been a proponent of a citizen's oversight commission. He wants to revisit the issue in two weeks.
On Wednesday, he threw his support behind sheriff's candidate Jim McDonnell, who faces former undersheriff Paul Tanaka in the general election later this year.
As soon as L.A. County chooses a new sheriff in November, Scott will return to his job as undersheriff of Orange County. He says he wants to have made a positive impact on his former department.