LOS ANGELES–Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva blasted the county’s board of supervisors on Twitter late Tuesday after they voted in favor of a motion that could result in the termination of more than 4,000 deputies over their COVID-19 vaccine status.
Villanueva criticized the vote and pointed out that murders in the jurisdiction jumped 94%. He also pointed out that there has been a hiring freeze.
“This is nothing more than another politically motivated stunt by the Board, which has no bearing on public health, but will definitely harm public safety,” he said.
The board approved a preliminary motion that was brought forward by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Holly Mitchell, Fox 11 Los Angeles reported. The motion, which passed 4-0, would change civil service rules and give county personnel director say in who gets fired if they are not in compliance with the county’s employee vaccine mandate.
Fox 11 reported that the mandate was put into place in August and the deadline to show proof of vaccination was Oct. 1. The news station reported that the preliminary motion would essentially take the decision out of Villanueva’s hands. The Los Angeles Times reported that the county is entering a “moderate” rate of transmission, which means there’s fewer than 730 new cases a day for two back-to-back weeks.
The board did not immediately respond to an email from Fox News.
Villanueva said in a statement that the board disregarded comments “made by thousands of their constituents” and is now making a move to “fire the very same personnel who were forced to work in person, exposing themselves to the COVID-19 virus when there was no vaccine, while the Supervisors and most of the workforce were telecommuting from the comfort and safety of their own homes.”
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“It is important to remember Department personnel who chose not to vaccinate are required to submit to weekly COVID testing, and have committed no administrative offense,” the statement read.
The board will review the motion yet again at a meeting on March 15 before a final vote, Fox 11 reported.