Endorsement: Robert Luna for Los Angeles County Sheriff

In the June primary election, we strongly endorsed former Long Beach police Chief Robert Luna for sheriff of Los Angeles County.

In the November general election for which he has emerged as the key challenger to disastrous current Sheriff Alex Villanueva, we strongly endorse Luna again.

We noted then that we believe it is time for a change at the top in county law enforcement. Plain and simple, Sheriff Villanueva has proven on numerous fronts to be incapable of doing the crucial job in a sensible manner.

In the months since the primary, Villanueva has only reinforced the clear fact that his vindictive, personality-based, go-it-alone approach to policing and to politics is, to put it mildly, the wrong fit for the job. He continues to lash out at his fellow elected county colleagues on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, all of whom have endorsed Luna for sheriff. He refuses to cooperate with the oversight of Inspector General Max Huntsman. He blows off subpoenas to appear before the Civilian Oversight Commission. In a dangerous challenge to free speech and the press, he launched a smear campaign against a reporter who covers his office objectively. He has to go.

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In a recent editorial board interview, Luna noted that “Villanueva can’t go five days without being in the news, in a bad way. It’s almost like a TV reality show — a bad one.”

Luna has concrete plans: “The first thing that I’m going to focus on is reducing crime and making our streets safer. We are going to hire the best people — job No. 1 is keeping people safe. You can’t reduce crime unless you are working very hard to restore public trust and credibility. I will bring new leadership and accountability, and all of my  employees will be held accountable. I will assemble a team of the best and the brightest — it’s about integrity. You have to be loyal to the oath of our office. Sometimes people forget about that. I will not forget.”

Luna’s goal is “to repair all the damaged relationships this man has destroyed, relationships across the board — with the people, the Board of Supervisors, community groups, the oversight organizations — no more us vs. them mentality. I want to hire an independent entity to do a top-to-bottom assessment of the Sheriff’s Department: the budget, the way we investigate.”

On deputy gangs that plague the department: “The first thing is you acknowledge the problem, which he won’t do. Then you fix it. … Let’s roll up our sleeves. Let’s reduce crime through community partnerships, through data, through cooperation. Let’s stop blaming.”

Let’s elect Robert Luna to do just that.

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