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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday moved to take COVID-19 vaccine mandate enforcement responsibilities away from Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who has repeatedly said he would not fire deputies who refuse to get vaccinated.

“Unfortunately, the Sheriff’s Department is the only department in the county that’s refused to implement this policy,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn, who supported the proposal to change civil service rules to give the enforcement authority to the county’s personnel director. “I think we were left with no other choice.”

Hahn and three supervisors voted to approve the motion; Supervisor Kathryn Barger abstained. The board asked for a draft of the new rules by next month.

In remarks at Tuesday’s virtual board meeting, Villanueva called the move “ill advised,” saying it would serve a “death blow” to public safety in the county.

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