The L.A. County Board of Supervisors is taking steps to remove Sheriff Alex Villanueva as the head of the county’s emergency operations center during the coronavirus outbreak, a move he called a “pure power grab at the worst time possible.”
Three supervisors reached late Wednesday said the proposed change is months in the making and stems from the need to centralize disaster operations after a fragmented response during the deadly Woolsey fire, which killed three people and burned nearly 97,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties in 2018.
But Villanueva said the timing suggests retaliation for his decision to close gun shops during the pandemic, viewing them as nonessential businesses.
“This is pretty much a silent coup, what they’re trying to orchestrate,” Villanueva said. “We should be worried about masks, about test kits, and I have [Supervisor] Kathryn Barger worried about guns and ammunition.”
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