When Eli Vera, a high-ranking official under Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, entered the race to unseat his boss, he planned to keep his place as one of Villanueva’s top advisors.
Villanueva had a different idea.
In a letter last week, Villanueva notified Vera he was being demoted from a chief to a commander. It was, a Sheriff’s Department spokesman indicated, an unapologetic move made to shut a competitor out from planning meetings that the sheriff regularly holds with senior staff.
“The law is firmly established that … those who serve as confidential advisors to an elected leader, cannot oppose him/her politically and keep their post,” Capt. John Satterfield wrote in response to questions from The Times. “Who has ever heard of a cabinet secretary running against the president who appointed them?”
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