Los Angeles County Supervisors have sent a scathing letter to Sheriff Alex Villanueva, imploring him to correct the record after they said he falsely accused the county’s chief executive of withholding pay from deputies he ordered to quarantine due to exposure to the coronavirus.
“Your unfortunate and erroneous comments have been sowing confusion and controversy by raising doubts about pay for deputies you chose to put on leave last month,” the supervisors said in the letter, dated Friday. “Of course, these deputies will be paid, as you are well aware. In fact, as a department head, you have the duty and responsibility to make sure this happens.”
The letter, signed by the five members of the Board of Supervisors, said that Villanueva had yet to “correct the misimpressions you have created within the Sheriff’s Department and with the public at large — exacerbating anxiety in an already stressful time by sowing false information.”
The supervisors said Villanueva’s comments prompted social media threats against the county’s chief executive, Sachi Hamai, from people angered by the false information. As of Friday, 14 Sheriff’s Department personnel had tested positive for Covid-19 and 285 had been quarantined.
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