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Federal officials should take bigger role in overseeing L.A. County's probation department, Ridley-Thomas says

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/images/2008/03/20/mark_ridleythomas_2.jpgLos Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas urged the U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday to broaden its investigation of the county Probation Department and provide more muscular oversight of the troubled agency.

Ridley-Thomas' op-ed in the Huffington Post was published amid persistent reports of employee wrongdoing, abuses of minor wards and a broken internal affairs unit.

"The problems at Probation are too great to drop at the feet of a new manager alone," Ridley-Thomas wrote. "The Board of Supervisors has attempted to fix the department over the years through various motions. We've tried to repair the department from within, and we now know the results."

Meanwhile, Ridley-Thomas has declined to join his fellow board members in support of measures to begin addressing the department's problems.

The department's newly installed chief, Donald H. Blevins, has requested the ability to hire outsiders to fill many of the department's top positions, but a motion to develop such a policy failed Tuesday when Ridley-Thomas declined to vote on it. The vote was 2-1, with two members absent.

Ridley-Thomas also declined to vote on a measure that would add two attorneys from the county's Office of Independent Review to Probation's internal affairs unit, as well as a measure that would initiate an investigation of any Probation staffers with recent arrests.

-- Garrett Therolf

Credit: Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (11)

Federal officials should take over the County Board of Supervisors as they are all crooked as the day is long, especially Ridley-Thomas!

Do your job without the feds or quit. It is that simple

Federal officials should take over the corrupt county Board of Supervisors as well the mayor's office, the city council, and DWP. We need the county, and the city cleaned up before we go into bankruptcy. Furthermore, Federal officials should enforce the immigration laws since it is THEIR job.

The Board of Supervisors is responsible for the Probation Dept and Mr.Ridley-Thomas suggestion that the federal government to take more of that responsibility is wrong.

The Board hired 2 outsiders to take charge and straighten out the mess should be given the authority to hire people to fill these positions to hold the employees accountable for their actions.

He had the chance to vote on it but decided not to. Inaction like this only emboldens current employees to continue with the current mindset and culture of the department.

Bringing in the federal government only cause more delay in correcting the problems. Does he want the people who are misappropriating taxpayers funds (credit cards) and others to get away with it as others before them?

Shirking ones responsibility as a Supervisor will not get the job done. He was elected to do a job and should do it and not push the responsibility over to the federal govt. If not up to the task as his predecessor, he should step down.

It's easy to spend $25,000 for a picture in that self serving promotion.

Do your job as a Supervisor and not emulate the managers of Probation passing of responsibilities and accountability to others.

Wait a minute... I thought MRT was a member of the "who's Who" in Black Los Angeles. You would think he (or the rest of the fab 5) could get something done about this. After all we elected them to run the County and it's services; not just part of it.

Take some of the money used to renovate the Supervisor's offices and give more staff to these poor managers. You guys are sad!

The Board of Supervisors first "fumbled the ball" with the Probation Department when they appointed the president of the Probation Officer's Union to the position of Chief Probation Officer in 1998. There have been several federal as well as other investigations since that time which pointed out numerous problems, however, the Board of Supervisors has failed to exercise its duty to manage the department and have let the messes fester. Now a member of the Board wants to wash his hands of the Department and have the Feds take over? Ridiculous!! He and the other 4 wannabe emperors are paid many of our tax-payer dollars to run the County's operations. They should either start doing so or quit and let someone competent draw those big salaries and enjoy all of those perks.

We sure do need federal oversight-- OF THE BOARD!When are the Board members going to be held accountable for their gross incompetence, waste and other funny business? If we knew you was a quitter Mr. Ridley-Thomas we would have elected Mr. Parks instead. Maybe next time around. By the way, how's that new office remodel and furniture upgrade coming along?
P.S. One other thing Mr. RT, do you need to give them another $25,000 in taxpayers' funds to be in "Who's Who In Black Los Angeles" for 2010 or was that a one shot "lifetime" deal you worked out for us? If its going to be an annual thing you may want to budget it as part of your office expenses so you don't have to waste any more of your valuable discretionary funds.

Now, that's a picture of intelligence...He looks like some noble statesman...saying something notable...


I am black I know L.A. very well. By any means necessary clear up the probation department and those who are convicted of violent crimes need to be held accountable right now yesterday! The City is to big and we cannot let the insane run the city. Either you are in or out but vote the appointees back in again now. Stop making excuses. If you have raise taxes on sales gas, movies, entertainment shows, property, and night clubs.

MRT has a lot of nerve! Two of the best probation Chiefs in the state have been brought in to help out and he has ridden roughshod right over both of them. Speaking of reform, Mr. MRT needs to give back that money paid to place him in the Black "Who's Who" - what an outrageous abuse of power. Ms. Molina needs to stop eating breakfast and speaking with her mouth full during Board hearings and if anyyone in L.A. is inclined to later vote for Yaroslavsky for Mayor, let this County resident warn you now - NOT! What a bunch of losers.


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