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L.A. County probation chief says his resignation was not forced

October 13, 2011 |  4:25 pm

Los Angeles County probation chief Donald Blevins submitted a letter of resignation Thursday, saying that he is stepping down for personal reasons.

Blevins had been under pressure from unions, which delivered a “no confidence” vote against him this summer, and members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors began looking for his replacement earlier this month. Blevins, who had headed the department since last year, has said his departure was not forced.

Supervisors have not approved a severance package for Blevins, who said in his two-sentence letter that he would resign at the close of business on Oct. 21.

In an interview earlier this week, Blevins, 59, said he believes he has improved the department during his tenure and is looking forward to retirement.

“I’m feeling a sense of relief already,” he said.

Supervisors are negotiating with Stanislaus County Probation chief Jerry Powers to take over the 6,200-person department, which oversees about 80,000 youth and adult probationers. The department has been heavily criticized by the supervisors for management lapses and misuse of force and has been monitored by the U.S. Department of Justice for almost a decade.

The county must meet a deadline later this month to comply with federal guidelines to improve health and safety conditions for young offenders. If it does not, federal officials could take control of the probation department and its budget.

Blevins said he believes the department should meet virtually all federal guidelines.


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-- Jason Song at the Hall of Administration