VICTORY: Governor Newsom Signs Historic Passage of AB-1185 That Strengthens Oversight of California’s Sheriff Department’s

Now, we have the backing of the State of California to hold accountable any Sheriff who abuses their power and attempts to undermine local efforts to bring transparency.

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Sacramento, CA – Historic win in the state of California after months of countless efforts,  Governor Newsom has signed the passage of AB1185 to authorize Sheriff oversight at a statewide level and ensure civilian oversight commissions have the authority to investigate local matters. The successful passing of Measure R in Los Angeles by the Reform LA Jails campaign and the nationwide political uprising led to the re-introduction of AB 1185 by Assemblymember McCarty (D-Sacramento) and Senator Holly Mitchell . The call for oversight and authority comes as the LA County Sheriff Department continues to fail in providing transparency and accountability regarding the conditions inside LA County Jails.

Measure R granted the Civilian Oversight Commission subpoena power over the LA County Sheriff department and has consistently worked to investigate rogue antics led by Sheriff Villanueva. With the passage of AB1185, a Sheriff like Alex Villanueva, who has attempted to subvert the power of civilian oversight in Los Angeles County will no longer be able to contest the legitimacy of oversight bodies or their power to subpoena.

Mariela Alburgues, ReformLA Jail Director of Implementation issued the following response:

We applaud Governor Newsom for standing on the side of justice and signing AB1185 that is long over due for California residents. The city of Los Angeles has set a prime example of what a form of justice looks like to hold Sheriff Villanueva accountable with the historic passing of Measure R and now the State of California could lead our nation. Now, we have the backing of the State of California to hold accountable any Sheriff who abuses their power and attempts to undermine local efforts to bring transparency.

We thank Assemblymember McCarty for his leadership in introducing this bill. We especially want to thank all of the community members and organizations who have worked endlessly to make this all happen.

 Some Important Policy Background of this bill include

AB1185: Officer Oversight – Sheriff Oversight Board:

  • clarify state law as to a county’s authority to establish a sheriff oversight board by either appointment or vote of county residents.

  • authorize a sheriff oversight board to issue a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum when deemed necessary to investigate a matter within the jurisdiction of the board.

  • authorize a county to establish an office of the inspector general to assist the board with its supervisory duties, as provided.

 

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