LA supervisors vote in favor of effort that would remove elected Sheriff Alex Villanueva

The measure if approved by voters would allow the board to remove an elected official
L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has taken another step toward its effort to remove elected Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who has argued in his first term that the county "defunding" the police and other liberal policies have led to more crime, homelessness and other related problems.

The board on Tuesday voted 4-1 to give members the power to remove an elected sheriff "for cause" with a four-fifths vote. 

The board still must take a final vote on the proposed ballot measure before it's put before voters Nov. 8, according to Fox News.

The lone, dissenting vote was cast by Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who said the proposal targets the sheriff, not the office. 

Said Villanueva: "It appears you are making yourselves the judge, jury and executioner for the office of the sheriff, nullifying the will of the voters."

Critics say Villanueva has not done enough to address so-called "deputy gangs" within the department and has not adequately addresses use-of-force issues including having covered up a deputy allegedly kneeling on an inmate. 

He has also rebuffed subpoenas to appear before the county's Civilian Oversight Commission.

Last week, the Republican National Committee issued a statement calling the proposal "another prime example of how Democrats like to change the rules when they don't get their way."

"Not only is Sheriff Villanueva an elected official, he's one of the few who has been willing to stand up to the board for reducing law enforcement funding and effectively endangering the lives of Angelenos," the group said.

"This decision from the L.A. County Board of Supervisors would attempt to bully the elected sheriff into doing what they want and would be yet another blow to a free and fair democracy, thanks to California Democrats."