Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, December 8, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:1



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By Joan Schmidt

 Recently, retired Lieutenant Alex Villanueva was sworn in 
as Sheriff. His wife Vivian, a retired LASD Deputy of 30 years 
held the Bible as he was sworn in. His son Jared pinned him. 
The hall was full with rank and file personnel, County officials 
and even activists. A lady in the audience yelled, “Si se puede” 
(If you can). (Dolores Huerta coined that term as she worked 
side by side with Caesar Chavez for migrant workers who had 
deplorable working and living conditions.)

 After he was sworn in, Villanueva spoke to his wife; the 
both of them were derailed because of his public stances, “You 
bared the brunt of retaliation leveled my way for years.”

 After declared winner, Villanueva had said he “was going 
to clean house”’ Changes include: Undersheriff Ray Leyva, 
Assistant Sheriffs Bob Olmsted, Tim Murakami and Maria 
Gutierrez, all with many years of LASD experience.

 I have known Leyva for 20+ years; first as a Captain at 
Sheriff’s Headquarters. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from 
Cal State LA, and his Masters from Pepperdine University, 
both in Business Administration. A member of the Hispanic 
American Police Commander Association, he served as 
President from 2006-2007. In 2006, he ran against Baca for 
Sheriff, because although warned there was excessive force at 
Men’s Central Jail, Baca would not listen. Ray retired in 2016 
with 25 years at LASD.

 Bob Olmsted, a new Assistant Sheriff has 32 years 
experience with the Department. He was a Commander, 
even submitted three reports of documented excessive force 
at Central Jail, but again, nothing was done. He went to the 
FBI and many criticized him for bringing the Department 
down. I saw an ethical man who had a lot of guts. Frustrated, 
he resigned and ran for Sheriff in 2014. One of his supporters 
was Lieutenant Alex Villanueva!

 The other two newly-appointed Assistant Sheriff’s are 
Industry Captain Tim Murakami and Chief Maria Gutierrez. 
I’ve known Tim many years since his days as a Lieutenant 
at Industry Station; he served its communities so well, he 
promoted to their Captain. An LASD Captain of a Sheriff’s 
Station is a “Police Chief” for a few cities. You work with city 
officials, residents, and Code Enforcement.

 I don’t personally know the new Assistant Sheriff, former 
Chief of Court Services, Maria Gutierrez. But she has many 
years of experience and I like that she is cognizant of the Court 

 Villanueva spoke of immigrants feeling safe and not 
worrying about the LASD calling Immigration on them. 
Twenty years ago on a Compton Ride-along with Sgt. Birtness, 
we answered a call of a child being bitten by a vicious dog, 
sometimes left outside and not secured. The Sergeant said the 
tenants were afraid to call LASD, because LASD might call 
Immigration. This upset Sgt.Birtness, “Our job is the safety of 
our residents. We are NOT going to call Immigration.” 

 Many people were upset Jim McDonnell wasn’t re-elected. 
I had supported him. However, I like Villanueva’s choices for 
his Executive Staff. Four years ago, Villanueva had supported 
Olmsted, “He has a very easy-going style, very personable 
with all our troops. People aren’t afraid to speak to him.”

 After the ceremony, our Supervisor Kathryn Barger 
congratulated Villanueva and told said, “Public Safety is our 
utmost importance and I will support the new Sheriff.” (So 
will I.)

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