Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky today joined the growing list of officials to endorse Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell in the race for Los Angeles County sheriff.
McDonnell -- who has already has the backing of Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer and California Attorney General Kamala Harris -- announced his bid in January for the job as the county's top cop following Lee Baca's resignation as sheriff.
Nine other men are seeking the office so far, including Gardena Mayor Paul Tanaka, a former undersheriff; assistant sheriffs Todd Rogers and James Hellmold; former Cmdr. Bob Olmsted; former Lt. Patrick Gomez and Los Angeles police detective Lou Vince.
"He has the confidence of the public," Yaroslavsky said in endorsing McDonnell at a news conference in downtown Los Angeles. "He has the confidence of the people who have worked closely with him. All the members of the Citizens' Commission on Jail Violence have endorsed him. He has my confidence."
Yaroslavsky said turning the sheriff's department around will be a marathon, not a sprint.
"I believe he will do what needs to be done to turn the L.A. County Sheriff's Department to the right direction and restore the great luster to that badge, which the people of this county have grown accustomed to over the decades," Yaroslavsky said.
Also in attendance was Supervisor Don Knabe, who has already endorsed McDonnell and appointed him to the Citizens' Commission on Jail Violence in 2011. The commission was established by the Board of Supervisors to investigate use-of-force allegations by sheriff's deputies in the county's jails.
McDonnell has been Long Beach chief since 2010, following a 29-year career with the Los Angeles Police Department, where he ultimately served as the agency's second-in-command to then-Chief Bill Bratton. Long Beach is the second largest city in Los Angeles County.
McDonnell said it is time for serious change in the county.
"Now my support from members of the Board of Supervisors is growing in part because they know I will work with them to increase accountability, transparency and professionalism in the operations of the department," McDonnell said.
The primary election is scheduled for June 3.
--City News Service