LA Sheriff Alex Villanueva Blasts Woke Hypocrisy, Establishment Corruption, LA Times: 'I Will Be Vindicated'

(The opinions expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of

In an exclusive interview held in Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva talks about his path less traveled as a “purple” incumbent running as a populist against the Democratic establishment. Villanueva’s track record and consistency are some hallmarks that should squash any questions about his authenticity. “Promises made, promises kept” was the theme of the day, and we dove deep into issues with specificity and details, such as the department’s 31 percent reduction in citizen complaints and the institution of body-worn cameras, and, despite budget cuts, achieving a $22 million surplus. But most importantly, his fight against a corrupt establishment from the Board of Supervisors to the LA Times.


Here are some highlights from his straightforward, detailed, and focused answers.

On Cash Bail

“The Superior Court reinstituted cash bail [in LA County on August 1st]. So it’s a slight improvement. But we still have the drama of the District Attorney not prosecuting juveniles who commit serious crimes and treating them as adults. The failure rate of the juvenile system, the recidivism rate is going through the roof, because there’s no incentive. Now the older gangsters tell the younger: ‘Do the crime here, take the gun, you’re not going to face any consequences.’ And that’s why we see all these crimes are going up.”

On Human Trafficking

“The Governor signed into law, a new assembly bill that eliminated the charter crime of loitering for purpose of prostitution, which makes [prostitution] basically legalized in all the red light districts. Then you have a District Attorney who is not enforcing prostitution laws. [People have] been forced into the trade and they continue to traffic them between here, San Diego, Las Vegas. We saw an uptick during the Super Bowl weekend, which is historical uptick, but it was more pronounced this year. Residents unfortunately live with their driveway littered with condoms. You got kids, and you have people actively engaged in sex right in front of your house.”

On Asian Hate Crimes

“The Hate Crime Task Force is one that is focusing exclusively on hate crimes. And we’re trying to get people to report incidents and crimes. Don’t chalk it off as ‘Oh, well, I can’t do anything about it.’ We have about four in a row serious violent hate crimes. For example, the robbery of the elderly couple in Rowland Heights. We got three in custody behind it. The same thing when an angry driver drove through a protest in Diamond Bar. He got arrested. So we’re on these things, as soon as they happen. We just need people to report incidents that don’t rise to the level of a crime because those same people are typically the ones who later on or suspects.”


On Kicking ICE out of Jails (Fighting His Own Party’s Corruption)

“We kicked ICE out of the jails, ending the scam grant funding where the County was selling undocumented databases to the Feds so they can be deported. And then turn around claiming they’re the immigrants’ best friend. $122 million from 2003 to 2018 and I was a bad guy for stopping it. I did the right thing.

“What was the reaction of the LA Times and the Establishment when I called out Supervisor Hilda Solis? ‘How dare he?’ They came up with a term: ‘misogynistic.’ No, she was betraying her own people. Looking at the tens of thousands of people that were deported — they deport more people here in LA County than Joe Arpaio? [This is] supposed to be the sanctuary place and friend of the immigrant community and undocumented defender.

“We established a bright line of division [between local law enforcement] and federal immigration [authorities]. They need to secure the border, but they can’t be mixed in with local law enforcement because then people don’t want to call 911, which harms local law enforcement’s ability to do their job. I understood and pushed this, enacted it; it worked. Even my conservative critics’ minds turned around.”

On District Attorney Gascon’s Policies and Effects

“Several studies have shown that Prop 47 contributed to an increase in property crimes. But the problem is when you pair Prop 47 with a progressive District Attorney that doesn’t even prosecute misdemeanor crimes — now you have no crime at all, they are just not going to do anything. And that’s what emboldened the criminal community to do these multiple times. We’ve had someone arrested three times in one day for Grand Theft Auto. You have the zero bail schedule, all these things are happening that tells the criminals that there’s no consequences. So what are they going to do? More.

“Getting rid of the gun enhancement, the gang enhancement, and treating — a guy who could come in here and kill all us [in a room of a dozen people and they would consider] only one person died. That’s another enhancement: multiple victims [treated as] just one crime. All juvenile crimes are treated as juveniles, not adults. Releasing people straight out on the street as juveniles without treatment, engaged in violent crimes, and they’re getting re-arrested again.


“Why [doesn’t the media] do the analysis of George Gascon’s policies and juvenile justice? Why don’t they ask him: Where’s your data and science about your policies? Because crime is spiraling out of control. You got almost two years’ worth of his policies in effect. Where’s the data? Where’s the science? Show me the results.”

On Failure of Recall Gascon

“If you listen to the critiques of the people doing the recall, they were incompetent and didn’t do their job. They got more than half a million signed validated signatures; that’s [still] a huge chunk of the population. You look at the Registrar-Recorder: Did he have his finger on the scale when he was certifying signatures?  What is the action of the Board of Supervisors? Let’s get rid of the Sheriff. I’m just doing my job. But the one who’s not doing his job, and everything is falling apart. Let’s protect him.”

On the Dishonest Media, Specifically LA Times

“The LA Times is on that bandwagon right now. They’re flat-out saying everything they can say about me and it’s all false. Yet the guy that they’re trying to prop up, my opponent, they give him a pass. He’s been a disaster for the city of Long Beach, he lets Long Beach burn down during the riots because he told his officers to stand down and not to arrest looters, which is insane. And then you look at his history. They didn’t do their homework. But you listen to the LA Times editorial, the guy walks on water.”

“I Will Be Vindicated”

“There’s a lot at stake here in this election. Lord willing, I’ll survive this onslaught of negative press, which has no basis in reality. But the corrupt entities will fall [eventually]. When I was a young Sergeant on patrol in the department, Lee Baca and Paul Tanaka were corrupt. And they were destroying the organization. I spoke out against it. I was retaliated against. My career was killed. But at the end of the day, they were convicted, and I was vindicated. I will be vindicated again. You can see one by one, they’re gonna start falling.”


On Woke Hypocrisy

“Notice the [beach city elites] are the ones pushing for all these reforms because they’re ultra-progressive. But the people that pay the price are Black and Latino communities that are hardest hit by gang violence and poverty. That’s where all the effects are concentrated, but not the decision-makers. The decision-makers are concentrated in gated communities, very wealthy enclaves. Not a single one of the five Supervisors lives in Sheriff’s Department jurisdiction. That speaks volumes right there.”

On “Defund the Police”: The Reality of Budget Cuts

“The community loves the sheriff’s deputies. They love police officers. Every single community, you go block by block, riders on the trains, they want to see more deputies. They want to see more cops in blue. They don’t want to see less. But you listen to the politicians, it’s the exact opposite. They want to get rid of cops.

“We were victims of defunding by the board. They took away 1,281 positions and implemented a hiring freeze unilaterally. They took away $145 million on one budget, $160 million on another budget. I started with $101 million in the hole. And I finished last fiscal year at a $22 million surplus.

“And what does the [LA] Times say? That I can’t manage my money. They actually said that in their editorial promoting [my opponent]. They said I fired the budget staff. No, I didn’t. I got rid of one person. It was a job created by my predecessor: an assistant Sheriff position, which we could not afford to begin with, who had no idea what they were doing. They created a $101 million deficit. And so one of the things I did was shrink the overhead.”


“Rebuild the department back up to the strength it had in 2019. I want those 1,281 positions back. I want to get that hiring freeze thrown out. I’m going to work hard with whoever the next mayor is, and the next Board [of Supervisors] that is seated in December, to build [homeless] shelter capacity. And we’re going to clean up the streets. Plain and simple. We’re not going to sit on our hands and say, “We’ll have to wait ’til we can build $800,000 condos with the beach view.” We’re not going to build our way out of it.


“Public corruption continues to rear its ugly head. I have learned more about things that are going on in the last three days than I have in probably the last three years of scandals that are public. But just remember when I said back in 2004, I told Baca and Tanaka, ‘You guys are doing wrong, you’re going to hurt the organization.’ Now, I’m in the process of telling the board, ‘You’re doing wrong, you’re gonna hurt the entire county.'”

On Concealed Carry Weapon Permits Highest Under His Tenure

“Well, I knew that historically, CCWs in our department — they made this standard of ‘good cause’ impossible unless you were a retired judge or a buddy who grew up with a sheriff. It’s not realistic. It’s not fair. Let’s make a ‘good cause’ standard that’s achievable. Reasonable, not that we’re going to be handing out weapons out there by the pallet, but an achievable standard. So we made it achievable.

“For example, if you own a jewelry store, you transport jewels, you should be able to defend yourself. Anybody who runs a business that does cash deposits at night, say, restaurant owners: We don’t have the resources to babysit you. Here — arm yourself, so you can protect yourself. Real estate agents showing houses in the middle of nowhere with no access to local law enforcement: Lord knows what you’re getting into. Victims of Crime: You got the stalker from hell, all of those made sense [to issue CCWs]. And so we’ve issued about 3,600.”

On the Homeless Industrial Complex

“Try [walking through Skid Row] at 10 o’clock at night. I wouldn’t even recommend it. What do you see? It looks like ‘Night of the Living Dead.’ You have people who could literally be naked, covered in feces, screaming at the moon, walking down the middle of the street, and nothing happens. What’s bad is, in the past, you go to jail, you get cleaned up going into Psych Services, psychiatric facility. None of that exists.


“When you’re paying money to organizations, it’s going to the homeless industrial complex. They spent $6.5 billion dollars over 10 years. The problem doubled in size but the salary of CEOs of these nonprofits quadrupled. The top 10 nonprofits for homelessness are making $800,000 a year. That’s twice my salary. And I actually run an enormous organization that is very complex. The whole nonprofit sector needs to be cleaned up. It’s basically anarchy right now. Whatever they can get their hands on in the public contract, there’s no oversight. All the attention in the political world is on the oversight of the Sheriff. They want to deflect all the attention over here while they’re robbing the bank over there. That is by design.”

On His Community Advisory Council

“Lee Baca had an idea way back in his first term that was decent, but it got corrupted, along with so many other things that happened. Their advisory council was more about self-serving interests, selling badges for camping, etc. Shame on them. But the concept was good. So when I took office, we cleaned it up and made sure it had a good governance model, that the people in the CAC are there to support the community in every way possible. Now we have the CDC everywhere doing food and clothing drives at Christmas time. When it comes to diversity, I campaigned on inclusionary policies for the workforce. We did that and we enacted them. And now I had the most diverse sheriff’s department in the nation.”

On Bipartisanship

“When we cleaned up the homeless in Venice, we got Democrats and Republicans to start talking to each other. In reality, isn’t our local problem far bigger than who’s yelling at who in Washington? We might disagree on things, but the bulk of what we face, we actually agree. County and city governments are failing massively because they only allow the ultra-far-left to occupy every single position. No other thought or perspective is allowed. So, reality is not part of the equation. Hence, the results are always bad. But my goal as Sheriff is to make LA livable again. And I’m going to open up that tent and get more people involved. And I’m going to bring the left and the right together.”


Watch the full video here or read the full transcript here.

Marc Ang ([email protected]) is a community organizer in Southern California and the founder of Asian Industry B2B. He focuses on the minority conservative experience. Marc’s book “Minority Retort” will be released on November 9, 2022.


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