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Los Angeles County Sheriff says he will not enforce vaccine mandate

The Sheriff’s announcement comes one day after the LA City Council enacted one of the toughest vaccine mandates in the nation

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L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva shown with his wife Vivian at LA Pride 2019. LA Blade photo by Karen Ocamb

LOS ANGELES – During a Facebook live session, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said he absolutely would not enforce the County’s coronavirus vaccine mandate that took effect Thursday.

“I’m not forcing anyone,” Villanueva said. “The issue has become so politicized. There are entire groups of employees that are willing to be fired and laid off rather than get vaccinated.”

The Sheriff, who oversees the largest sheriff’s department in the county with roughly 18,000 employees, pointed out that his employees are willing to be terminated rather than get vaccinated.

“I don’t want to be in a position to lose 5, 10% of my workforce overnight on a vaccine mandate,” the sheriff said.

The Sheriff’s announcement comes one day after the LA City Council enacted one of the toughest vaccine mandates in the nation. Villanueva has been a vocal opponent of similar COVID-19 protocols, refusing in July to enforce the county’s indoor mask mandates, which he argued weren’t “backed by science” and would place a strain on his “underfunded/defunded” department.

The Los Angeles City Council voted 11-2 Wednesday to approve an ordinance that will require patrons aged 12 and older to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 to enter indoor restaurants, shopping centers, movie theaters, hair and nail salons and many other indoor venues.

Mayor Eric Garcetti signed the measure Wednesday afternoon which takes affect on November 4. The city’s ordinance expands on a countywide order that on Thursday will begin requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination at indoor bars, wineries, breweries, nightclubs, lounges and mega outdoor events.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has recorded 1,467,450 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 26,254 deaths since the pandemic began in February of 2020. Public health officials noted that the County is seeing the daily average of new cases dropping coupled with daily hospitalizations declining.  Meanwhile, deaths decreased to a daily average of 13.

“Doing our part increasingly means being vaccinated if we plan on entering places where there is an increased risk of virus transmission or work in settings where we provide others with services. During a pandemic, requiring vaccinations in these settings is a sensible requirement that acknowledges our collective obligation to ensure safety and save lives,” said Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health.

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Los Angeles

Los Angeles City Council bans homeless camps in 54 locations

Sitting, sleeping & storing property near fire hydrants, building entrances, driveways, libraries, parks, elementary schools banned

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LA Homeless Service Authority workers Giovanna Miranda, (L) & Tania Trigueros (Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles)

LOS ANGELES – Setting up or creating encampments by homeless persons in 54 select locations across the city is now banned after the LA City Council voted 12-2 Wednesday to outlaw sitting, sleeping and lying in those places.

Utilizing new laws passed over the summer after contentious and at times acrimonious debate, the council enacted new rules regulating sitting, sleeping and storing property near fire hydrants, building entrances, driveways, libraries, parks, elementary schools and several other locations.

The council also directed city staff to ensure that the homeless were given proper notifications prior to action and that all departments expand staff and make available resources to help those affected by the new ban.

On Wednesday, U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough announced that the VA is going to place more than 500 unhoused veterans living in Los Angeles into permanent housing.

According to McDonough, the efforts will be in two steps, the first to assist approximately 40 veterans living on the street in what is colloquially referred to as the ‘Veteran’s Row’ encampment, located adjacent to the VA campus in Brentwood on San Vincente Boulevard.

That encampment has been highlighted by mayoral candidates visiting it frequently including last week by U.S. Representative Karen Bass, (D) who was accompanied by the VA Secretary.

The next step is move another 500 veterans into permanent or transitional housing by December 31, the VA Secretary said.

In the last census count of homeless people conducted by the County of Los Angeles, of the nearly 66,000 people experiencing homelessness, roughly 3,900 are homeless veterans.

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Los Angeles

LA City Council votes to suspend Ridley-Thomas over corruption charges

The 11-to-3 vote to suspend vote came two days after Ridley-Thomas announced that he would “step back” from his duties

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Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas speaking at a press conference (Blade file screenshot photo)

LOS ANGELES – The city council voted Wednesday to suspend Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, 66, who was was indicted a week ago by a federal grand jury on 20 federal counts of conspiracy, bribery, mail and wire fraud.

The 11-to-3 vote to suspend vote came two days after Ridley-Thomas announced that he would “step back” from participation in City Council meetings and committees. Ridley-Thomas, who has denied any wrongdoing, has said he will not resign and will fight the federal charges against him, KTLA and the Los Angeles Times reported.

The federal grand jury’s indictment alleged that Ridley-Thomas took bribes from a former dean at the University of Southern California, (USC) when he was a member of the County Board of Supervisors.

In a letter sent to fellow councilmembers Monday, he indicated that he would step back from his duties but he declined to resign from his seat. He said that he planned to fight the “outrageous allegations” and would resume participation on the legislative body “at the earliest appropriate time.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that in exchange for the payoffs, Ridley-Thomas allegedly supported awarding county contracts worth millions of dollars to USC. 

In the indictment Ridley-Thomas is charged with conspiring with Marilyn Louise Flynn, 83, then dean of USC’s School of Social Work, to steer county money to the university in return for admitting his son Sebastian into graduate school with a full-tuition scholarship and a paid professorship, the Times reported.

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Los Angeles

LA City Councilman Ridley-Thomas will ‘step back’ from duties, not resign

He will fight the “outrageous allegations” and plans to resume participation on the legislative body “at the earliest appropriate time”

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City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas (Screenshot via KABC 7 News Los Angeles)

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas in a letter sent to fellow councilmembers Monday said that he would step back from his duties but he declined to resign from his seat.

In the letter he said that he will fight the “outrageous allegations” and plans to resume participation on the legislative body “at the earliest appropriate time,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

“I fully appreciate the importance of the council being able to conduct its business with minimal distractions,” Ridley-Thomas said in the letter, adding that he was stepping back with that in mind.

Ridley-Thomas, 66, was indicted earlier this month by a federal grand jury with 20 federal counts of conspiracy, bribery, mail and wire fraud alleging he took bribes from a former dean at the University of Southern California, (USC) when he was a member of the County Board of Supervisors.

The Los Angeles Times reported that in exchange for the payoffs, Ridley-Thomas allegedly supported awarding county contracts worth millions of dollars to USC. 

In the indictment Ridley-Thomas is charged with conspiring with Marilyn Louise Flynn, 83, then dean of USC’s School of Social Work, to steer county money to the university in return for admitting his son Sebastian into graduate school with a full-tuition scholarship and a paid professorship, the Times reported.

Both Ridley-Thomas and Flynn deny the charges.

Mark Ridley-Thomas will ‘step back’ from LA City Council meetings, won’t resign- KABC 7 News Los Angeles:

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