[KHTS] – Now that Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca has announced his intention to retire at the end of the month, an interim sheriff needs to be named and an election to permanently fill the vacated seat will take place this summer.
Although it is the responsibility of the Board of Supervisors to find an interim sheriff, Baca has recommended Assistant Sheriff Terri McDonald, who has a long history with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
The Board’s decision is guided by The Los Angeles County Charter and the California Government Code. The interim sheriff will serve until the newly-elected sheriff’s term begins Monday Dec. 1.
Although the current salary of the Office of the Sheriff is $299,800, the Board can increase or decrease the amount when filling a vacancy.
Other possible candidates may include assistant sheriff’s James Hellmond of Patrol and Detective Operations, Cecil Rhambo of Countywide Services and Todd Rogers of Administrative and Professional Standards.
The nomination period for candidates for Office of the Sheriff is between Feb. 10 and March 7, although the filing date may be extended to March 12 at 5 p.m. if an incumbent has not filed in time.
The primary election will take place June 3 and a candidate needs at least 51 percent of the votes to win. If no one receives the majority of votes, a runoff election will take place in November during the general election.
For an up-to-date look at who has filed to become the next sheriff, check the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk office.
Baca, 71, was elected sheriff in December 1998 and has served four terms. He entered the sheriff’s department on Aug. 23, 1965, making him one of the Los Angeles’s longest-serving county employees.
During a news conference about his retirement, Baca said “There are many reason for why I’m retiring, both personal and professional, but the prevailing one is the negative perception that this upcoming campaign has brought to the men and women of the Sheriff’s Department.”
Although Baca avoided discussing the potential for whether he is going to be named in an upcoming federal indictment, his announcement comes after his department faced a pair of scandals.