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Alex Villanueva sworn in as Los Angeles County sheriff

December 3, 2018

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alex Villanueva was sworn in Monday as Los Angeles County sheriff, a week after scoring an upset victory that made Jim McDonnell the first incumbent to lose the seat in more than a century.

Villanueva, a retired sheriff’s lieutenant, took the oath of office during a ceremony attended by deputies, community leaders and elected officials.

The 55-year-old will run the largest sheriff’s department in the nation, overseeing nearly 10,000 deputies and 8,500 civilian personnel.

Last week, he vowed to make good on a campaign promise to clean house at the agency by dismissing more than a dozen people in leadership positions.

McDonnell promised an orderly transition of power in a statement on Nov. 26, nearly three weeks after the election. The race was initially too close to call, but Villanueva’s lead steadily expanded.

McDonnell finally conceded after updated results showed Villanueva leading by more than 125,000 votes — with only 100,000 ballots left to be counted. The final tally gave Villanueva 53 percent of the vote.

Villanueva joined the sheriff’s department as deputy after leaving the U.S. Air Force in 1986.

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