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2022 California election: Measure A voter guide

Critics: Villanueva called the move to curb his authority a “cheap political stunt” designed to hurt his bid for reelection. He suggested that he may mount a legal challenge, saying he believed Measure A would be deemed unconstitutional by the courts.

“The Board is attempting to cheat the system and create a ‘fast-track’ pathway to remove a duly elected sheriff, one which circumvents the law and the foundational principles of due process enshrined in the Fourteenth Amendment,” a letter he wrote to the board said.

Supervisor Kathryn Barger questioned why the proposal applies only to the sheriff and not the other seven elected county officials, including board members.

Backers: They say this offers an important check on the sheriff.

“The voters deserve an opportunity to decide whether this is the right way to enhance accountability of the sheriff, of the elected sheriff, and protect the lives and liberties of county residents,” said Supervisor Holly Mitchell, who co-authored the plan.

Kuehl has argued that oversight is needed because the sheriff holds an exceptional amount of power. “I don’t see the [county] assessor getting people killed,” she said. “It’s really about the ability to hold someone accountable when they have a very powerful position.”

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Enzo Smith