L.A. County Probation Chief Resigns After Reported Romantic Fling

Los Angeles County Probation Chief Jerry Powers resigned Tuesday amid allegations that he carried on an inappropriate relationship with his lead administrative deputy, Kim Renner. The decision, which was unanimously accepted by the Board of Supervisors, is effective Jan. 4.

Los Angeles County officials had just tapped an outside law firm to investigate allegations of misconduct by Powers, according to the Los Angeles Times. In addition to the romantic relationship, Powers is alleged to have skirted standard background check requirements when hiring Renner. Her performance came under scrutiny by county auditors after several mishaps were discovered. Among these was the failure to seek state reimbursement for anti-recidivism programs totaling more than $10 million.

In a previous letter to staff, Powers said his personal life was none of the public’s business, adding that the choice to employ Renner was “based entirely on her qualifications and my belief in her ability.” However, relationships between supervisors and subordinates can be grounds for discipline under county rules, particularly when they create a conflict of interest. That certainly seems to have been the case with Power and Renner, who approved each other’s expense reports.

The latest scandal represents another black mark on the reputation of an already troubled agency. Federal authorities previously faulted the department for misuse of force against juvenile detainees, as well as poor internal controls.

Read more about Powers’ resignation here.

Image Credit: Flickr User 124247024@N07, https://flic.kr/p/nbAu8Y via (CC BY-SA 2.0)


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