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Saying they lack confidence in the Sheriff's Department's ability to clean up its jails, Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to hire a special monitor to oversee reforms intended to keep deputies from controlling inmates through excessive force.
"I do not believe that [reform] will be effectively accomplished if the department alone is left to make implementation happen," said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who led the move for an independent observer.
The board also called for monthly progress reports on the reforms sought by a blue-ribbon panel that it appointed last year. The panel found a pattern of inmate abuse and blamed Sheriff Lee Baca for allowing it to happen despite warnings from civilian watchdogs and inmate advocates.
Supervisors requested that Baca attend each of the meetings to "clearly communicate the status of each and every recommendation adopted by the board," according to the motion, written by Supervisors Gloria Molina and Michael D. Antonovich.
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