LA County Board of Supervisors could have a majority of women. MyNewsLA.com Photo by John Schreiber.
LA County Board of Supervisors could have a majority of women. MyNewsLA.com Photo by John Schreiber.

County supervisors ended their search Tuesday for a new probation chief, but who the lucky candidate is remains a mystery.

Supervisor Hilda Solis came out of a closed-door meeting of the board and an administrator announced the unanimous hiring decision, but no name was disclosed. The board said negotiations on salary and an employment contract have yet to be settled.

In the past, the names of such high-profile hires have typically been reported at the time of the Board of Supervisors’ vote, before final negotiations with Chief Executive Officer Sachi Hamai over salary and formal appointment to the post.

A decision was made last week to hire an executive director to support the Civilian Oversight Commission overseeing the Sheriff’s Department. The name of that hire was also omitted from the report on the vote, and calls to a county spokesman and board offices turned up no one willing to supply the name.

Though it is an administrative position, the intense public focus on who will be selected to serve on that commission makes any related hire a high- profile one.

Whoever the new probation chief is, he or she may also be overseen by a watchdog commission. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has proposed convening a blue ribbon panel to offer recommendations on probation reform in a motion that was postponed two weeks ago, and again Tuesday.

A separate working group charged with recommending whether a permanent civilian commission should be established to oversee the Probation Department has scheduled town hall meetings this month.

And the board has also hired a consultant to advise on reforms, including whether to split the department into two agencies, one to supervise adults and the other for juveniles.

Cal Remington is the county’s interim probation chief, a role he also filled in 2011, book-ending the tenure of Jerry Powers, whose resignation was effective Jan. 4.

—City News Service

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