A new second in command took over Monday at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, as a department veteran who came out of retirement to help Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s transition departed after just over three months.
Assistant Sheriff Tim Murakami, who had been in charge of patrol operations, will serve as department undersheriff effective immediately, LASD spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said.
Murakami replaces Ray Leyva.
Villanueva upset former Sheriff Jim McDonnell at the polls in November.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Villanueva’s chief of staff Lawrence Del Mese issued an email to the department’s top officials thanking Leyva for his service “through our transition phase.”
Leyva told ABC7 that he was informed by Villanueva Monday morning that he was out.
“I said thank you for the opportunity you’ve given me, shook his hand and I left,” Leyva told the station.
Since Villanueva’s upset victory, the new sheriff has replaced much of the department’s executive staff. He elevated Murakami to assistant sheriff from the position of captain of the department’s Industry Station, according to The Times.
Leyva had said in November that he intended to serve for no more than 120 days, and left 106 days after Villanueva was sworn in, the Times reported.
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