A high-stakes power struggle is underway within the union representing Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies, leaving members with two presidents, two boards of directors and two "official" websites, it was reported today.
Trouble at the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs came to light last month when the board ousted Armando Macias, its newly elected president, citing his poor attendance, according to the Los Angeles Times. The board installed a new president, but Macias is refusing to recognize the ouster.
Now the two sides are accusing each other of illegitimate power grabs and misusing union funds, The Times reported. Macias was recently sued by his rivals, who accused him of improperly tapping into the union's political funds to pay for attorneys in his attempt to reclaim his leadership post.
For its part, Macias' camp recently unveiled its own website, declaring it the union's official website. At least two union officials have sided with Macias, who counters that he's being targeted by the union's "old guard" for demanding transparency in how union dues are spent.
Both sides contend the outcome could influence who becomes the next sheriff, as the union has yet to endorse a candidate in the upcoming election, The Times reported.
Macias' rivals say that the rightful president for the organization, which represents 7,200 deputies and district attorney investigators, is Don Jeffrey Steck. The group behind Steck says the ouster was legitimate but that Macias continued to insist he was in charge, showing up at the office, shouting down his opposition and sitting at the head of the conference table.—City News Service