LA County Supervisors OK Sheriff's Department Oversight

Los Angeles County supervisors have approved a commission to oversee the scandal-plagued Sheriff's Department.

Supervisors voted 3-2 Tuesday to create the civilian panel.

Supporters say a commission is needed to provide scrutiny of a department beset with scandals over abuse by deputies in the nation's largest jail system.

Sheriff Lee Baca resigned early this year after 18 underlings were charged with federal crimes ranging from abusing inmates to obstructing justice.

Opponents of creating a commission say the panel will have little authority over the elected sheriff and that a newly established inspector general should be allowed to do his job.

Sheriff Jim McDonnell, who was sworn in last week, issued a statement in favor of the panel's creation.

A group of appointees will decide the commission's mission, structure and authority.

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