Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell says he supports the appointment of a civilian commission overseeing his department but says it should be an advisory body only and without subpoena power.
"I don't want to start with that premise. I want to start on a positive cooperative, collaborative arrangement," McDonnell told NBC4.
"I look at subpoena power as something that could cause conflict ... and it is something I don't think we need ... we need to be cooperative," McDonnell said
McDonnell's position puts him in a potential fight with reform advocates of his department.
Several such groups, including Patrisse Cullors of Dignity and Power Now, have demanded the new commission be "legally empowered" with subpoena power.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the first-ever sheriffs civilian oversight panel last month on a 3-2 vote.
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The vote authorizes county attorneys, sheriffs officials and the current inspector general to recommend the make up of the new commission and determine what authority, if any, it will have over the Sheriffs Department.
On other issues McDonnell expressed support for finding better ways to treat mentally ill inmates as an alternative to incarceration and said problems at the jail are being addressed.
"We've seen deputy cliques, we've seen a lot of dysfunction and that was the result of failed leadership," he said. "I think once we move forward and set the tone, to reward the right things and punish the misbehavior and misconduct.
"And there is overwhelming support of that within the organization from what I have seen up to this point."