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County Interviews Candidate For Chief Probation Officer

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The Board of Supervisors met privately Tuesday to interview candidate for chief probation officer, even though the board has not publicly disclosed that members want to replace Donald Blevins.

The board met behind closed doors last week to discuss the term’s of Blevin’s departure.

A Probation Department spokeswoman Kerri Webb could not confirm at the time, saying she expected Blevins to be back at work Monday, after taking a vacation.

Tuesday’s meeting was described as “Interview and consideration of candidate for appointment to the position of Chief Probation Officer.”

The move to replace Blevins comes as the county is preparing to receive nonviolent, non-sex-offender state parolees as part of a deal to reduce the prison population and the state’s cost.

The law took effect Saturday, and Blevins was to be the county’s lead man in the effort.

Blevins was hired from Alameda County in 2010 to take over the struggling Probation Department.

He has been working to comply with the Justice Department regarding a settlement governing the treatment of youths in probation camps, while dealing with other problems, including staged fights at the camps and credit card fraud by employees.

A DOJ review of the department is scheduled for Oct. 31. If federal officials aren’t satisfied, they could decide to take control of the camps under a federal consent decree.

Under state law, parolees who violate the terms of their released will now be locked up in county jails, instead of state prisons.

Though Sheriff Lee Baca wanted to be in charge of overseeing the parolees, the Board of Supervisors picked Blevins to lead the effort.

A recent report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California about deputies beating inmates in county jails, however, led to calls for the sheriff to resign.

He has said he has no intention of doing that.

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