BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood held a press conference Friday morning following the resignation of four Kern County Sheriff’s Community Advisory Council members.
Youngblood says the council was in the process of creating bylaws, but the meetings were interrupted by protesters. He added the group’s vision is to build relationships with the community and improve transparency.
“It was almost accusatory, every line of the by-laws they were objecting, they interjected and quite frankly in an hour we got nothing done,” Youngblood said Friday.
17 News obtained a letter written by Council Chair Dr. Arleana Waller addressed to Sheriff Donny Youngblood.
In the letter, Waller writes the three resigning members had “reached an impasse” in their ability to implement changes the advisory board was established to make.
Youngblood announced a fourth member, Mardi Sharples, had also resigned.
The letter says the resigning members were not aligned with the requirements or wishes of a very vocal subsection of the council.
Waller’s letter also stated a meeting showed the council was “missing the mark” in making change and that the council’s original mission was being “subverted by politics and bureaucracy.”
The council was created in 2020 to close the gap in trust between the sheriff’s office and the community and was formed before a settlement with the California Department of Justice in its investigation of alleged abuses by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.