Santa Ana Council considers whether Walters should be replaced by a Latino

The L.A. Times is reporting that there is a chance that Santa Ana Police Chief Paul Walters will be replaced by a Latino, if Walters is indeed tabbed to become the next Orange County Sheriff. I suppose that is possible – but I question the need to even consider the race of his replacement. I would hope that the Santa Ana City Clowncil would look for the best candidate, irrespective of his or her race.

Clowncil Member Michele Martinez actually agreed with that sentiment when she told the L.A. Times that “we’re an equal opportunity employer, and we need to find the best of the best.” However she undermined her own statement when she also said that “I think it’s important to consider a Latino. We should seek a replacement based on our demographics.”

We used to have a Latino Superintendent, Al Mijares, over at the Santa Ana Unified School District. And he was the worst Superintendent in the history of public education. He left SAUSD in utter disarray. The negative effects of his long reign are still being felt, as the SAUSD struggles with low test scores, high dropout rates and a $31 million hole in their budget.

Martinez was not the only Clowncil Member who went on the record regarding the possible replacement of Walters. Check out this ridiculous quote from David Benavides:

Councilman David Benavides credits Walters for “an amazing job reducing crime” and for being “very much in tune with and understanding the Latino community.”

Wow. That is a stunner. It is hard to believe that you could find more than a couple of residents who would agree that Walters has done “an amazing job reducing crime.” Not when gang shootings have mushroomed in the past couple of years. Not with graffiti costing our city $3 million a year to contend with (and likely costing our businesses just as much).

Consider that Martinez herself was ROBBED last year while walking to a public meeting in the downtown area. I was on the phone with her when she screamed and hung up. She called me back to say that a young man on a bike had taken her purse. You’re doing a great job Walters! That is what G.W. Bush would say at any rate.

And last but not least, Carlos “Space Commander” Bustamante also weighed in with a few comments about Walters and his replacement:

“If he or she is Latino, that’s great. But I’m not going to place particular emphasis on hiring a Latino,” he said. “Walters is not Latino, but he’s done good things for the community and he’ll go down as one of the city’s best chiefs.”

I agree with Bustamante’s statement about not placing a particular emphasis on hiring a Latino, but Bustamante ought to be drug tested for saying that Walters will go down as one of the city’s best chiefs. That statement is just plain nuts.

Here’s the bottom line – getting rid of Walters would be a positive for Santa Ana, although it would not be good for our County, but his replacement ought to be the best man or woman for the job, regardless of race. And, to make matters worse, the silly Clowncil Members I quoted above will be involved in choosing his replacement. That does not bode well.


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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.