Alameda County Supervisors to replace chief probation officer

Alameda County Chief Probation Officer LaDonna
Harris will remain until a replacement is hired.

ALCO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS |
Alameda County’s Chief Probation Officer LaDonna Harris is being replaced by county supervisors.

No official announcement has been made regarding Harris’s departure, but in a memo to her department, she referenced the search for her replacement has already begun.

“As many of you are aware, the county has been preparing to launch a recruitment for the next chief probation officer,” Harris wrote last month. “The board is close to making their announcement, and as I promised, I am making you aware that this is forthcoming.”

However, nearly a month has passed since the memo without any mention by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors that Harris’s job was in jeopardy or that even a change was imminent.

Dave Brown, chief of staff for Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, said the board is currently seeking to hire a recruiting firm, but Harris will remain chief probation officer until her replacement is hired, said Brown.

Sources tell the East Bay Citizen that Harris isn’t being fired, but only that her contract is not being renewed by the county. Pressure, though, has been building against Harris since, at least, last fall stemming from allegations of cronyism in a number of personnel moves she was advocating at the Probation Department, said sources.

The Alameda County Probation Department includes more than 600 employees and oversees 11,000 adult probationers, in addition, to administering various services and programs.

Harris has led the department since 2012 following the abrupt resignation of former chief David Muhammad, who was involved in an alleged sexual harassment suit brought forth by an underling in the probation department. Harris previously served 29 years in the Alameda County Sheriffs Office.

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