Supervisors halt search for new sheriff, has one candidate

The Press-Enterprise

A call for applicants to fill the remaining two years of the retiring San Bernardino County sheriff's term was scrapped Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors, which instead will consider only one candidate for the job.

The board will vote on appointing Assistant Sheriff Rod Hoops to Sheriff Gary Penrod's remaining term at its Jan. 27 meeting.

Board Chairman Gary Ovitt had proposed opening an application period to candidates from San Bernardino County, which would have begun this week with board approval.

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Even with that process, Hoops would have been considered a front-runner because he is a 30-year department veteran and was named by Penrod as his choice as successor. Two supervisors stated that he is an excellent candidate.

At Tuesday's board meeting, Supervisor Neil Derry suggested that the selection process be eliminated because it appeared that the board favored Hoops.

Derry referred to a Jan. 10 news report that said "several county supervisors have endorsed" Hoops for the position. Derry later said he was referring to story in The Press-Enterprise.

Ovitt took issue with the word endorsed, saying it incorrectly characterized support for Hoops among the five board members. While Hoops is respected, "we still haven't voted for him yet," Ovitt said.

The question of the method of appointment aside, Supervisor Paul Biane maintained his support for Hoops.

"The most important thing to note is that Rod Hoops is the best person to be the sheriff of San Bernardino County," Biane said.

Reach Zeke Minaya at 951-368-9539 or zminaya@PE.com

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