Christina Villacorte, Staff Writer
Created: 07/23/2011 07:06:26 AM PDT

Four unions representing most of Los Angeles County’s Probation Department’s workers have called for the ouster of the agency’s chief, saying they have lost confidence in his ability to lead.

Chief Probation Officer Donald Blevins angered the unions earlier this year when he recommended laying off about 200 employees, saying the department was overstaffed.

“Never before has every single union, representing every single employee except those at the very top of the leadership team, come together to send the strongest of messages – Blevins, it is time to go,” said Ralph Miller, president of the county Probation Officers Union.

His union joined with the Supervising Deputy Probation Officers Union, Professional Managers Association and Probation Support Employees in taking the no-confidence vote. Altogether, they represent 95 percent of the department’s workforce.

Miller accused Blevins of refusing to accept the unions’ recommendations to reform the long-troubled department. “Our help has not been accepted,” he said.

Blevins, who took over as chief probation officer in April 2010, disputed the unions’ claims.

“I remain deeply committed to eliminating problems, including those brought to our attention by the Department of Justice,” Blevins said.

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