Sheriff Jim McDonnell at a news conference in March. Photo: AP

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s chief of staff, Tom Angel, has resigned, the Los Angeles Times reports, after the paper obtained chain emails Angel sent during his time with the Burbank Police Department filled with racist, sexist, and otherwise bigoted jokes.

In a statement, Sheriff Jim McDonnell said that he’d accepted Angel’s resignation: “This incident is one that I find deeply troubling.”


“Despite the Sheriff’s Department’s many recent efforts to fortify public trust and enhance internal and external accountability and transparency, this incident reminds us that we and other law enforcement agencies still have work to do,” the statement read.

McDonnell said he planned to treat the incident as a “learning opportunity.”

The emails published by the Times were heavily fixated on Islam, supporting profiling tactics, criticizing “political correctness,” and listing 20 reasons “Muslim Terrorists are so quick to commit suicide” (e.g. “Towels for hats,” “Constant wailing from some idiot in a tower,” and “You can’t wash off the smell of donkey”).

The emails were sent in 2012 and 2013, when Angel was deputy chief in Burbank. He’d been hired to reform the department, which had been accused of brutality, racism, and sexual harassment.

After his emails were made public as a result of a public records request, Angel, a public official, lamented that his emails should be subject to such requests. “Anybody in the workplace unfortunately forwards emails from time to time that they probably shouldn’t have forwarded,” he said. “I apologize if I offended anybody, but the intent was not for the public to have seen these jokes.”