First African American named to head Department of Public Social Services
Sheryl L. Spiller has 40-plus years with the county
Sheryl L. Spiller, whose 40-plus years with the county of Los Angeles began as a clerk typist, was sworn-in last week to lead the 13,500-employee Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) in its efforts to provide benefits and services to low-income individuals and families in the second largest locally operated social services agency in the nation.
With her official swearing in, Spiller became the first ever African American to lead the department in its nearly 100-year history.
During the swearing, Spiller, accompanied by her daughter and three grandchildren, received a standing ovation. She reflected on the lyrics of Whitney Houston’s version of “One Moment in Time,” which say “Each day I live, I want to be, a day to give the best of me.” She said she was personally moved as she listened to the Grammy-award-winning song.
Spiller has served as DPSS acting director since August 2011, after the former director, Philip L. Browning, was named to head the County Department of Children and Family Services.
She thanked the Board of Supervisors and chief executive officer for making it possible for someone at the lowest level to rise to the top.
“The County, under the leadership of the Board, has created extraordinary opportunities for professional development, making it possible for someone to begin employment at the lowest entry level and work their way up to head a major department,” Spiller said.
Spiller has served in various management positions, many of which have guided critical policy decisions for the department. She is also credited with spearheading a highly successful public outreach effort that resulted in more than 100,000 uninsured children being enrolled into Medi-Cal.
At the end of life, Black kidney disease patients are more likely than White patients to continue intensive dialysis instead of choosing hospice care, according to a new study.
Researchers also found that racial differences in kidney disease treatments became more extreme in the highest Medicare spending regions of the U.S.
A Louisiana TV station has defended its decision to fire a Black meteorologist, Rhonda Lee, insisting that she repeatedly violated company policy by responding to comments on its Facebook page.
Lee first spoke out on the Facebook page of KTBS-TV in October when a viewer wrote: “the Black lady that does the news is a very nice lady. The only thing is she needs to wear a wig or grow some more hair, I’m not sure if she is a cancer patient,” he continued, “but still it’s not something myself that I think looks good on TV.”
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A top AEG executive referred to Michael Jackson as “a freak” and another called him “creepy” just hours before their company signed the pop icon to a huge concert deal.
The revelation brought an audible gasp in the Los Angeles courtroom at the wrongful death trial Wednesday and left fans crying.
Jackson’s mother and children are suing AEG Live for the negligent hiring, retention or supervision of Dr. Conrad Murray, the physician convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the singer’s death.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Every issue in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial is so disputed that even giving candy to jurors caused an argument.
AEG lawyers gave a bag of peppermint candy to the bailiff to hand out to the jury this week. Even Katherine Jackson — the pop icon’s mother — enjoyed the treat.
But Jackson’s lawyer raised an objection Tuesday afternoon, suggesting jurors might be influenced if they realized the source of the sweets.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A man in his early 20s suffered life-threatening wounds to his upper back this morning in a shooting in the Leimert Park, police said.
The shooting in the 3800 block of Third Avenue, near 39th Street, was reported around 12:20 a.m., said Lt. H. Fanfassian, watch commander of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Southwest Station.
The victim, who was hospitalized “in extremely serious condition,” did not provide police details of the shooting or a suspect description, Fanfassian said.