Former Head of America's Largest Sheriff's Dept. Found Guilty of Obstructing Federal Probe
March 18, 2017
(LOS ANGELES, CA.) -- Former California Sheriff Lee Baca, a man described by the L.A. Times as "The once powerful and popular sheriff of Los Angeles County," was found guilty Wednesday of obstructing a federal investigation into abuses in county jails and lying to cover up the interference.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy David "Lee" Baca at 2014 news conference in Montery Park announcing his retirement after serving 15 years with the agency. Photo by Scott Liebenson released to public domain.
The verdict was reached by jurors on their second day of deliberations and, Marked a devastating fall for a man who in his 15 years as sheriff built himself into a national law enforcement figure known for progressive ideas on criminal justice issues," said the Los Angeles Times report.
The verdict comes at a time when Baca, 74, is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and now faces the possibility of going to federal prison.
Baca showed no emotion when the verdict was read and said afterward to reporters he disagreed with the verdict adding, "I look forward to winning on appeal.”
Specifically Baca was convicted of obstructing an FBI investigation "into corrupt and violent guards who took bribes to smuggle contraband into the jails he ran and savagely beat inmates," according to the Associated Press.
Baca's 50-year law enforcement career came to an end in 2014 with his resignation from what is America's largest sheriff's department as the federal corruption probe "spread from rank-and-file deputies to his inner circle," said the AP.