Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca remained defiant after his sentencing Friday morning, telling reporters outside the courthouse that he was in the right for actions he took in 2011 for which he will now serve a three-year prison term.
Lee Baca, 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.
In their final words at the end of a bruising retrial, federal prosecutors and an attorney for former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca painted contrasting portraits of the man — as a selfish coward who used subordinates to carry out a plan to obstruct an FBI investigation and a transparent leader who acted reasonably and decisively to protect others.
Frustration over conditions in the county’s jails spilled over Friday morning as protesters temporarily shut down part of a street leading to the main jail complex near downtown Los Angeles, prompting a brief confrontation with police.
Despite his claims of ignorance, former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca was deeply involved in efforts to interfere with FBI agents as they investigated abuses in county jails, a retired sheriff’s official testified Thursday.
In their second attempt to convince a jury that former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca conspired to thwart the FBI from investigating abusive deputies in his jails, federal prosecutors on Friday focused on the lawman’s relationship with his then-second in command.
The first time Lee Baca was put on trial for obstruction of an FBI investigation, lawyers for the former Los Angeles County sheriff nearly convinced a jury that the government’s case was all smoke and no fire.
With his retrial on obstruction of justice charges scheduled to begin next week, former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca lost several judicial rulings Monday in a final round of pretrial legal jockeying.
Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca must decide within a week whether to pay $100,000 in damages stemming from a civil lawsuit involving an inmate abuse case or face liens on his assets, an attorney for the inmate said Friday.
Federal prosecutors announced Tuesday that they will retry former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca following a recent mistrial in which a jury nearly cleared him of obstructing an FBI investigation into the county’s jails.
A mistrial was declared Thursday in the corruption case against former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca after a jury failed to reach a verdict on charges that he tried to obstruct an FBI investigation into allegations that deputies abused jail inmates.
As testimony in his federal corruption case neared an end on Friday, former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca’s defense centered on something no prosecution witnesses, recordings or documents have addressed: his character.
Prosecutors rested their obstruction of justice case Thursday afternoon against ex-Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, after calling to the witness stand a former U.S. attorney who recounted Baca’s fury upon discovering that the FBI was conducting a civil rights investigation into his department.
A former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy whose decision to accept a bribe and smuggle a cellphone into county jail set off an abuse scandal that upended the Sheriff’s Department testified Tuesday that he took part in beatings of handcuffed inmates and helped cover up brutality by colleagues.
Two ex-Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies who have been convicted of obstructing an FBI civil rights investigation into the county jails told a federal jury on Friday that they believed they were following orders from former Sheriff Lee Baca.
The question at the heart of the most significant public corruption trial to hit Los Angeles in decades is clear: Did Lee Baca, a powerful and celebrated law enforcement figure, block the FBI from investigating abuse and violence in county jails when he was sheriff?
A federal judge ruled Thursday that a former Los Angeles Times reporter who interviewed then-Sheriff Lee Baca during an unfolding scandal over abuses in the county jails must testify in the former sheriff’s corruption trial, which is scheduled to begin next week.
Days after withdrawing a guilty plea for lying during an FBI investigation into widespread abuses at the county jails, former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca was indicted Friday on more serious charges that could bring up to 20 years in prison.
Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca withdrew his guilty plea Monday to a charge of lying during an FBI investigation into the county’s jails, opting instead to take his chances at a high-stakes trial.
A federal judge on Monday threw out a plea agreement that would have given former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca a maximum of six months in prison, saying the sentence was too lenient considering Baca’s role in obstructing an FBI investigation into the county jails.
Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, but he nonetheless should serve time in prison for lying to federal investigators during a probe into jail abuses by sheriff’s deputies, the U.S. attorney’s office has concluded.
A former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy at the center of the jail scandal that rocked the department and led to the conviction of 21 agency officials, including the former sheriff, was sentenced Monday to six months in federal prison.
Jailers at the Los Angeles Police Department’s busiest detention facility frequently failed to properly conduct welfare checks of cells to ensure inmates were safe, according to a report released Friday by the LAPD’s watchdog.
A federal jury on Wednesday convicted former Los Angeles County Undersheriff Paul Tanaka of deliberately impeding an FBI investigation, capping a jail abuse and obstruction scandal that reached to the top echelons of the Sheriff’s Department.
Paul Tanaka, Los Angeles County’s former undersheriff, took the witness stand Monday and was grilled by a federal prosecutor who portrayed him as the main culprit in a plot to impede FBI agents investigating jail abuses.
The criminal trial of Paul Tanaka, a once-powerful figure in Los Angeles County policing, opened Thursday as the former undersheriff faces allegations that he deliberately thwarted an FBI investigation into jail abuses.
In the jail abuse scandal that has roiled the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and resulted in the convictions of more than a dozen officials, one question has remained open: How high did the corruption go?
At the center of the FBI’s investigation into allegations of obstruction of justice by Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials was a top-secret program known to a select few deputies as Operation Pandora’s Box.
It is tempting to imagine disgraced former Sheriff Lee Baca — who now faces up to six months in federal prison — serving his time behind bars, itching to tell authorities of the abuse that he and other inmates routinely suffer at the hands of guards, trying to contact investigators with a phone they had managed to sneak in to him.
Retired Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca pleaded guilty Wednesday to lying to federal investigators, a stunning reversal for the longtime law enforcement leader who for years insisted he played no role in the misconduct that tarnished his agency.
Two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies struck a deal Tuesday with federal prosecutors that spares them a second trial on charges related to their beating of a handcuffed jail inmate, but cements convictions they lied about the violent encounter.
The trial of two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies accused of assaulting a handcuffed inmate began Tuesday with attorneys for the deputies and federal prosecutors offering starkly different accounts of what occurred.
Federal officials have rejected a last-ditch effort by Los Angeles County to maintain control over its jails and will move forward with a consent decree to address longstanding problems with mental health care in the troubled facilities.
Jail inmates and their families filed a lawsuit Thursday against Los Angeles County as well as nearby counties, alleging that the fees for inmate telephone calls are “grossly unfair and excessive” and amount to a moneymaking scheme for local governments.
Prompted by the escape of an inmate from the Men’s Central Jail downtown, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials closed all three of the department’s jails to visitors Saturday to allow for a detailed security assessment.
A former deputy in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has been indicted on federal charges that he helped cover up the beating of a handcuffed man by other deputies in a county jail, the U.S. attorney’s office announced Friday.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell has hit upon a potentially feasible plan for working with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, targeting jail inmates eligible for deportation in a way that balances conflicting desires on both sides of the immigration debate.
Months after the Board of Supervisors moved to limit the practice, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell has authorized federal agents to operate inside jails to look for deportable inmates, saying that the new procedures “appropriately balance” public safety needs and the concerns of immigrant communities.
The family of a 23-year-old man who committed suicide in Men’s Central Jail will receive $1.6 million from Los Angeles County to settle a lawsuit alleging that jail officials did not properly diagnose his mental illness.
Setting a future course for the troubled Los Angeles County jail system, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a plan to move at least 1,000 mentally ill offenders out of lockups and voted to build a state-of-the-art jail focused on mental health treatment.
Los Angeles County supervisors reversed course Tuesday on last week’s controversial vote to proceed with design and construction of a new downtown jail, an action some legal experts said violated the state’s open meetings law.
Capping years of scandal, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has agreed to federal oversight of its jail system in an effort to end abuse of inmates by sheriff’s deputies and to improve chronically poor treatment of mentally ill inmates.
A Los Angeles County jail inmate who went for 32 hours with no food, only one cup of water and no access to a toilet seemed to have been deliberately passed over during mealtime, said a high-ranking jail official who has viewed video of the inmate’s ordeal.
Los Angeles County’s overcrowded and outdated jail system is a headache for local officials; but for leaders of the small and economically distressed desert city of Adelanto, it’s a potential windfall — or so they hope.
Los Angeles County officials plan to spend more than $100 million over the next year to reduce abuses in the county’s crowded jails, improve treatment of mentally ill inmates and divert others with mental health issues from entering lockups.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to extend a controversial partnership with federal immigration authorities designed to target potentially deportable immigrants who have been convicted of serious crimes.
Sheriff’s officials convicted of obstructing a federal investigation into the Los Angeles County jails have been testifying before a grand jury as prosecutors set their sights on the highest echelons of the department, according to sources familiar with the probe.
Two Los Angeles County sheriff’s sergeants accused of lying to federal investigators about threatening to arrest an FBI agent secretly recorded the confrontation outside the agent’s home, a federal prosecutor said in court Monday.
More than a dozen current and former “sworn officers” from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are expected to be arrested as part of a wide-ranging investigation into allegations of abuse and misconduct inside the county’s jails, according to sources familiar with the arrests.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said the charges against 18 current and former sworn officers on allegations of jail misconduct mark a “sad day” for the department, but he denied suggestions that it represents a larger, institutional problem.
FBI agents began arresting Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials Monday as part of a wide-ranging investigation into allegations of abuse and misconduct inside the county’s jails, according to sources familiar with the arrests.
A federal jury has found Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca personally liable in a case involving abuse of an inmate in the Men’s Central Jail, meaning the sheriff could be required to pay $100,000 out of pocket.
The Los Angeles County sheriff said he failed to implement important reforms that could have minimized brutality. He also said his command staff has at times left him in the dark about jail conditions.
The session, which was opened up to The Times and a local TV station, offered a candid glimpse into the living conditions of jail inmates. The move also seemed to be an effort to show that the Sheriff’s Department is transparent, can fix its own problems and hears out its inmates.
The FBI is investigating allegations that two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies knocked an inmate unconscious, beat him for two minutes and then tried to cover up their conduct, authorities confirmed Monday.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has begun termination proceedings against six deputies who were part of what officials are describing as an aggressive group that may have used gang-like hand signs to identify themselves before allegedly assaulting two fellow deputies at a Christmas party last year.
A civilian jail monitor said she witnessed two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies treat an inmate like “a punching bag,” unjustifiably beating him as he lay unconscious for at least two minutes, according to a court declaration filed Monday by the ACLU.