Ex-Los An­ge­les sher­iff Baca to report to prison

Antelope Valley Press - - NEWS -

LOS AN­GE­LES (AP) — Former Los An­ge­les County Sher­iff Leroy Baca was or­dered Thurs­day to report to prison by Feb. 5 to be­gin serv­ing a three-year prison sen­tence for a cor­rup­tion con­vic­tion.

Baca, 77, who has been di­ag­nosed with Alzheimer’s dis­ease, has been free on bail while ap­peal­ing his ob­struc­tion of jus­tice con­vic­tion three years ago. The U.S. Supreme Court de­clined his fi­nal ap­peal on Mon­day.

Baca, who re­signed amid the cor­rup­tion scan­dal in 2014, was con­victed of ly­ing to the FBI and try­ing to thwart the agency’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into cor­rup­tion in the na­tion’s largest jail sys­tem.

Agents had been se­cretly look­ing into al­le­ga­tions of bribery and in­mate beat­ings by jail guards in 2011 when Baca and his top lieu­tenants learned that an in­mate was act­ing as an FBI in­for­mant.

Baca and top brass hatched an elab­o­rate plot to hide the in­for­mant in the jail sys­tem by book­ing him un­der false names and mov­ing him to dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions. They also tried to in­tim­i­date an FBI agent by threat­en­ing to ar­rest her.

Their in­ter­fer­ence scut­tled the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into civil rights abuses by guards but ex­posed cor­rup­tion among the high­est ranks of the depart­ment, snar­ing Baca and his top lieu­tenant.

Baca and his chief deputy, Paul Tanaka, were both con­victed. Tanaka was sen­tenced to five years in prison.

More than 20 mem­bers of the depart­ment, in­clud­ing lower level deputies who beat in­mates, were con­victed as a re­sult of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Baca had un­suc­cess­fully chal­lenged his con­vic­tions at the 9th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals on sev­eral grounds, in­clud­ing that ju­rors should have been told of his Alzheimer’s di­ag­no­sis.

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