U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson sentenced former Los Angeles sheriff Lee Baca – who was found guilty in March – to three years of federal prison for obstructing federal corruption and civil rights investigation.
Baca resigned – or “retired”, if you will – in 2014 only after federal agents became suspicious of the way he run Los Angeles jails. The federal investigation uncovered corruption, intimidation, human and civil rights’ violations and abuse of power, among other “dirty” secrets of Lee Baca’s department.
Following the federal investigation, nine of Lee Baca’s subordinates in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were found guilty. (Among them, Paul Tanaka, undersheriff and Baca’s right hand man, who is serving a 5 year term in a federal prison.)
Lee Baca’s attorney attempted to use the former sheriff’s age (74) and a diagnosis of early stage Alzheimer’s disease as a part of his defense strategy. The defense backfired.
Even though the prosecutor asked for only a two year sentence, U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson ordered the disgraced sheriff to serve three years in prison and in his statement stressed out that Alzheimer’s disease is not a “get out of jail card”. (A wise judge.)
Lee Baca is to begin serving his sentence by July 25. His attorney announced that he will appeal.
Following the sentencing, Lee Baca stated that that he is a man of principle. (Clearly, the wrong principle. One has to wonder how much of Lee Baca’s legacy of terror was actually uncovered, after all he worked for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for 48 years!)
Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich