Lee Baca, Former Los Angeles County Sheriff, Is Ordered to Report to Prison

Lee Baca, Former Los Angeles County Sheriff, Is Ordered to Report to Prison

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Lee Baca, a former Los Angeles County sheriff convicted of obstructing an F.B.I. investigation into his department’s troubled jails, to report to prison within three weeks.

Mr. Baca, 77, was convicted in March 2017 on felony counts of conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice and lying to federal investigators. He was sentenced that May to three years in prison, but he remained free on bond throughout his appeal, according to court documents.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, which prosecuted the case, declined to comment on Thursday. Lawyers for Mr. Baca did not immediately return phone calls or respond to emails seeking comment on Thursday evening.

On Monday, the Supreme Court denied a petition to open his case for review, clearing the way for Judge Percy Anderson of United States District Court to set the deadline for Mr. Baca’s surrender.

Mr. Baca, who has Alzheimer’s disease, resigned as the leader of the nation’s largest sheriff’s department in 2014 amid the growing obstruction scandal that would engulf at least 10 members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

According to prosecutors, the scheme, which they said began in 2011, included ordering a criminal investigation into federal agents who were themselves investigating allegations of corruption and civil rights abuses at Los Angeles County jails, as well as hiding an F.B.I. informant from investigators.

Mr. Baca put his undersheriff, Paul Tanaka, in charge of the plot, prosecutors argued. Mr. Tanaka, who was later convicted of obstruction of justice and conspiracy, was sentenced in 2016 to five years in prison.


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