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February 18, 2012 | By Jack Leonard and Robert Faturechi, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca admitted Friday that he broke state law by making a political endorsement while in uniform for an online campaign ad touting Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich for district attorney. Baca's acknowledgment came after inquiries from The Times about a video on Trutanich's campaign website that shows Baca wearing his badge and his department-issued sheriff's uniform. Although state law does allow sheriffs and other law enforcement officers to make political endorsements, they are not allowed to do so while in uniform.
January 30, 2014
Join Times staff writers Jack Leonard and Robert Faturechi at 9 a.m. Thursday for an online discussion about the legacy of outgoing Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca. As Baca makes way for his successor, even his supporters see contradictions in his legacy . Baca, whose resignation takes effect Thursday, arrived as a different kind of sheriff, one who talked about tolerance, educating jail inmates and policing that wasn't based on force and intimidation. He leaves a department accused by federal authorities of brutality against jail inmates and racially biased treatment of minority residents.
January 7, 2014 | By Robert Greene
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca's decision to resign rather than seek a fifth term in the June 3 primary closes the books on one man's political career but must not end the discussion about the position's nearly unfettered power, the evidence of institutionalized thuggishness in county jails and the urgent need for both a capable leader to revamp the nation's largest Sheriff's Department and a structural framework for vigorous oversight and lasting...
January 7, 2014 | By Robert Faturechi
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca had something on his mind Friday and needed some advice. He summoned a top aide to his office and let him in on a secret: Baca was thinking about stepping down. The sheriff's leadership was under attack after a string of scandals. He faced the prospect of a nasty reelection bid. But most of all, Baca said, he wondered whether his departure would help the rank-and-file move beyond the controversies of the last few years. The aide, who got his start as Baca's driver and owed the sheriff for his rise, did not try to dissuade his boss from retiring.
March 25, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca pressured his second-in-command to retire amid an abuse scandal in the jails, sources told the Los Angeles Times. Join us at 9 a.m. as we discuss Tanaka's retirement and Baca's recent actions with Los Angeles Times reporter Robert Faturechi. Despite repeated public assertions that Undersheriff Paul Tanaka was doing well, privately Baca pushed for Tanaka to retire, the Times reported . Tanaka's retirement -- effective Aug. 1 -- is one of several changes in the department in the wake of a federal investigation and watchdog probe into how sheriff's deputies treat jail inmates and visitors.
January 7, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
After months of deepening federal investigations, damning news exposes and a scathing county commission report that decried his "failure of leadership," Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca finally took the hint Tuesday and announced that he would step down at the end of the month rather than seek a fifth four-year term. It's the right decision, and one we hope will enable the department to reverse some of Baca's many mistakes and begin to fix the many problems that have plagued it during his nearly 16-year tenure.
September 18, 2009 | Richard Winton
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has ordered a quicker turnaround on department investigations into deputies who shoot unarmed suspects, a sheriff's spokesman said Thursday. Investigations that typically dragged on for more than a year should be completed within 90 days to "provide better accountability to the communities served," said Steve Whitmore, a department spokesman. Baca's move to speed up such probes coincides with his efforts to address concerns among community activists upset over a shooting Monday in Athens in which a deputy shot and killed an unarmed man. On Wednesday, Baca announced that he was convening a panel of his top shooting experts to examine deputy-involved shootings and the tactics his officers use in such confrontations.
December 23, 2010 | By Abby Sewell and Ann M. Simmons, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has launched an aggressive campaign against Compton's plans to reestablish its own police department ? an action that some city officials view as unwelcome outside interference. Baca told the City Council on Tuesday night that the city cannot afford to run its own police agency. His department also has made the unusual move of setting up a website that urges citizens to oppose the plan. "I believe the Compton Police Department could come back," Baca told the council.
October 27, 2010 | By Robert Faturechi, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca asked his department's watchdog Tuesday to review his handling of a case in which he was accused of giving preferential treatment to a long-time supporter who has given the sheriff political donations and expensive gifts. Baca wants the Office of Independent Review to consider guidelines that would help him decide how to handle investigation requests brought directly to his attention, including pleas from donors, celebrities and friends. Baca made the request in response to a Times investigation showing that he directed detectives to go outside his agency's jurisdiction to open a criminal probe on behalf of Ezat Delijani, a Beverly Hills businessman.
June 11, 2013 | By Robert Faturechi and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell announced Tuesday evening that he will not be challenging Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca in next year's election. McDonnell, a well-respected former Los Angeles police official, had been considering running for several months. If he had, he would have been the most formidable opponent to challenge Baca since Baca became sheriff about 15 years ago. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, McDonnell said he made his decision over the weekend, after considering how much time it would take to compete for campaign donations against an incumbent.
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