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Sheriff Baca

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NEWS
January 8, 2014 | By Paul Thornton
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca announced his retirement ahead of the upcoming election, and most of the readers who have sent letters reacting to the resignation have welcomed the news. As I've noted in the past, reader opinion (including that of one L.A. County supervisor ) late last year had turned decisively against the embattled sheriff, whose department is under a jail abuse investigation by federal authorities. After news broke that 18 former and current members of the department had been criminally charged as part of that investigation, I wrote that "if The Times' letter writers were solely responsible for picking the L.A. County sheriff, Lee Baca would probably be out of a job. " Now, with Baca bowing out, many readers are moving on to the question of what's next, although some are still unsparing in their criticism of the sheriff.
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
March 30, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
As Los Angeles County sheriff, Lee Baca was roundly and rightly criticized for his failure to prevent or correct the abuse of jail inmates over the course of his 15 years in office, most notably during the final few years of turmoil that culminated in the indictment of 20 deputies and Baca's resignation. It is not uncommon, when a controversial figure leaves power, for critics to denigrate every aspect of his tenure and leadership philosophy, and it would be easy to write off anything that happened at the jails on Baca's watch as being a disaster that must be reversed at the earliest possible moment.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 2014 | By Richard Winton, Seema Mehta and Abby Sewell
With Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca announcing that he will retire at the end of the month, a political scramble was underway to lead the troubled agency. One of his top assistants said Tuesday he is now running for sheriff. "My calling card will be back to basics," said Todd Rogers, describing his campaign to lead the department. "There has been catastrophic failure of leadership in the Sheriff's Department," he said, adding that Baca was poorly served by some of his assistants.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 26, 2014 | By Robert Faturechi
After stepping down as Los Angeles County sheriff in January, Lee Baca largely has avoided the spotlight. Former aides don't know how to reach him. Reporters looking to interview him have been rebuffed. His last tweet was a link to his farewell address. But this week, Baca took center stage once again - this time as a guest speaker at a Loyola Marymount lecture hall where he offered a contemplative, and at times, self-critical view of his 15-year tenure. Speaking to a group of undergraduates Tuesday night, Baca said his biggest regret as sheriff was spending too much of his time at public events instead of managing his department.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 2014 | By Robert Faturechi and Jack Leonard
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has scheduled a news conference for 10 a.m., with sources telling The Times he plans to announce his retirement. The news of Baca's decision to step down has stunned people inside and outside the Sheriff's Department. He was locked in a tough reelection battle amid several scandals that beset the department. Baca, 71, told top officials in county government late Monday that he believes stepping down would help the department recover after several years of tumult and criticism, according to sources familiar with the conversations.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 2014 | By Seema Mehta, Abby Sewell and Jack Leonard
Sheriff Lee Baca's surprise retirement prompted two parallel furors on Tuesday - among county leaders, who must quickly pick an interim replacement, and among potential candidates who are reassessing a field that was dramatically altered by the departure of the 15-year incumbent. Los Angeles County supervisors were preparing Tuesday afternoon to meet in private to begin discussions to pick an interim sheriff. Early support appeared to be building around Terri McDonald, a well-regarded assistant sheriff who was brought in from the state prison system to reform the county's troubled jails.
OPINION
March 30, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
As Los Angeles County sheriff, Lee Baca was roundly and rightly criticized for his failure to prevent or correct the abuse of jail inmates over the course of his 15 years in office, most notably during the final few years of turmoil that culminated in the indictment of 20 deputies and Baca's resignation. It is not uncommon, when a controversial figure leaves power, for critics to denigrate every aspect of his tenure and leadership philosophy, and it would be easy to write off anything that happened at the jails on Baca's watch as being a disaster that must be reversed at the earliest possible moment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 7, 2000
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors took a big step this week toward strong and independent civilian review of the Sheriff's Department. The move stood in sharp contrast with the Los Angeles Police Department corruption scandal, in which the city might accept increased oversight only if forced to by the federal government.
OPINION
February 27, 2013
No doubt most Angelenos were as surprised as we were to learn Monday that Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca had been selected as "sheriff of the year" by the National Sheriff's Assn. After all, most of the news about the sheriff during the last 12 months has been of the sort that doesn't lend itself to awards. He has been accused, for instance, of improperly doling out favors to friends and campaign contributors. Federal officials have been probing allegations of inmate abuse in the jails he runs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 17, 2013 | By Abby Sewell and Robert Faturechi
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. It is the first time a jury has held Baca personally at fault in a deputy use-of-force case. Sheriff's officials called the verdict a "huge mistake" and said they would appeal. Plaintiff Tyler Willis filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in October 2010, alleging that deputies severely beat him in 2009 while he was an inmate awaiting trial.  Willis alleged that he was punched and kicked repeatedly, shot with a Taser multiple times and struck "numerous times" in the ankle with a heavy metal flashlight, causing fractures and head injuries.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 29, 2014 | By Robert Faturechi and Jack Leonard
For Sheriff Lee Baca, it was a legacy moment. He was on Capitol Hill, testifying before a congressional hearing on the radicalization of American Muslims. Conservative lawmakers were grilling him, pressing him to acknowledge that the Muslim groups he embraced after 9/11 may have had criminal elements. Baca wasn't having it. "We don't play around with criminals in my world," he shot back. With dozens of cameras trained on him, the sheriff made the case that American Muslims were being unfairly persecuted and should be treated as partners, not suspects, in the fight against terror.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 28, 2014 | By Abby Sewell and Robert Faturechi
After two closed-door meetings Tuesday, Los Angeles County supervisors announced they have selected Orange County Undersheriff John Scott to take over for the resigning Lee Baca until voters select a new sheriff later this year. The vote was 4-0, with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas abstaining, to appoint Scott as interim Los Angeles County sheriff,  county spokesman David Sommers said. Before joining the Orange County Sheriff's Department, Scott had retired from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department after serving as a division chief.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2014 | By Robert Faturechi and Seema Mehta
Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell entered the race to become Los Angeles County's sheriff on Monday, boasting a number of heavyweight endorsements including the county's current and former district attorneys. McDonnell, who served as second in command to Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton before moving to Long Beach, enters an increasingly crowded field seeking to replace Lee Baca, who last week made the surprise announcement that he would end his reelection campaign and retire at the end of the month.
OPINION
January 11, 2014
Re "Sheriff's race thrown open," Jan. 8 Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca's shocking retirement announcement saddened me. While I have criticized his leadership, clearly from his tone, it was difficult for him to leave in this manner. I could feel his regret and personal passion as he spoke. He served the county for more than 50 years, and I'd like to thank him and wish him well. What also saddens me is the condition in which he left the Sheriff's Department. It is abundantly clear that his successor must dramatically transform the department to win back the trust of the people.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 8, 2014 | By Seema Mehta
Before Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca announced his surprise resignation this week, those campaigning to replace him mostly argued that the 15-year incumbent needed to go so leadership could be returned to the beleaguered department. When former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka announced his candidacy atop a helicopter landing pad, he said county residents were "long overdue for a new direction from their sheriff. " The prior day, former Cmdr. Bob Olmsted announced his bid, saying he was "running for sheriff to restore integrity.
OPINION
August 10, 2013
Re "Don't run, Sheriff Baca," Editorial, Aug. 4 I'm extremely troubled that despite copious evidence of a county Sheriff's Department in serious managerial disarray, not one challenger has stepped forward to rescue it. As a Los Angeles County supervisor, I can't fire Sheriff Lee Baca. Only the voters can. But I do oversee lawsuit payouts - most against his department. Each time I approve a legal settlement arising from misuse of force by sheriff's deputies, another arises.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 10, 2013 | Steve Lopez
When I got to the fundraiser Monday night for L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca, I was told the press was not welcome. Why not? I wondered. You'd think Baca would want the world to know that, despite one debacle after another in his department - including the indictment of 18 current and former staffers earlier Monday for alleged beatings of inmates and other crimes - he still had supporters who were willing to be seen in public. The cost of Monday night's love-in, by the way, was $1,500 a ticket.
NEWS
January 8, 2014 | By Paul Thornton
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca announced his retirement ahead of the upcoming election, and most of the readers who have sent letters reacting to the resignation have welcomed the news. As I've noted in the past, reader opinion (including that of one L.A. County supervisor ) late last year had turned decisively against the embattled sheriff, whose department is under a jail abuse investigation by federal authorities. After news broke that 18 former and current members of the department had been criminally charged as part of that investigation, I wrote that "if The Times' letter writers were solely responsible for picking the L.A. County sheriff, Lee Baca would probably be out of a job. " Now, with Baca bowing out, many readers are moving on to the question of what's next, although some are still unsparing in their criticism of the sheriff.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
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