Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Corruption

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca was sentenced Friday to three years in prison for obstructing a federal investigation into corruption and civil rights violations at the jail that Baca supervised.

Baca was accused of lying to federal prosecutors and the FBI about efforts by deputies under his control to hide a jail inmate who was cooperating with the federal corruption probe.

Baca also ordered a criminal investigation of FBI agents conducting the investigation, according to a statement from the US Attorney’s office.

US District Court Judge Percy Anderson said he would have sentenced him to a longer sentence except for Baca’s medical condition and long public service, the statement said.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Baca, 74, is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

“Blind obedience to a corrupt culture has serious consequences,” Anderson said, according to the US attorney’s statement.

Baca’s lawyer, Nathan Hochman, argued that because of his medical condition, Baca should be sentenced to house arrest and ordered to perform community service, the LA Times reported.

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SOURCE: CNN, Ralph Ellis