Sheriff Lee Baca, who faced a tough battle for reelection amid scandals in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, plans to announce his retirement, sources told The Times.
Baca’s decision comes a month after federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against 18 current and former sheriff’s deputies accused of beating jail inmates and visitors, trying to intimidate an FBI agent and other crimes following an investigation of corruption inside the nation’s largest jail system.
The timing of his announcement remains unclear. But it was confirmed by multiple sources, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Baca won office fortuitously in 1998 when his rival, incumbent Sheriff Sherman Block, died days before the election. In the next three elections, he easily won in primaries against fields of lesser-known candidates, avoiding head-to-head runoff elections. By 2010, no one bothered to challenge him.
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