Ex L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca Wants to Move Pending Criminal Trial Out of Area

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca arrives at the downtown federal court for a sentencing hearing Aug. 1, 2016. (Credit: Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca arrives at the downtown federal court for a sentencing hearing Aug. 1, 2016. (Credit: Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

With his criminal trial approaching, former L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca wants the case moved far from Los Angeles and is seeking to have the lead prosecutor disqualified.

At a hearing Monday afternoon, Baca’s attorney, Nathan Hochman, will try to persuade a judge to grant the requests — over the objections of the U.S. attorney’s office.

In court filings, Hochman has tried to make the case to U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson that media coverage of Baca’s legal troubles will make it impossible to select an impartial jury in Los Angeles. And he has said that Assistant U.S. Atty. Brandon Fox should not be allowed to prosecute the former sheriff because, should the case go to trial, Hochman plans to call Fox as a witness.

Baca faces charges of obstruction of justice and lying to federal investigators that stem from the role he allegedly played in a 2011 plan to interfere with an FBI probe into widespread abuses by sheriff’s deputies working in county jails.

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