Lee Baca spent 15 years as sheriff of Los Angeles County building a reputation as an ethical and transparent leader with creative, progressive ideas on law enforcement.
A federal prosecutor Monday needed only about 90 minutes to dismantle that glowing portrait of Baca and replace it with a far more sinister portrayal as the former sheriff’s obstruction of justice trial came to a close.
Assistant U.S. Atty. Brandon Fox delivered an unsparing closing argument to jurors, recapping nearly two weeks of testimony and evidence that he said prove Baca willfully participated in a 2011 plan to interfere with an FBI probe into widespread inmate abuse by deputies in county jails.
Fox presented Baca as a petty, territorial figure who “gave lip service” to repeated warnings about his jails and then grew furious when he learned federal agents had launched a secret investigation into the lockup facilities.
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