Ex-L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca ‘Was Aware’ of Plan to Obstruct FBI, Former Official Tells Jury

Despite his claims of ignorance, former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca was deeply involved in efforts to interfere with FBI agents as they investigated abuses in county jails, a retired sheriff’s official testified Thursday.

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca hugs his lawyer, Nathan Hochman, outside court last month. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca hugs his lawyer, Nathan Hochman, outside court last month. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

William “Tom” Carey, a former Sheriff’s Department captain who has admitted to playing a central role in the scheme to obstruct the FBI, told jurors that he personally updated the sheriff on the efforts to thwart the federal investigation and that Baca attended several crucial meetings to discuss how to handle the crisis.

Speaking in a sober monotone during several hours of testimony, Carey, 58, was a potentially powerful addition for government prosecutors as they try a second time to convict Baca.

The first attempt ended in a mistrial in December when the jury failed to reach a verdict. All but one of the 12 jurors in the earlier trial voted to acquit Baca, with several of them saying afterward that prosecutors had built a circumstantial case against the former sheriff and failed to prove he was involved.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.