Lee Baca, the Los Angeles County sheriff who announced his retirement in January 2014 amidst an ongoing federal investigation, will plead guilty Wednesday to making false statements.
As first reported by the LA Times, a charging document filed by federal prosecutors proves that Baca lied twice about his involvement in hiding an inmate from FBI agents who were investigating brutality and corruption by sheriff’s deputies throughout the county jails.
Additionally, Baca also lied when he said he was unaware that his subordinates planned to approach and intimidate a special FBI agent at her home.
Baca appeared in court Wednesday morning for an arraignment on the felony charge. Wearing a brown suit with a sheriff’s star on the lapel, Baca said little at the hearing other than to answer questions from the judge.
“You know what the government is claiming you did in this case?” U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick J. Walsh asked.
“Yes,” Baca responded.
After the hearing, Baca referred media queries to his attorney.
LAst year, Baca’s former top aide, Undersheriff Paul Tanaka, was indicted on charges of orchestrating a coordinated attempt to thwart the FBI.
After that investigation concluded, it seemed only a matter of time before Baca would be the next to face prosecution.