Shocker: Sheriff Baca To Announce His Resignation Today [UPDATED]
Sheriff Lee Baca is expected to resign later this morning amid shocking allegations of mismanagement, shoddy hiring practices and an extensive federal crackdown on jail employees.
The surprise move by Baca shocked many of those in his circles, who all expected him to make another run for reelection this June, WitnessLA reports. Baca had made no indication in recent days of his impending decision.
Yesterday, Baca talked to members of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors informing them that stepping down would be the right thing to do in the midst of the allegations against his department, the L.A. Times says.
The resignation comes after a huge crackdown on employees of Men's Central Jail. The jail has become an epicenter of federal activity after numerous accusations of excessive force and abuse of power. In one incident, jail officials tried to hide an inmate who was using a phone given to him by the FBI to document instances of inmate abuse, and two deputies taped themselves threatening to arrest the FBI special agent in charge of the case. In all, 18 Sheriff's Department employees were arrested on Dec. 9.
Baca has also come under fire for hiring numerous jail employees with serious allegations of misconduct on their records, including sexual assault and excessive force. Many of those employees were hired through the "Friends of the Sheriff" program, which has only recently been suspended.
Baca's announcement is expected at 10 a.m. this morning.
UPDATE 12:00 p.m: Sheriff Lee Baca has formally announced his retirement, effective at the end of the month. Read all about it here.