Sheriff Lee Baca The Trial of Lee Baca

Former Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca Pleads to Felony Charge That Would Likely Involve Time in Lock-Up

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

Early Wednesday morning the news began to leak that former Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca
had agreed to plead guilty to a felony charge of making false statement—or statements—to federal authorities when he was interviewed in 2013 about elements of the wide-ranging corruption and civil rights investigation into wrongdoing at the nation’s largest sheriff’s department, which Baca had run for fifteen years.

In the plea agreement signed on February 8, and filed in federal court Wednesday morning, Baca admitted that he lied to the FBI and members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office during an April 12, 2013 round of questioning. At that time, among other denials by Baca, the former sheriff falsely claimed ignorance of the fact that, in 2011, two LASD sergeants were going to approach FBI special agent, Leah Marx, and threaten her, hoping to get information about the feds’ rapidly expanding investigation into brutality by deputies in the LA County Jail.

In fact, Baca has now admitted, he gave instructions that the officers “should do everything but put handcuffs on her.” Her being Agent Marx.

Mr. Baca also denied participating in conversations about “keeping the FBI and inmate [ Anthony Brown, a federal informant] away from each other, according to the statement of facts in the plea agreement

According to federal officials, discussions with Baca’s attorney about a possible deal have been going on for the past few months while an investigation into Baca’s actions continued. The initial approach was made from Baca’s side.

The government has been investigating the sheriff for multiple years as part of a general investigation into corruption and wrongdoing inside the department he led, according to U.S. Attorney Eileen Decker.

“Today’s charge and plea agreement demonstrate that illegal behavior within the sheriff’s department went to the very top of the organization,” said Decker.

Throughout the investigation there were denials” of wrongdoing from Baca, she said.

“He had the opportunity to lead, but he did not lead.”

Baca is expected to enter his formal plea Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 PM in federal court.

More after the hearing.

Photo of Lee Baca by Saxon Brice


  • Baca lies, knows he is lying, the government knows he is lying, and he is going to do maybe 12 months.

    McDonnell claims he has cleaned house, but there are plenty of folks who were involved with this fiasco still in supervisory roles.

    LASD, the AUSAs, and Baca all win while the deputies pay for their collective sins.

    ALADs has done a fantastic job of raising this point to our execs and not defending Deputies. Crook of ….

  • About friggin time. Only 6 months? The head of the department and shot caller gets 6 months while his minions got years…..go figure. A joke. Now it’s Tall Paul’s turn to take his medicine.

  • This conclusion was blindingly apparent when he suddenly retired. The fish truly did rot from the head down.

  • Baca, Tanaka and believe it or not, ALADS is next on the chopping block. ALADS apple doesn’t fall too far from the Sheriff’s Department tree.

  • It might be a day of reckoning for Leroy, but I would sure like to see the day come when this Sheriff, decides to do what he said was needed, and start cleaning up this Dept. It sickens me to know that there were Commanders who allowed all this to go on that are now Chiefs. And those that claim they were kept out of the loop are straight out lieing. It would be great to see and audit done of their phone/text/email calls and messages at that time. Interesting times folks, interesting times. All I can say is for all of us in patrol, watch your back and watch your partners back.

  • How in the world is Waka Baca only getting a max of 6 months and low totem pole deputies like Sexton are facing close to 2 years of prison time?!? Idiot Captain Francesco Schettino received 16 years in prison for abandoning his ship like a coward. Some could say Baca did the same thing and then some. Come on Liz Rhodes and Brandon Fox… Make your mama proud and put that law degree to use. Get “creative” like you did in the other trials. And by “creative” I mean cheat.

  • Alads President George Hoffstetter is a forked tongue liar. He along with Ex President Floyd Hayhurst were the sneaky-ass culprits to screw over Sexton who was hamstrung with his information to get Baca and Tanaka to begin with. Hayhurst was blocking for Tanaka and Shinee was pissed because Sexton was smart enough to demand a competent attorney. George: Your news blurp saying that you represent the deputies union is a flat out lie. When will you be truthful and “man up” regarding the ineffective legal plan of ALADS which support some deputies and shun others. Alads is only looking out for themselves. Pathetic.

  • Well, some us knew for damn sure this was going to happen years ago. And to those who didn’t believe us…….well, just wait for the next shoe to fall.

    I had a feeling something was up because it has been too damn quiet lately.

  • It was called before. A pissing contest (vs.FBI) gone awry. Nothing was worth going to prison for, until the agent was screwed with. Truly a “Who’s your Daddy” moment.

    Helluva lesson to learn. Know when to hold them…….

  • Terrible message from the Sheriff on all this today:

    “As I have stated previously when asked about the federal investigation and trial, I have faith in the justice system, and trust that it is assessing the facts of these past events in a fair-minded, accountable manner. I know that the milestones during this series of Federal trials have been difficult for all of us at the Sheriff’s Department to learn about. But most important, I have learned through my personal experience with this proud organization that our deputies and professional staff remain focused and committed to moving forward by continuing to perform their essential public service in a professional and caring manner.”

    Zzzzzzz…… What a snoozer, in-one-ear-out-the-other message on the occasion of such a huge event as his predecessor pleading guilty to a Federal felony. An ill formatted e-mail that reads as if written by a lawyer. Another missed opportunity to give the organization what it wants and needs.

    The 6 month maximum sentence doesn’t really bother me. I guess because I was skeptical a jury would convict someone so struggling with senility. Baca may have given an order out of anger or ego, but we all know who did the real work, who really had the handle. Whether it’s 6 months or 6 years, the guy is ruined. He’s not walking off into the sunset. Maybe pleaing was the smart play on paper, but it’s certainly not the most human one. It took some guts to accept a bullet that might not be coming. And for it, he’ll perhaps be done with his sentence by the time Mr. Tanaka is beginning his inevitable far longer one.

    For what it’s worth, LA FBI Director Bowdich was very classy and graceful in his remarks today. Very pro-LASD. Very pro-deputy; clear he didn’t believe there was a deep organizational problem and certainly less so today than two years ago. He didn’t have to be so gracious and he/they won’t get credit for it, but should.

  • It’s really sad now, I loved going to work. Now, everyday is a chore. With a little over 20 years on, I’m counting the days to go at 25 years. I was never a Baca fan, I haven’t work Custody in 16 years. I know morale is low everywhere. How can you do you job when you can’t even make decisions without a supervisor present? Make a decision, make a decision was pressed into my head in the academy. Nowadays we just say, “I need a Supervisor to respond to my location regarding………” Baca’s ignorance and his puppets took decision making away from us, and now Mickidee’s running the show.

  • @ 10. The conversations and votes behind closed doors at ALADS Board Meetings were/are painted and told differently to the reps. The “Executive Sessions” were used in a cowardly fashion so reps would not know the true conversations and who voted on what. Cowardly bitches who conducted themselves like “drive-by” gangbangers who denied any knowledge of wrongdoing. It was usually only 4 of the seven. Hoffstetter always aligned himself with Hayhurst when Sexton was mentioned.

  • Baca a convicted FELON! It has a nice ring to it. The countless men and women that were disciplined and/or terminated for lying during an Internal Investigation would be difficult to tally with a calculator and Baca was doing it in a Federal Investigation for years as his beloved Deputies had their lives ruined covering for him. Baca has always been a lying RAT. Paul Tanaka, I know you read these posts, how is the consistency of your stool right about now? Know this Paul, Baca now is just another in a long line of your Rats (or as you used to label them, “Good Dudes”) that will now take a big bite of cheddar cheese in the hallway of Federal Court as the U.S. Marshal advises them they are going on the stand next to testify against you. I know folks are whining about the 6 month sentence Baca received, but when they hear the sentence that will be handed down to you Paul it will truly be “A Day Of Reckoning” for all!

  • I’m over all this bs and have moved forward. My question is this, why am I paying the legal fund in :re Macias vs ALADS. Ron Hernandez,man you break this down or are you busy doing nothing, as usual.

  • I am disgusted with the way this mess has been handled from the beginning. The Feds, Judge Anderson, Baca, Tanaca and the prosecution team are sorry low life’s that hopefully one day will have “their day in court” as well. Why did Sextons Grand Jury testimony get butchered?? Why didn’t his appointed attorney show up before his Grand Jury testimony? Why did the Feds turn on him after he was trying to help? How can this injustice be allowed to stand? They have ruined a mans life and feel no remorse in fact they are all elated because their careers were all jumpstarted. What has happen with Sexton’s appeal? When will they make a decision in the Sexton case? Sexton needs to be exonerated and this process needs to happen NOW!!! Brandon Fox you couldn’t win a case unless you cheated and lied. I know you follow Witness LA and I just wanted to tell you that just because you are a prosecutor and work for the Feds doesn’t mean you aren’t a criminal. How can you sleep at night? oh, I forgot you sold your soul to the devil a long time ago!!!!

  • The picture of Baca on this thread says it all, a pathetic excuse for a disgraced former Sheriff, now convicted Federal felon, ex-con (as soon as he completes his Federal obligations). In the bullpen, warming up while shitting door knobs and peach seeds is none other than Too Tall Paul. As his attorney is fleecing Paul out of thousands of dollars in pre-trial work, the reality is the only light at the end of the tunnel for the little man is a one hundred car freight train barreling ass towards a wide-eyed narcissist who is wondering “how can this all be?” More on all of that a little later as we inch closer to March 22, or when Paul Tanaka comes out of his delusional dream and realizes that it’s all over but the crying, and he takes the plea that will be offered to him within the next few weeks.

    The greater question to me at this point, now that the bottom of this shit sandwich, the line deputies all chained together waiting for the Federal TST bus to pick them up for that long ride to prison, and the floating cream of Baca and one way or the other, Tanaka, is taken care of, what about the REAL villains in all of this? The MCJ Captain, Lieutenants and Sergeants who created, fostered and encouraged the “culture of corruption” inside 441 Bauchet Street? The very ones who covered up all of the unnecessary and criminal use of force capers, the ones who encouraged the 2000/3000 Boyz OGCF Viking mentality, the ones who “allowed” the mentality of “anything goes, I got your back.” McDonnell apparently loves them because he has retained and promoted them. I see them all the time in meetings acting like they are pure McDonnell company men and women. They still act as they are untouchable, they disgust me. So I’m looking for a sign when they deal with Paul once and for all, the Feds utter the words, “Our investigation is on-going into the culture of cover-up and corruption within LASD.” Because McDonnell does not have the stones to deal with the dirt all around him, he is too busy worrying about my uniform shirt.

  • @ FPK1••••If only you and the members knew half of that $tory. ALADS is banking {no pun intended} on the hope, that no one outside of the board members find out. That money could be used to defend or assist deputies who truly need it. Ask Ron or any of the board members. Watch their face twitch or come up with some mealy mouth lie.

  • @ Argus, Either POPA or the County of Los Angeles is footing Tanaka’s legal bill. It is not coming out of his pocket.

  • Leroy Baca has told folks he made the best deal for his friends and family.

    What about your people that directed, influenced, and ordered to do this? You flat out lied and even threatened them you piece of _______.

    Baca’s legacy will forever be; I did what was best for me and no regard for the reality of my people.

    Fed are just as dirty for accepting this deal. Its just about asserting dominance while letting the architect off because he looks too much like you (Feds).

    The guys who are exercising their constitutional rights are being punished the most by the stewards of the justice system. Joke joke joke and I am patiently waiting to see what the 9th’s opinion comes to be.

  • ALADS is playing both sides of the fence. You’re all talk with no action which was quite evident during the whole Pandora Box scandal. You sat quietly on the sidelines allowing management to feed young deputies to the wolves. You could have made a difference, but you chose not to. Alads is just as guilty as Baca and Tanaka. If your son was involved, would you go to bat for them? Ask youself that question at your next expensive meal dining on our dime. My drop card is signed.

  • Go ahead Hoffstetter and tell the 9000 plus deputies and District Attorney Investigators about your part to stifle Sexton for assistance. You are the only current board member to partake in it.

  • Argus, spot on. It’s mind boggling that those involved in Pandora’s box are now chiefs, commanders, captains, and lieutenants. They still operate in the same Tanaka mode, taking care of their friends, punishing their rivals, and lining up that next step up the ladder. They all have the ear of one or more of the A/S’s and the “XO,” so they strut around as the untouchables.

    The very system that spawned the Tanaka groupthink remains in place, with new names entering and being indoctrinated into the culture of corruption. Jim McDonnell, in case you bother to read this, as I’ve said repeatedly, you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken shit. You can’t wipe the slate clean, or give these fools better “guidance,” they are dirty cops out for themselves, nothing more. Their presence is your failure. Their continued upward mobility is evidence of a corrupt system you have yet to address.

    What are you waiting for McDonnell, a formal invitation?

  • @ FPK1 and Shad 49; Sorry my friends are slipping, so I was just alerted to the pot shots at me.

    Like I said before, I will be more than happy to explain things, but this is not really the place. If you guys think I’m doing nothing, then you’re both clueless.

    I will only say this: is money being spent regarding Macias, yes! Too much, probably. But, don’t blame ALADS, blame Macias and Nance for their BS and not letting it go. Or, you can listen to Macias and Nance portraying themselves as victims.

    Anyone who really knows me, also knows what I am trying to accomplish. If that is not enough for you two, to bad! Go ahead and suffer in anonymity, because I’m confident I can defend myself!

  • @28. No pot shots, just a chin check. “Too much”, probably? Now you shift ALADS B.S. Really Ron?

    Put that in the Dispatcher and stand by. The dollar sign will eventually be known to membership. Macias et al is proof that ALADS can’t intimidate them.

    The Pied Piper and the kool-aid will do it every time,Ron.

  • @Shad 49; clearly you just want to posture for anyone reading these blogs. Pied Piper and kool-aid? You are so far off, clearly you don’t know me or my personality. Get up to speed before trying to “chin check” me. I don’t even know what to say to someone who is a cheerleader for Macias on this matter, except you have no idea!

    Put it in the Dispatcher? Do some research on that also, and then come back and let us all know what you found out about what goes in the Dispatcher and who controls it.

    And, for the record, I don’t mind anyone taking pot shots at ALADS, because they have earned their reputation with many members, and who am I to try and convince you otherwise. But, if you attack me, my character and ethics then I’ll regard you as clueless. I seriously question your ability to assess a crime scene with the assumptions you make.

  • Oh yeah, and I keep using my true name so that someone using their real name can feel free to attack my integrity with a true story, if you have one! Anyone can throw out anonymous lies!

  • Ron. You keep dancing around the true issue which is money and accountability to membership. Understandable that while on the Board, you are not one of the boys and your aim is to be a game changer, but that will never happen carrying a blank gun while tip toeing through the tulips. On the contrary, my cheerleading is for the majority of dues paying deputies which also includes Macias. Your verbal vantage precedes you and it so often precludes you. Step up your game.

  • @Shad 49; Call it dancing, call it whatever you want, but know this, I was going to retire next month, but decided to stay and try and help some friends. You, however, are hiding behind an anonymous screen name while judging my character and tell “me” to step up my game? Irony at it’s best!

    If you’re going to judge me list my failures with cold hard facts to back them up, but don’t criticize me for not moving fast enough while you sit back, hide and let me do the work. I have already seen enough of that behavior in my 31 years.

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