The Retrial of Lee Baca The Trial of Lee Baca

THE RETRIAL OF LEE BACA: The Jury Finds Baca Guilty on All 3 Counts

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon


Conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice, and making false statements to federal officials. In a unanimous verdict, delivered on Wednesday at 2 p.m. nearly on the dot, a jury of four women and eight men found the former longtime head of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department guilty on all three counts.

If U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson wishes to give Baca the maximum possible sentence, Mr. Baca could do 25 years in a federal prison.

More likely a sentence will fall into the two-to-five year range. But, one never knows.

“I appreciate the jury system,” said a dignified-appearing Baca in front of the court after the verdict. “But I disagree with this verdict.”

“It’s just a privilege to be alive,” the former sheriff said finally. “I feel good.”

And then he escaped down the sidewalk, flanked by his wife, Carol, and his legal team.

The defense will, of course, appeal.

Look for lots and lots more on the story late Thursday.


  • My fantasy; Baca, Tanaka and Carey are all in the same cell sodomizing each other when their wing catches fire. Everyone makes it out safely except them.

  • Now that Baca’s trial is over what will this website do ? There’s no more good LASD material left to cover. Based on the sub links and amount of comments on LASD topics , that’s what this website has been banking on.

    Well, it was a good 6-year run. Good luck to all…

  • I think it’s done. Take those gold buckles and hop on down the road. Ain’t u about ready to retire? They are not gonna promote you.

  • Correct….The seeds and kindling of corruption are still there. Curious to know anyone’s opinion of road to turnaround and viable choices for next election for Sheriff of Los Angeles County.

  • I told you they would get him this time. Very happy with the guilty verdict but prosecution should have done their job right the first time around. Had to “fix or redact” testimony to get a conviction. They did to Sexton and he paid a heavy price for obeying orders. Baca will probably die before he goes to jail. Appeal after appeal–will be a long time but he has Alzheimer’s so what does he care. Probably won’t even remember tomorrow he was found guilty!!

  • So Anthony Brown takes down the Los Angles Sheriff Dept. brass and several Deputies.
    Maybe they will re-sentence some of those Deputies and give them longer time ? Maybe some crimes will now get investigated !

  • Now the final chapter of all the books(s) can be written by all whose hands were soiled by this mess. It will be interesting to see the multitude of perspectives those books will take. The taxpayers payed a hefty price (and continue to do so) to see justice was served. Now it’s time for the real money to be made.

  • LATBG, you are right about that. Ole Fresh Eyes thinks he has a grasp on things. He is sorely mistaken. These last promotions are going to show everybody just how poorly he has been advised.

  • Deputy Dan, good question. Let’s set aside the hypothetical on who could replace Jim “Brass Snaps” McDonnell and focus on the how to turn around the department (for the moment at least). The first step is the most obvious one, and that is to do what McDonnell and Scott refused to do, which is to clean house. There are limitations, of course, but there are other endeavors that could expand the scope of housecleaning.

    The second part is something else McDonnell refused to do, and I believe this is straight cowardice on his part. Anytime an organization goes through the turmoil of a long term corrupt regime, there is a lot of damage inflicted throughout the organization in terms of personnel, policies, and practices. The only way to account for the damage, fix what can be fixed, and ENSURE IT DOES NOT HAPPEN AGAIN is to form a Truth and Reconciliation working group to poke through the rubble and figure out what went wrong. This requires a sheriff who actually cares about the long term health of the organization, and the welfare of each and every member of it. McDonnell, as we knew all along, did not fit this bill. He won a “prize” because he saw an opportunity that was placed in his lap by the power brokers in LA politics. McDonnell is simply following the Baca playbook, which is to impress the local media, offer a cheap veneer of reform, and quietly kill all internal opposition.

    It’s going to take someone who bleeds tan and green to fix this mess. And no, our future won’t be found on an intent to promote list. It never has.

  • Although it has been, and will continue to be, necessary to clean house, it does not appear this Sheriff has what it takes to do so. We have seen some trickle of retirements with respect to the upper brass, the intent to promotes seem to be a continuation of the problem. None have what it takes to make a sound decision and they will continue to be yes men and women. As for the Sheriff. He is an elected official and will remain in office until he screws up to a level that receives much media attention or he simply calls a quite and hands the crown off to the U/S. Block, Baca, and now Mc D can have the office as long as they want. Death, prison or retirement seem the only way to stop it.

    This has been a horrific several years for the once great LA County Sheriff’s Department. I will always hope the best for the men and women who do the line work for the department. I truly hope the pendulum swings toward normalcy. Law enforcement assaults and murders are out of control and completely unacceptable.

  • The rejoicing seen here may be happening too soon. Do not mistake vengeance for justice. Unfortunately, I believe this saga is not over by a long shot. With all the judge’s restrictions, etc. an appeal is certain. The department still will not be able to heal and move forward beyond this ugly chapter. The disturbing legacy of the former administration will continue to adversely affect the men and women who put themselves in harm’s way every day for the foreseeable future.

  • Lonestar,

    It wasn’t Anthony Brown who took down the LASD brass. He’s nothing but a minor street criminal. The simple truth is all this damage was self-inflicted by the former LASD executives involved.

  • It’s going to be up to the voters to be a tad smarter than they have in the past. It’s up to a challenger to make the case and get the message out in order to unseat the inept incumbent. Regarding the U/S, that’s a non-starter and he knows it.

  • Now if we can begin to wake-up the majority of deputies to clean house in ALADS. Not the annual revolving door of board members but beginning from the top. Richard “Dick” Shinee and the hidden face & open hands of Bud Treece. It’s been damn near forty years……past due for a thorough cleansing, along with some transparency. You there Ron?

  • Celeste, thank you for your great reporting on the subject.

    However, my understanding is that there is going to be more reporting opportunities in the future because this is not over yet. Some of LASD want it over, but…………

    The Birdie is saying some more crimes are being investigated very quietly.

    In the meantime, Hi, Hip HOORAY for Anthony Brown and the others who are coming forward and doing the right thing !

  • @lonestar, the Birdie is right, however we will see just how far ole “fresh eyes” allows the investigations to continue. My bet is they don’t go far, especially those from the 8 the floor of TTCF. Based upon the latest promotions of yet more protégés from the Tanaka camp, it will take at least 15 years to rid the LASD of “pay to play” players. The ilk continues because “fresh eyes” has been fooled over and over again.

  • Baca deserved this. Looks like Roy Burns is popping his lil chest out again on the FB page. We know Roy, Lee and Paul took care of you. Unfortunately, they screwed a lot of other folks. Can’t wait to see that padded resume pal.

  • Have you ever thought that part of house cleaning is essentially releasing the names of the three hundred “known” bad apples, with “Brady” issues. You better believe that many are Lieutenants and above. Could that help or hurt the department as a whole? You tell me. I’ll wait.

  • That list is artificial to begin with, because it relies on the work product of compromised internal investigations. It’s not a dossier of department members who were flagged by the DA’s office for perjuring themselves. That would be a simple list, but I understand this list of 300 is heavily edited for political purposes. If you’re in the car, you’re not on the list.

    Chief Mannis is one of many who should have been shown the door a long time ago, and yet there she is, still contaminating IAB and ICIB, and the results show. To this day investigations are routinely done to justify a predetermined outcome, and all depending on the rank and connections of the individuals involved.

    A truly honest list would include all the managers and executives who have perjured themselves in testimony in front of the Civil Service Commission, the Employee Relations Commission, and in court while desperately defending the illegal actions of the department. That would wipe out most of EPC in one shot.

    This list of 300 is nothing more than a desperate move by McDonnell to demonstrate he’s cleaning up the department, when quite the opposite is true. He’s concealing true corruption, and offering up the perfunctory low level chopped heads for media consumption. It’s pretty pathetic to say the least.

  • Good luck with that but don’t hold your breath. You won’t get what you pay for however you will keep paying.

  • Time will tell. Obviously if it was up to people like you, we’d still be sipping tea and hailing “God Save the Queen.”

  • Jim McDonnell is a coward as far as I am concerned and I would be happy to tell him that to his face; however, after he agreed to meet to speak with me about a few issues, he has weaseled his way out of such a meeting. I am not saying that I am important enough to meet with, but what I am saying is that if I request a meeting and you say yes, then follow through instead of using office staff to get out of it. I figure if he could spend hours determining which belt buckles are prettiest, than he can take 15 min to talk with a concerned citizen, or at least have the guts to decline.

  • ronda: He knows what you want to talk about, and he doesn’t want to go there.


  • I read that sorry exchange between Roy Burns and Ronnie Williams, and I’m not sure which one is more pathetic. They both posture about what they didn’t do, the only difference is they are lying in different ways. One is a legend in his own mind, and the other places blame on Tanaka for what he personally did carrying out the little emperor’s orders.

  • Now that the Metro contract has fallen back into LAPD hands, Mcdonnell is likely waiting for Chief Beck to step down so McD can take Lapd and Metro back. Is anyone aware that McD tried to change our uniform to Blue and our badge to a Shield. He was informed that due to a certain code The Sheriff can only wear a star badge and certain color uniforms.

  • peacemaker: If McDonnell’s intent is to change LASD’s uniform color he may yet succeed.

    The Contra Costa County Sheriff did it effective July 1, 2014.

    That fact can be Googled.

  • The darker color fabric does a better job of hiding some of those hard-to-launder-out stains.

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