AP source: LA sheriff to announce retirement

AP source: Embattled Los Angeles County sheriff to retire; leads largest US jail system

AP source: LA sheriff to announce retirement

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A law enforcement official says embattled Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca will announce his retirement. Baca leads the largest jail system in the U.S.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to publicly release the information in advance of a press conference Tuesday planned by Baca.

The 71-year-old's department has come under increasing pressure in recent months, including a federal indictment of 18 current and former deputies allegedly involved in jail violence or cover-ups.

The Sheriff's Department oversees a jail system with more than 18,700 inmates.

Baca has acknowledged mistakes but distanced himself personally from allegations.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the Sheriff's Department in 2012, saying the sheriff and his top commanders had condoned violence against inmates. The organization released a report documenting more than 70 cases of misconduct by deputies.

A federal jury in October found Baca personally liable for $100,000 for failing to stop inmate abuse by deputies in Men's Central Jail in a case brought by a man who said he was severely beaten while awaiting trial.

The Sheriff's Department also faced recent scrutiny over hiring. The department announced it was reforming hiring practices last month after it was disclosed that 80 deputies had criminal convictions, histories of misconduct or other problem backgrounds.

Less than a year ago, Baca was picked as the nation's Sheriff of the Year by the National Sheriff's Association, which cited his providing educational opportunities for inmates and efforts to work with religious groups.

The group also noted the vast size of the Sheriff's Department and the relatively low crime rates in areas patrolled by deputies.

Updated : 2021-02-26 12:51 GMT+08:00