Crime & Justice

Ex-LA County Sheriff Baca asks for community service, home confinement for corruption conviction

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, center, leaves federal court in Los Angeles with attorneys David Hochman, left, and Nathan Hochman after his corruption trial went to the jury Monday, March 13, 2017, in Los Angeles.
Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, center, leaves federal court in Los Angeles with attorneys David Hochman, left, and Nathan Hochman after his corruption trial went to the jury Monday, March 13, 2017, in Los Angeles.
Nick Ut/AP

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Former L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca's attorney is seeking a sentence of community service and home confinement for Baca's role in a scheme to block an FBI investigation into abuse and corruption in a county jail.

But federal prosecutors said they considered his age and health and are recommending two years in federal prison.

In a court filing Monday, Baca's attorney, Nathan Hochman, wrote his client should not be subjected to the "harsh cruelty of the prison system not designed to address his medical condition."

Baca is 74-years-old and has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Baca was in command of the largest sheriff's department in the country for 15 years. Prosecutors said in their filing Monday that he "abused the great power the citizens of Los Angeles County had given him."

A jury in March found Baca guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and lying, which together carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. Baca vowed to appeal the conviction. 

Before trial, prosecutors offered Baca a plea deal — a maximum of six months in prison. Baca agreed, but a judge rejected the deal as too lenient.

He is scheduled to be sentenced May 12.