Former Sheriff Lee Baca pleads guilty

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Then-Sheriff Lee Baca after announcing his retirement in January 2014. Photo by Scott L via Flickr.

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca faces a possible six months in federal prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to one count of making false statements to the FBI. Baca led the nation’s largest sheriff’s department for more than 15 years, but rather than seeking a fifth term, he retired two years ago in the midst of a federal investigation into corruption and the abuse of inmates in county jails.

Warren Olney talks to Robert Faturechi, whose reporting at the Los Angeles Times exposed inmate abuse, cover-up and wrongful imprisonment at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Faturechi’s reporting led to federal indictments of deputies, Baca’s resignation, and sweeping reforms at the nation’s largest jail system. Faturechi now covers money in politics for ProPublica.