Monterey Park, Calif. – Embattled Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca announced his retirement Tuesday amid federal investigations that have targeted abuses in his jails and discrimination against minorities in one of the communities his deputies patrol.
Baca said he would step down at the end of the month and wouldn’t seek re-election because he was concerned about the “negative perception” the upcoming campaign would create concerning the nation’s largest sheriff’s department.
“I didn’t want to have to enter a campaign that would be full of negative, contentious politicking,” said Baca, 71, in an emotional statement outside sheriff’s headquarters.
Last month, 18 current and former sheriff’s deputies were indicted for alleged crimes that included beating inmates and jail visitors, falsifying reports and trying to obstruct an FBI probe of the nation’s largest jail system.
Forest Service seeks $6.3 million for fire
Cheyenne, Wyo. – The U.S. Forest Service wants to collect $6.3 million from a 77-year-old man the agency blames for causing a 2012 forest fire that threatened to burn into the town of Jackson.
The Forest Service alleges James G. Anderson Jr. sparked the wildfire on Sept. 8, 2012, by burning twigs and paper in a rusted-out barrel at his son’s home and allowing the flames to get out of control. The Forest Service sent Anderson a bill in November for the firefighting costs.
No criminal charges have been filed while the civil matter remains unresolved, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Wyoming.