“’I didn’t know’ is Sheriff Lee Baca’s refrain to every disturbing incident that comes to light. That stock answer is unacceptable,” said Hector Villagra, executive director of the ACLU of Southern California.
The Los Angeles Times story published on Sunday reveals the department’s disturbing practice of knowingly hiring dozens of individuals who had committed serious misconduct on or off duty. They knowingly hired people who falsified police records, cheated on the department’s own lie detector test, discharged a gun during a domestic dispute and solicited prostitution. These employees, some of whom had been fired or pressured to resign from other law enforcement agencies, now carry a badge and a firearm and roam the county and keep watch in the Los Angeles County Jails.
As shocking as the incidents in the article are, they are not a surprise. They are yet another chapter in the tragic story of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and its leader Sheriff Lee Baca. The man sworn to uphold law and order appears to oversee nothing but recklessness and disorder.
When you head the largest jail system in the country, and your deputies are responsible for the safety of millions in Los Angeles County, the buck stops with you.”
Media Contact: Vicki Fox or Diana Rubio, 213.977.5252