UPDATED at 11:20 p.m.
Sheriff's Lee Baca released a statement late Tuesday morning. The longtime member of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department confirmed he will officially retire at the end of this month.
Below is his unedited statement:
I have been proud and honored to serve the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the people of Los Angeles County for the past 48 years – which has made this decision the most difficult of my professional life.
I am not going to seek re-election to a fifth term as Sheriff, and I will retire at the end of this month.
The reasons for doing so are many, and some are most personal and private, but the prevailing one is the negative perception this upcoming campaign has brought to the exemplary service provided by the men and women of the Sheriff’s Department. They have conducted themselves with the utmost integrity and professionalism, resulting in yet another year of historic crime reductions not seen in nearly half-a-century.
Your Sheriff’s Department is the greatest law enforcement agency in the nation, and I want to thank the men and women of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for their hard work, dedication, and sacrifice exhibited daily.
To the people of Los Angeles County, I also extend a deep sense of gratitude for allowing me to serve for the past 48 years.
As your elected Sheriff for the past 15 years, I have held fast to the Core Values of this great department.
And they are:
“As a leader of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, I commit myself to perform my duties with respect for the dignity of all people, integrity to do right and fight wrongs, wisdom to apply common sense and fairness in all I do, and courage to stand against racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and bigotry in all its forms.”
Sheriff Lee Baca
Several news outlets are reporting that Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca intends to resign tomorrow.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Baca’s Departure is a retirement.
The sheriff’s official announcement was expected later today, according to several reports.
Baca, 71, was first elected Sheriff of Los Angeles County in December 1998, according to a bio posted on the department’s web page. He entered the Sheriff's Department on August 23, 1965. He served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves.
The department and its’ leader have faced several scandals including allegations that several deputies under his command were involved in jailhouse abuses and corruption.
Baca was up for re-election and was to face several opponents included Paul Tanaka who was appointed Undersheriff in 2011. Paul retired in the summer of 2013.
The sheriff's department serves several areas including Lynwood, Cerritos, Artesia and areas surrounding Long Beach, La Verne and Baldwin Park.