PARC's Merrick Bobb discussed the legacy of former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca in the Los Angeles Times. Bobb, along with PARC, worked for the County of Los Angeles as a long-term institutional monitor of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department from 1993 to 2014.
“Here you had somebody who had good ideals and who, on several important issues, like homelessness and the mentally ill, seemed capable of sounding different and being more understanding,” said Merrick Bobb, who monitored the Sheriff’s Department for the county for more than two decades. “But after a while, all people will remember is that the sheriff resigned and pleaded guilty to a federal crime. Whatever else he did that was good will be lost.”
Bobb and others who worked closely with the sheriff criticized Baca for taking a detached approach to running the department and ceding control to Paul Tanaka, his undersheriff. Tanaka, who was sentenced last month to five years in prison, is one of several sheriff’s officials and deputies who have been convicted of playing roles in the scheme to obstruct the FBI.