Sheriff Lee Baca has accepted gifts from Michael Douglas, Steven Seagal, Lee Iacocca. Is it too much?
Since taking office in 1998, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has accepted more than $120,000 worth of gifts and free travel. In a recent three-year span, he accepted significantly more freebies than California's 57 other sheriffs combined.
He's accepted gifts from big names including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Seagal, Michael Douglas and Lee Iacocca.
And, according to an investigation by The Times' Robert Faturechi, he's accepted gifts from executives seeking his agency's business, individuals who later received special treatment from him, and even a pair of felons implicated in a massive money-laundering and fraud scheme.
Check out the entire database here, then weigh in with your own opinion. Should Baca be accepting these gifts? He says there is no conflict. But others disagree: "Doesn't he realize the appearance is terrible?" said Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies. "When you're taking gifts from strangers, there's only one reason. They only give gifts because they want something."
Share your views below.
Photo: L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca. Credit: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times