Sheriff Baca's son recommended department's only new recruit in 19 months
The only recruit the L.A. County Sheriff's Department hired in the last 19 months was personally reccomended to Sheriff Lee Baca by his son.
John W. Pace, 26, was selected from among thousands of applicants as the department was tightening its belt due to budget cuts.
David Baca, a sergeant with the Murrieta Police Department, said Pace called him, "looking for help" in becoming a cop. David Baca agreed to put in a good word with his father. David Baca said his father offered no assurances, but sometime thereafter Pace became the department's only trainee hired since October 2009.
Capt. Kevin Herbert, who supervises the department's hiring of recruits, said Pace's connection with Baca's son played no role in his employment. "It looks bad, but in my opinion that was not taken into consideration. ... He's an outstanding candidate."
Read more: "Sheriff's Department hired rookie with ties to Lee Baca's son."
Photo: John W. Pace, left, stands out as the only recruit wearing the Sheriff's Department's tan and green uniform at the graduation of academy Class 383 in April. The other 18 recruits are from local police agencies. (Irfan Khan, Los Angeles Times / May 29, 2011)