Los Angeles, CA — On Thursday, former Los Angeles County Undersheriff Paul Tanaka and former Captain William Carey surrendered themselves to the FBI after federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment charging them with obstruction of justice, conspiracy, and other crimes. The indictment follows a lengthy federal investigation into allegations of corruption and other misconduct in jails run by the LA County Sheriff’s Department.
According to the indictment, Tanaka and Carey, who both pleaded not guilty at their arraignment that afternoon, knowingly participated in a conspiracy to hide abusive behavior towards inmates in LA jails. Among the incidents detailed in the indictment is the defendants’ alleged involvement with the effort to keep an FBI informant from communicating with his handlers by shuffling him around the jail system and falsifying records. Both Tanaka and Carey have been charged with one count each of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Prosecutors have also charged Carey with two counts of making false statements after he allegedly perjured himself during the trial of a number of lower-ranking sheriff’s deputies who were convicted last year.
Carey is retired from the sheriff’s department while Tanaka left law enforcement after his unsuccessful run to replace Lee Baca. Tanaka currently serves as the mayor of Gardena and is expected to take a leave of absence. Both men served under former Sheriff Lee Baca who resigned last year when 18 deputies were indicted in a related investigation. Baca was not named as a defendant in the indictment, but prosecutors have not ruled out the possibility that he could face criminal charges in the future.
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Stolze, Frank with AP. “Feds indict former LA Undersheriff Tanaka in LA jails scandal (update).” http://www.scpr.org/news/2015/05/14/51683/feds-indict-former-undersheriff-paul-tanaka-in-la/. 89.3 KPCC. 14 May 2015.