Ex-Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca will serve three years in federal prison following his conviction in March for obstruction of justice, conspiracy and lying, a judge ruled Friday.
Baca, 74, had faced up to 20 years in prison for his part in hiding an informant from FBI agents investigating the abuse of inmates in the county jails.
In sentencing the former sheriff, U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson told Baca: "There comes a time when you have to accept responsibility."
Anderson said Baca was more interested in "burnishing image" and getting re-elected than stopping jail inmate abuses.
The judge said the sentence sent a strong message to elected officials, law enforcement and the public: “No person no matter how powerful ... is above the law.”