Amid FBI Probe, L.A. County Sheriff Hires CA Prison Official to Run Jails


As the FBI broadened a probe into violence in the Los Angeles County jails, Sheriff Lee Baca brought in an outsider with a reform background to run the troubled lockups, the Los Angeles Times reports. Baca’s decision to hire Terri McDonald to manage the nation’s largest jail system marks a milestone in his reform effort, sparked by the federal investigation into allegations that jailers beat inmates and visitors. McDonald left a post with the state prison system to oversee Baca’s jails, where her annual salary is $223,087. Sheriff’s officials say her reputation as a tough manager who helped reform the prisons makes her a good fit for the jails post. At the prisons, McDonald most recently helped oversee realignment, the process of keeping thousands of would-be state prisoners in local county jails. She’s also been noted for helping to improve training for prison guards. So far, federal authorities have secured a bribery conviction against one deputy, but the probe continues. Sources with knowledge of the federal investigation say it has expanded to include two new cases in which deputies allegedly took part in unprovoked beatings.

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