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LA County Sheriff Baca under fire for accepting gifts

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca is coming under scrutiny for accepting gifts worth about $120,000 including trips, basketball games, concerts and wine.

May 1, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca is coming under scrutiny for accepting gifts.

The Los Angeles Times reported that since becoming sheriff in 1998, Baca has accepted more than $120,000 worth of presents including basketball games, trips, concerts, wine and liquor.

State law allows local officials to accept gifts with some restrictions.

A government watchdog group told the newspaper that Baca's willingness to accept so many gifts creates potential conflicts of interest.

However, Baca said it would not be practical for him to do background checks on gift-givers and that refusing their tokens would be insulting.

City News Service contributed to this report.