LA Sheriff Lee Baca: Bishop Edward Turner is resigning


Based on an Eyewitness News investigation, Turner was relieved of duty as a sheriff's field commander, pending an investigation into questions about Turner's commercial property renting to an illegal medical marijuana dispensary.

Earlier this week, with his department under continued and what he believes is undue criticism, Baca made a surprise announcement that he will retire at the end of the month.

On Friday, the sheriff appeared for an Eyewitness Newsmakers interview, where I asked whether he felt betrayed by Turner.

"I feel like he should have told me that this is going on so I didn't catch it in a difference source. But that didn't happen. So we are doing an investigation, but I also informed the bishop yesterday that it'd be best if he resigned from the program. We will still continue the investigation, however, and he's indicating he will resign," said Baca.

Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore later told Eyewitness News that Turner is resigning from his appointed position, along with two other appointed field deputies, because the sheriff is retiring, and the investigation continues as a separate matter.

Eyewitness News has reached out to Turner for a comment, but we have not received a reply.

Meantime, Baca apparently cannot step away completely from the department he has served for 48 years. He plans to offer his services as a volunteer.

"I want to be a reserve deputy sheriff. That doesn't mean I'll be in the middle of the administration, that means I'll be out in some line function doing the things that I love doing, being with the community and having the responsibility of helping the community be stronger," said Baca.

The sheriff says at the age of nearly 72, he might not ride on patrol -- even though he's qualified -- but he'd work with the youth programs he helped build.

The sheriff is recommending that jails Commander Terri McDonald serve as interim sheriff and will soon meet with officials to explain how she can be appointed.

You can see my entire interview with outgoing Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca this Sunday at 11 a.m. on Eyewitness Newsmakers.

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