LA County Interim Sheriff Chosen Amid Federal Probe of Department

The undersheriff of Orange County will finish out Sheriff Lee Baca's term until an election takes place for a new sheriff

By Samantha Tata and Jason Kandel
|  Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014  |  Updated 12:16 AM PDT
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Just a month after Sheriff Lee Baca announced his retirement, a new interim LA County sheriff has been named. John Scott from Orange County will fill the position until LA voters chose a new sheriff later this year. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Downtown LA for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.

Gordon Tokumatsu

Just a month after Sheriff Lee Baca announced his retirement, a new interim LA County sheriff has been named. John Scott from Orange County will fill the position until LA voters chose a new sheriff later this year. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Downtown LA for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.

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An interim sheriff was chosen Tuesday by Los Angeles County leaders to temporarily take the place of Sheriff Lee Baca, who announced his retirement amid a jail abuse scandal.

John Scott, the undersheriff in Orange County, has been named interim LA County Sheriff, officials announced.

Read: LA Co. Sheriff Baca to Step Down "On Own Terms"

Scott has 40 years of law enforcement experience, including as division chief of custody operations in LA. He will oversee the department of 10,000 personnel for up to eight months until voters pick their new sheriff.

"I'm very excited about this opportunity," he said. "I can assure you... I'm not going to be a placeholder."

LA County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich said in a statement that Scott brings strong leadership to the department.

“John Scott will be a superb interim sheriff to lead the department until voters elect a new sheriff," Antonovich said.

Read: 5 Deputies Charged in Federal Case Plead Not Guilty

Baca announced he will not run for a fifth term as the county's top cop amid a jail abuse scandal that has beleaguered the department.

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