Los Angeles County Sheriff

By City News Service
Posted: 08/13/15 – 7:59 PM PDT |

A retired Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department captain charged with obstructing a federal probe into corruption in the county jails has agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge and cooperate in the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation, according to court papers filed Thursday.

William “Tom” Carey will plead guilty to lying on the witness stand while testifying in the trial of former Deputy James Sexton, who was convicted and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for trying to obstruct the federal probe, according to the plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court.

In exchange for his plea and cooperation, Carey will receive a reduced sentence, and remaining charges against him will be dismissed, according to the document.

Carey and former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka were charged in May with obstruction of justice with conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice. Carey was also charged with two counts of lying on the witness stand last year during the trials of co-conspirators.

Carey was head of the department’s Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau, tasked to “root out the very corruption” charged in the federal probe, then-acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie Yonekura said in May.

Tanaka, who, like Carey, testified for the defense at three trials stemming from the federal probe, “ran the day-to-day operations” of the sheriff’s department, she said.

“They knew there was rampant inmate abuse” and “did not want the FBI and federal investigators to know,” Yonekura alleged.

According to the indictment, the defendants were well aware of “problem deputies” at the jails, but told guards to work in a quasi-legal “gray area.”

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