Former Undersheriff Tanaka Found Guilty of Obstruction of Justice

Former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka waves to residents during the Glendora Hometown Christmas Parade December of 2013. Photo by Aaron Castrejon.

A jury in the trial of former Los Angeles Undersheriff Paul Tanaka found him guilty today on two counts of obstruction of justice.

Tanaka was charged with one count of obstruction of justice and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice in an effort to thwart an FBI investigation into claims of corruption and the use of excessive force against inmates in two Los Angeles jail facilities in 2011.

Tanaka served as the Sheriff’s Department’s number two man from 2011 to 2013. He resigned his position in March of 2013 after a report by the Citizen’s Commission on Jail Violence was very critical of Tanaka and then Sheriff Lee Baca. The Commission was formed to investigate and recommend corrective action on rampant inmate abuse, covering up corruption and favoritism in county jail facilities.

Paul Tanaka, former Los Angeles County Undersheriff, was convicted on two counts of obstruction of justice.  He appeared in the Glendora Hometown Christmas Parade in 2013 during his run for sheriff. Photo by Aaron Castrejon.

Paul Tanaka, former Los Angeles County Undersheriff, was convicted on two counts of obstruction of justice. He appeared in the Glendora Hometown Christmas Parade in 2013 during his run for sheriff. Photo by Aaron Castrejon.

Tanaka resigned from the position of undersherrif in March of 2013 as a result of the investigation from Citizens Commission on Jail Violence. He then announced in August of 2013 his intention to run against Baca for Sheriff of Los Angeles County.

Tanaka appeared in Glendora’s Hometown Christmas Parade in December 2013 during his campaign. He eventually would lose to current Sheriff Jim McDonnell.

Tanaka is scheduled to be sentenced June 20 and faces up to 15 years in federal prison.

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