► U.S. Judge Percy Anderson of Los Angeles; one of the Good Guys Print E-mail

U.S. Judge Percy Anderson of Los Angeles; one of the Good Guys


The State of California presented Percy Anderson with a law license in 1975 after he graduated from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Law School.


In one matter, Judge Anderson was assigned to preside over the public corruption case of former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca. Baca previously pled guilty to lying during an FBI investigation into allegations that his department had tried to block a federal inquiry into abusive deputies in the county jails.


The laughable plea deal would have allowed Baca to serve less time in the joint than any of his subordinates, which included his former No. 2, Paul Tanaka received in cases relating to charges of obstruction of justice.


The sweetheart deal giving Baca a mere six-months in jail didn’t sit well with Judge Anderson. In fact, he refused to accept the plea deal and while doing so, said in part:


  • Federal prosecutors applied a law in deciding Baca’s punishment that “underappreciates this defendant’s culpability.”
  • A six-month sentence “would not address the gross abuse of the public’s trust… including the need to restore the public’s trust in law enforcement and the criminal justice system.”


Baca is now left with the choice of seeking a new deal with the prosecutor with a lengthier prison sentence that Judge Anderson might be willing to accept. On the other hand, he can opt to have a jury trial.


The attorney for Baca’s No. 2 man Paul Tanaka had it right when he said:


  • “How does Paul Tanaka gets five years and he is under Baca?” said veteran defense attorney Lou Shapiro. “Why are foot soldiers getting more than the guy in charge is what the judge might be wondering.”


Kudos to Judge Percy Anderson for having the courage and fortitude to not allow someone of Baca’s ilk to get off without serving a substantial time in prison.


As we speak (ca. July 2016), Judge Anderson continues to sit as a United States District Court judge in Los Angeles, California. 


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