LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has accepted more than $120,000 worth of gifts and free travel since being elected in 1998.
The Los Angeles Times reports Sunday that Baca has received free meals, rounds of golf and tickets to sporting events from a variety of donors including executives seeking his agency’s business.
In a recent three-year span, he accepted more gifts than California’s 57 other sheriffs combined.
A government watchdog group told the newspaper that Baca’s willingness to accept so many gifts creates potential conflicts of interest.
The sheriff said it would not be practical for him to require background checks on gift-givers and that refusing their offerings would be insulting. He told the Times he wishes there were a state or local law prohibiting people from giving him gifts.
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