A federal jury in Los Angeles found Paul Tanaka, formerly the second-highest ranking official in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, guilty of two serious charges last Wednesday.
Tanaka, who chose to take his case to trial as part of a jail abuse and corruption scandal, was convicted of conspiracy and obstruction. His sentencing is scheduled for June 20 in the Los Angeles Federal District Court; Tanaka faces up to 15 years in prison.
Nine other former Sheriff’s Department officials have been convicted in a corruption scheme that sought to disrupt or thwart a federal civil rights investigation into county jails.
Prosecutors contended that the officials interfered with or intimidated witnesses in efforts to prevent them from cooperating with FBI agents. During his trial, Tanaka claimed he did not remember much about the events. Instead, the defense focused on other powerful players as the more culpable parties, seeking to minimize Tanaka’s involvement in the scandal. The jury was unconvinced.
Tanaka’s attorneys said they continue to believe Tanaka is innocent and that they plan to appeal the conviction.
Attorney Ronald G. Brower is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Southern California who represents people charged with crimes in state and federal court. If you are being investigated or have been charged with a crime, it is important to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower online or by telephone at 714-997-4400.