Former L.A. County Undersheriff Paul Tanaka Indicted for Obstruction

May 17, 2015 • Community, News

By P.C. Staff

LOS ANGELES — Paul Tanaka, 56, the former Los Angeles County undersheriff and current mayor of Gardena, Calif., surrendered to authorities May 14 after being indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly obstructing an FBI investigation into corruption and brutality in the L.A. County jails.

The indictment reads a string of orders that Tanaka and former LASD Capt. Tom Carey, who was also indicted, gave during summer 2011 to sheriff’s deputies working to conceal from FBI agents the location of an inmate the FBI was using as an informant.
As undersheriff, Tanaka was the second-highest-ranking official in the department.

He unsuccessfully ran for sheriff in 2014 and was forced out of the department in 2013 by Baca over criticism regarding the abuse scandal. He was re-elected to four-year terms as mayor of Gardena in 2009 and 2013. He is expected to take a leave of absence.
Tanaka and Carey face charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice. If convicted, the charges could send both men to federal prison for years. Tanaka entered a not-guilty plea in court May 14.

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