Later Baca admitted that he knew his statement was untrue, and acknowledged that he was aware that it is illegal to lie to federal authorities.
As part of the plea agreement he reached with the FBI, Baca was facing up to a six-month federal prison sentence. His attorney, Michael Zweiback, pushed for no prison time, after Baca learned that he is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. The attorney argued that in jail Baca would be vulnerable and unable to get proper medical attention.
"He has a window of time, and that window of time is closing," Zweiback told reporters.
Big surprise in court today after Judge rejects ex-LA County Sheriff Lee Baca's plea deal https://t.co/KIKiXSoI12— Susan Abram (@sabramLA) July 18, 2016
In the open court Baca apologized for his actions, saying that he failed to be a leader and that he felt remorse for mistakes he made as a sheriff in Los Angeles County.
Zweiback told reporters he would rather go to trial than leave sentencing in Anderson's hands. He added that this was the first time in over 25 years that he's ever had a plea agreement overridden.
Baca will return to court for a new hearing on August 1.