Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca. (27309)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Undaunted by a spate of scandals, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca says he is running for re-election next year.

“I think I’m the most qualified for the job,” Baca said following a speaking engagement at the Long Beach Rotary Club Wednesday afternoon, according to the Press-Telegram.

In a scathing editorial in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times, Baca was asked not to run for re-election due to the “extraordinary cascade of scandals that have exposed the dismal state of the department and the jails he runs.” The editorial made reference to the “gang-like clique” of deputies alleged to have beaten inmates at the men’s Central Jail and committed civil rights violations.

“You can’t blame an organization of 18,000 for the bad conduct of a few,” Baca said Wednesday, the Press-Telegram

reported. He said deputies found to have participated in the jail attacks were dismissed, and those who failed to report the incidents were disciplined.

Voters will elect a Los Angeles County sheriff next June. Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell considered  challenging Baca but announced in June he would not seek the job. Baca has been sheriff since 1998.