When Justin Bravo applied to be a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy, background investigators noted the young man had some brushes with the law that raised red flags about his past.
Nonetheless, the department hired Bravo as a deputy through a little-known program called "Friends of the Sheriff" — a screening process for applicants with connections to department officials.
Bravo's link was his uncle: Sheriff Lee Baca.
Now, the jail deputy is the subject of a Sheriff's Department criminal probe into whether he abused an inmate. The incident, sheriff's officials say, was caught on tape. Sources say FBI agents investigating the jails are also inquiring about Bravo.
Confidential sheriff's records indicate that Bravo was hired even though officials had documented his alleged involvement in a fight with San Diego police, theft and arrests on suspicion of drunk driving and burglary.
Following inquiries from The Times, the Sheriff's Department's civilian monitoring agency looked at Bravo's background. The Office of Independent Review's lead attorney, Michael Gennaco, said in an interview "there is no way he should have been hired."
Baca and Bravo, 32, declined to be interviewed. Bravo has been relieved of duty with pay in connection with the criminal probe…..Baca nephew is subject of inmate abuse probe - latimes.com