LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A retired Los AngelesCounty sheriff's commander who  played a role in exposing abuses inside the agency's jails says he's going to  challenge Sheriff Lee Baca in next year's election.

Bob Olmsted promised to clean up a department that he says has been  beset by scandal because of mismanagement and cronyism by Baca, the Los Angeles  Times reported in  an article on its website.

Baca, who has been sheriff for about 15 years, enters his reelection  campaign amid several scandals. Over the weekend, Supervisor Gloria Molina  published a letter in The Times blasting Baca and expressing disappointment at  the absence of challengers.

Two others have entered the race, but Olmsted is considered the most  serious challenger to Baca, who has high name recognition and significant  fundraising resources, The Times reported.

The 62-year-old Olmsted was one of the first sheriff's officials to  break rank with his old boss, according to the newspaper. In 2011, he went  public with his criticisms of the four-term sheriff, telling The Times that he  warned Baca about deputies using excessive force against inmates but was  ignored until the problems grew into a scandal.

Olmsted's public statements contradicted Baca's claims that he had been  kept in the dark by his top aides about jailhouse problems, according to The  Times. Olmsted also commissioned internal audits raising alarms about jailer  brutality nearly two years before Baca acknowledged that it was a problem.