Jury Awards $1.5 Million to Prosecutor Who Sued DA Gascón for Retaliation

Head Deputy Shawn Randolph calls George Gascón’s administration an ‘epic failure of leadership’

A Los Angeles County jury awarded $1.5 million in damages Monday to a senior prosecutor who alleged she was transferred from a prestigious position to a “dead-end job” after complaining about District Attorney George Gascón’s juvenile sentencing policies.

The verdict in favor of Head Deputy Shawn Randolph capped a two-week trial that included testimony from Gascón, who said she was not retaliated against and was transferred as part of staffing adjustments.

The verdict marks the first time that a jury has awarded monetary damages to a deputy district attorney suing Gascón for retribution. More than a dozen prosecutors have similar lawsuits that are still pending against the controversial district attorney, who survived a recall campaign last year when supporters failed to secure enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Outside of the courtroom after the verdict, Randolph said Gascón’s tenure at the helm of the District Attorney’s Office has been “an epic failure of leadership.”

Beth Correia, one of Randolph’s lawyers, said the case “shined a light on what’s been happening in the DA’s Office.” She said her recommendation to other plaintiffs awaiting trial is to “hang tough.”

Eric Siddall, vice president of Los Angeles County Association of Deputy District Attorneys, said the verdict should send a strong message to Gascón.

“We all know what George Gascón thinks about public service,” Siddall said. “He has called lifelong public servants ‘internal terrorists.’ And he has treated them as such. He silenced their voices, he engaged in petty and vindictive acts of retaliation and rewarded political loyalty instead of competency and professionalism. Far worse, he did so at the expense of public safety.

“Today jurors spoke out against Gascón’s incompetence and condemned his illegal machinations. He sat in front of them and testified.  They listened.  And they saw right through him.”

The jury’s decision is disconcerting, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

“We are disappointed by the jury’s verdict and stand by our decision to reassign this and other attorneys to new positions within the office,” said the statement. “As any manager will tell you, moving around personnel in order to improve the level of representation this community receives is absolutely critical to a functioning office. We will consider our options over the next several days.”

Randolph, a former head deputy for the Juvenile Division, said in a 2021 lawsuit that Gascón transferred her to the Parole Division in downtown Los Angeles after she complained he had abolished the ability of prosecutors to file certain crimes against juveniles governed under California’s “three-strikes” law.

Randolph also repeatedly disclosed to her superiors that criminal charges made under Gascon’s policies for violent juvenile offenders were not “truthful charges” and that they violated the ethical and statutory duties of prosecutors. Additionally, she said the directive violated California’s Marsy’s Law by preventing families of victims from giving input into the decision on whether to try juveniles charged with homicide as adults.

Click here to read the full article in the OC Register

AG Rob Bonta Lets Gascon Minion Slide

No Pokey for the Wokey

California Attorney General Rob Bonta, a close political ally of Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, has taken a pass on filing charges against Gascon’s Chief of Staff Joseph Iniguez.

Iniguez, who made headlines for allegedly drunkenly threatening and berating an Azusa police officer, has been under investigation by the California Department of Justice over the incident, possibly for threatening to illegally snuff out the career of the officer, as the Globe recently reported.

According to a court filing submitted yesterday by Iniguez’s attorneys, the Gascon crony is no longer facing potential prosecution for his actions related to an Azusa police encounter because “Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation related to the … case has concluded, with the governing statutes of limitations having expired.”

Bonta’s office confirmed that they are not pursuing charges against Iniguez:

“Since this would have been a conflict of interest for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, we reviewed the entire matter. Given the totality of the circumstances, our office has decided not to pursue charges.”

However, the AG’s office added that the decision was made before the time limit took effect:

“Our office came to that decision before the statute of limitations on any possible charges had run.”

That statement would indicate the decision not to charge was made between Nov. 23 and Dec. 11 of last year, but for some reason they did not inform the public of the decision.

“This really has the stink of politics about it,” said former president of the Los Angeles deputy district attorney’s union Marc Debbaudt.  “If this is just about the drunk in public charge, it would take two hours – max – not eleven months – to determine whether or not to proceed.”

Bonta first became Attorney General by appointment by Gov. Gavin Newsom who, as Mayor of San Francisco, first appointed Gascon as District Attorney there. Bonta and Gascon have worked together on numerous progressive anti-prosecutor “reform” projects over the years and each has endorsed the other for election to the offices they currently hold.

The specific potential charges were not revealed by Bonta’s office, though two criminal matters could have been related to the incident: drunk in public and/or abuse of office by Iniguez allegedly threatening the officer involved.  The DOJ handled the case because the LA DA’s office was barred from investigating one of its own employees and the Azusa Police Department – as is its standard practice due to its size – refers its “high-profile incidents” to other agencies – like the sheriff’s office – for further investigation.

It remains unclear which of the potential charges Bonta’s office focused on; however, their reference to “before the statute of limitations had run out on any possible charges” indicates they are claiming to have looked at both, as the allegation of abuse of power – which is a felony – has a three-year rather than a one-year limit like the misdemeanor drunk in public.

Briefly, the initial incident apparently unfolded as follows: after he and his soon-to-be husband were pulled over by an Azusa officer for making an improper U-turn on December, 11, 2021, Iniguez reportedly became belligerent.

After the officer approached the car he caught a strong aroma of alcohol. Iniguez, the passenger in the car, said he had been drinking and the odor was his.  Iniguez was arrested for public intoxication, though his fiancé – after it was determined he was below the legal blood-alcohol limit – was not charged in relation to the incident.

Iniguez captured the entire incident on video – a video he has never publicly released – that he says shows him acting in a proper and professional manner before being wrongly arrested for public intoxication, a direct contradiction of the officer’s statements that he was slurring, using obscenities, and threatening him with illegally placing him on the “Brady list,” a compendium of cops the District Attorney’s office consider unreliable and/or problematic.

Placement on that list is – at the very least – a career killer, law enforcement insiders said, and Iniguez, as custodian of the list, would have the ability – however unethical and/or illegal – to do so.

Iniguez, for his part, sued the Azusa department for violating his First Amendment rights by allegedly impeding his taping of the incident.  That suit was put on hold until the DOJ investigation was completed so, in theory, it can now move forward. Whether or not it will is unclear, though the dropping of the DOJ investigation does mean that there is now absolutely no potential legal impediment to Iniguez releasing the video he says confirms his side of the story (in fact, if he pursues the suit he must turn it over at least to Azusa’s lawyers.)

Attempts to contact Iniguez’s attorneys were unsuccessful; attempts to elicit a comment from Gascon’s office on the matter were met with silence save for a suggestion to call Iniguez’s attorneys.

Over the New Year, the Globe broke the story of Iniguez being an investigation target, noting further problems with the conduct of both Iniguez and Gascon regarding this matter and the numerous other scandals plaguing the leftist ideologue Gascon’s regarding the administration of his office and his attitude towards the justice system in general.

Bonta himself is no stranger to serious ethical questions, including funneling money to his wife’s Mia Bonta’s place of work.  He also played a major, if unsavory, role in ensuring that Mia replaced him in the Assembly when he was tapped by Newsom as Attorney General. 

Bonta’s incestuous ties to the “one party rule” Democrats and the Sacramento blob have previously raised significant concerns over his ability to operate the DOJ impartially, with eyebrows specifically raised for his takeover of a corruption investigation into another political ally, former Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.

In that case, Bonta has already ordered the return to Kuehl of all the electronic devices seized in a raid on her home.

Considering his handling of the Iniguez case, it appears now that Kuehl can sleep very soundly in the knowledge Rob may take care of her, too.

The Globe appreciates Bonta’s willingness to offer a comment.  In the spirit of full disclosure, though, here are the questions his office was sent:

Click here to read the full article in the California Globe

Gascón Recall Effort Fails as LA Registrar Recorder Denies 200K Signatures

‘If this was my recall team, I’d definitely look into it – Something is off’

Los Angeles County Registrar Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan announced on Monday that the recall petition of LA District Attorney George Gascon failed to reach the needed number of signatures, only garnering 520,050 of the needed 566,867 needed to be on the November 2022 ballot.

In July, LA Mayoral candidate and current Rep. Karen Bass said “My focus is going to be on the mayor’s race…I’m not going to be focused on the recall,” LAMag.com reported, and said she “then went on to characterize the chances the recall will qualify for the ballot as ‘doubtful.’”

When the second recall attempt against Gascon kicked off in January following the failed 2021 attempt, the number of signatures quickly grew. By June, so many had been collected that the safety goal was being reached and criminals in the County were so worried of it succeeding that many began asking for more plea deals ahead of such a recall being on the ballot. Around 716,000 were turned in by the early July deadline, with number of signatures widely being seen as enough, as previous petitions, such as the Gavin Newsom recall campaign in 2021, had only a 20% rejection rate.

“I wouldn’t say it’s in the bag or we’ll be complacent, but as far as public opinion is concerned, George Gascon is toast,” said Recall DA George Gascon Tim Lineberger spokesman last month.

However, on Monday, 195,783 signatures of the 715,833 turned in were invalidated, causing the recall petition to not advance.

“Based on the examination and verification, which conducted in compliance with the statutory and regulatory requirements of the California Government Code, Elections Code, and Code of Regulations, 520,050 signatures were found to be valid and 195,783 were found to be invalid,” said Logan on Monday. “Therefore, the petition has failed to meet the sufficiency requirements and no further action shall be taken on the petition.”

Of the nearly 200,000 invalidated signatures, 88,000 were not registered, 43,593 were duplicates, 32,187 were a different address, 9,490 were mismatched signatures, 7,344 were canceled, 5,374 were out of county addresses, with 9,300 being uncounted under the ‘other’ category.

Those against the recall attempt celebrated on Monday, with a Gascon campaign spokesperson saying “We are obviously glad to move forward from this attempted political power grab, but we also understand that there is far more work that needs to be done. And we remain strongly committed to that work. The DA’s primary focus is and has always been keeping us safe and creating a more equitable justice system for all. Today’s announcement does not change that.”

Gascon himself also gave a brief tweet, echoing similar sentiments.

Click here to read the full article at the California Globe

Taxpayers on Hook as Gascón Brings in Nation’s Highest-Paid Attorney in Legal Battle with His Own Prosecutors

 Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, whose own deputies sued him for permission to charge repeat offenders to the fullest extent of the law, has pulled out all the stops in his California Supreme Court appeal against them, retaining one of the nation’s top lawyers.

Neal K. Katyal, a former Acting U.S. Solicitor General who represented Al Gore in the 2000 election dispute and has appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court dozens of times, is also reportedly one of the country’s highest-paid attorneys.

Reuters reported in May that the Georgetown law professor and partner at Hogan Lovells was charging as much as $2,465 an hour to represent a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson in a bankruptcy case. At the time, that was more than the $2,295 an hour former Attorney General Eric Holder was billing.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón sued by Deputy DA

“That’s high, but appellate experts like him are in high demand,” said Neama Rahmani, a former federal prosecutor and Los Angeles-based trial attorney.

Katyal is one of the most accomplished lawyers in the country. He has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court dozens of times, according to his Georgetown bio. He also faced a storm of criticism in late 2020 after defending two large corporations in a child slavery lawsuit that reached the Supreme Court.

“When you hire the former Acting Solicitor General to handle an appeal, it’s a big deal,” Rahmani told Fox News Digital.

But the expenditure could amount to a waste of taxpayers’ money if Gascón fails in front of the Supreme Court.

Rahmani said Gascón’s chances of prevailing “are low,” noting that the courts have already upheld similar sentencing schemes.

“It’s unfortunate that Gascón is spending so much time and money litigating against his own front-line prosecutors and challenging California’s Three Strikes law, which is well-established and supported by the majority of California voters,” he said. “Especially as he faces a likely recall.”

SUGGESTED: DA Gascón recall effort: County officials to proceed with full review of signatures

Gascón’s office did not immediately respond to questions about how much taxpayer money is going toward paying Hogan Lovells or Katyal.

The Democrat Gascón is facing a recall effort and rising crime, as well as a storm of criticism over his handling of high-profile cases involving egregious crimes, including the 26-year-old trans child molester who was incarcerated in a juvenile facility nearly a decade after attacking a 10-year-old girl in a Denny’s bathroom.

In the past two weeks, as the recall effort cleared several roadblocks, Gascón disbanded the unit in his office tasked with notifying crime victims of their assailants’ parole hearings and taken his appeal against a lawsuit that blocked his directive banning prosecutors from charging strikes under California law to the state Supreme Court. In June, he said he had secured an “appropriate” sentence of five to seven months in juvenile probation camp for a wrong-way-driving teen in a stolen car who pleaded guilty to mowing down a mother walking her infant son in a stroller.

Katyal, who argued in appellate court that Gascón should be able to implement his unilateral directives over the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, wrote the opposite in a 2020 op-ed for the New York Times, critics said. Katyal and fellow Georgetown law professor Joshua Geltzer disputed the decision of the Justice Department, under then-Attorney General Bill Bar, to drop criminal charges against former Trump adviser Michael Flynn.

SUGGESTED: Whittier to vote on bypassing LA DA Gascón on misdemeanor crimes

“Fortunately, in our system, a prosecutor’s say-so is not enough to drop a prosecution,” they wrote. “It requires the approval of the court. And while judges rarely interfere with such decisions, this is that rare case.”

Neither Katyal nor Geltzer responded to requests for comment.

“This is diametrically opposed to his position on this case,” Eric Siddall, the vice president of the Los Angeles Association of Deputy District Attorneys, which initially sued Gascón over the three-strikes policy in December 2020, said of the Flynn op-ed Tuesday.

Eric George, the Ellis George Cipollone O’Brien Annaguey LLP partner representing the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, described Katyal as a “very good lawyer” Tuesday but said last week that he is confident in the ADDA’s case before the state’s Supreme Court.

“Each of the four respected jurists who have considered the matter has validated our client’s claims, and we are confident the California Supreme Court will take no action to interfere with the injunction against Mr. Gascón,” he said.

In June, the Second Appellate District Court upheld portions of a lower court’s injunction that said Gascón cannot refuse to charge three-strike cases, which can dramatically increase prison sentences for some of the most serious repeat offenders.

Gascón is hoping to have the court’s order overturned, arguing that it is “draconian,” creates “a dangerous precedent” and amounts to “taking the charging decision out of a prosecutor’s hands.”

“The district attorney overstates his authority,” the Second Appellate District ruling reads. “He is an elected official who must comply with the law, not a sovereign with absolute, unreviewable discretion.”

High-Profile Crime Wave Fuels Growing Support of Recalling LA’s DA George Gascon

Attacks includes assault against Olympian Kim Glass in LA

A string of high-profile crimes in and around Los Angeles just since July 9th has led to a drastic increase of support for recalling Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon due to many seeing them as being caused by his soft on crime’ criminal policies.

The latest wave of high-profile crimes began early Saturday morning when famed rapper Snoopy Blue was shot in South Los Angeles. While many other high profile crimes were reported on  Saturday, an attack on Olympic volleyball silver medalist Kim Glass by a homeless man made national and international headlines. Glass, who was struck in the face and elsewhere by a homeless man wielding a metal object, survived the attack. However, her scarred face was everywhere on Sunday and Monday as news of the attack spread.

Finally, on Monday, a string of six attacks on 7-11 convenience stores in cities ringing LA County  in Riverside, Orange, and San Bernardino Counties left three injured and two dead. While some have blamed the robberies and violence on it simply being the day in question being 7-11 (July 11th, or 7/11), many of the local police departments believe that the same person is involved in at least some of the robberies and attacks.

The high profile crimes in and around LA have spurred many in LA County to continue the push against DA Gascon and support the growing recall movement against him. While the signature drive for the recall is over and the current signatures are currently undergoing validation, Gascon is nonetheless losing ground over his progressive reform policies effectively embolding criminals. Many crimes have been reduced in severity to misdemeanors along with the end of cash bail, allowing many criminals to return to the streets quickly out of local jails. Since Gascon was sworn in as DA in December 2020, crime across the city has shot up significantly in everything from robberies to homicides. LA County as a whole has also seen a crime surge in this time.

“In the last several days, Southern California, Los Angeles in particular, has seen a lot of notable attacks and murders occur,” explained former lobbyist Harry Schultz to the Globe on Tuesday. “If you recall, in November and December of 2021, the Bay Area had a bunch of high profile robberies, like the Union Square robberies and the flashmob robbery at a San Jose mall. Incidents both in and outside of San Francisco that was blamed on then-DA Chesa Boudin’s policies. And then helped get him recalled.”

“This string may be Gascon’s version of that. Or, sadly, may be a lead up to that. Because, just like those, even the ones outside the city are being tied to the DA due to their influence.”

Others also noted that the crimes would help likely help spur more voters to vote against Gascon and others who have similar progressive crime attitudes in upcoming election

Click here to read the full article in the California Globe

Gascón recall Proponents Deliver 717,000 Signatures to County

Former DA Steve Cooley, one of the recall organizers, called the campaign ‘a Herculean effort with a lot of moving parts to obtain the signatures’

Campaign organizers seeking to recall embattled Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón submitted 717,000 signatures to election officials Wednesday, July 6, hoping to force an election that could oust him after less than two years on the job.

A group of sign-waving recall supporters, many of them families of murder victims critical of Gascon’s policies, greeted a truck that delivered the petitions to the Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office in Norwalk. Supporters need 566,857 signatures — representing 10% of the total registered voters in the county at the time of the November 2020 election that Gascon won — to qualify the recall for the ballot.

Supporters hope the extra signatures will provide a sufficient cushion to allow for disqualified signatures.

“It was a Herculean effort with a lot of moving parts to obtain the signatures,” said former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, who is co-chairman of campaign to recall Gascon.

Wednesday was the county deadline to submit the recall petitions. Cooley predicted that if the signatures are certified, Gascón will be turned out of office in a landslide.

30 days to verify signatures

The county will have 30 days to verify the signatures before scheduling a recall vote.

“They are still determining whether they will count the entire submission, or only a 5% sample batch,” campaign spokesman Tim Lineberger said. “If the recall ultimately qualifies, it would likely take place in a special election early next year. For it to appear on the November ballot, the process would likely need to be expedited.”

If the recall issue qualifies, the same ballot will ask voters to choose a replacement candidate for district attorney. The candidate with the most votes would capture the election outright without a runoff election.

While the initial campaign to recall Gascón fizzled early last year due to a lack of signatures and the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rebooted effort that began in October has received a groundswell of public support and endorsements from unlikely political corners.

“This effort was different from the first effort in that skilled professionals took over the reins of the effort,” Cooley said. “They were very dedicated to the cause. The first effort was buoyed by a lot of enthusiasm but not the leadership nor organization to obtain the needed signatures in the required time frame. There were lessons learned from the first unsuccessful effort, the most important of which is that certain skill sets are vitally required to succeed in a recall effort.”

Recall proponents

The Los Angeles Association of Deputy District Attorneys, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association along with county Supervisor Kathryn Barger have endorsed the recall.

“I typically support election outcomes as a way of respecting the public’s right to choose, but our D.A.’s policies have led to disastrous consequences,” Barger said in a statement issued in May. “Public safety in L.A. County has visibly deteriorated. I believe Gascón must be replaced with someone that is committed to championing victims’ rights, safety and justice.”

In a stunning reversal, former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck withdrew his support for Gascón, saying the public would be better served by a district attorney who “emphasizes the rights of victims and the safety of our police officers.”

Gascón did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday, directing inquiries to his campaign spokesperson.

“We are waiting to hear the official count of validated signatures,” Elise Moore, his spokesperson, said in an email. “This will likely take several weeks. In the meantime, we remain focused on the work of keeping communities safe and creating a more equitable justice system, as we have been since day one.”

Reform has ‘broad support’

Cristine Soto DeBerry, executive director of the Prosecutors Alliance of California, said the recall effort is being bankrolled by “fringe conservatives, political operatives, and mega-donors” that support former President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“Criminal justice reform has broad support from people across the political spectrum as voters know the status quo has failed them on every level,” DeBerry said in a statement. “This is a system defined by soaring rates of recidivism, shocking levels of racial disparities and wasteful spending of taxpayer money. It is a system that created a revolving door from the streets to our jails and prisons while ignoring the underlying problems that drive crime in the first place.”

DeBerry added that Gascón, who served 30 years with the LAPD and previously as San Francisco district attorney, was elected to prioritize “safety, accountability, healing and justice.”

Click here to read the full article in the Los Angeles Daily News

Los Angeles DA Recall Closes In On Needed Signatures 50 Days Before Deadline

The Recall DA George Gascon campaign announced on Wednesday that more than 450,000 signatures have been collected as of May 13th, closing in quickly on the 566,857 needed and the safety goal of 800,000 that the group wants to submit to the LA County Registrar in 50 days.

The second petition to recall Gascon has seen an explosion of support in recent months, especially when compared to the first petition. Following the election in 2020, Gascon, who previously was the DA of San Francisco, quickly instituted several so-called “reforms,” including ending policies that had juveniles being tried as adults, many crimes reduced to misdemeanors or having jail time reduced, and the removal of cash bail for most crimes despite California voters voting to keep it in 2020 in Prop 25. However, these policies led to criminals being emboldened and rising crime in the County, despite the COVID pandemic. Crime rates went up in everything from homicides to robberies. A petition was started up last year, but it fizzled out by October.

Supporters vowed to get another petition in place, and were emboldened by the smash and grab crime spree in LA and San Francisco in late 2021. With the public more aware of Gascon’s policies, more and more people began voicing opposition against Gascon. Entire City Councils, including the Beverly Hills City Council, voted outright in favor of his recall, and more than 30 cities in the County voted no confidence in him. The successful signature effort in San Francisco to recall their DA, Chesa Boudin, also encouraged many to give it a second chance.

In late January the second petition was approved by the County. With high crime, a lack of prosecution attempts against criminals, crime victims believing that the DA supports the criminals more than them, and previous petition factors being amplified, the 2022 petition quickly garnered signatures. Many lawmakers and political candidates immediately threw their support behind the recall, and by mid-March over 125,000 signatures were collected.

Over 450,000 signatures collected so far

On Wednesday, that figure shot up by over 300,000 signatures. As recall supporters are to send out more petitions to millions of LA County residents ahead of the June 7th primary, the recall campaign is now on track to not only meet the 566,857 needed signature line of 10% of all county voters, but is also likely to hit the 800,000 safety figure to account for double signatures, invalid signatures, and other factors that may result in their signature being removed.

“With 50 days to go, we are continuing to see increases in signature collection and anticipate additional bumps as our mail program is fully deployed,” the Recall DA George Gascon campaign said on Wednesday. “We are on the cusp of qualifying this recall and positioned exactly where we need to be to hit our goals within the remaining timeframe.  If residents and community leaders continue to step up, this will be the beginning of the end of George Gascon’s reign of terror over Los Angeles.”

Experts noted that other outside factors may only increase the number of signatures in the final stretch of collection days until the deadline in early July.

“Crime continues to play the big reason people are signing the petition. That and Gascon not prosecuting or going after criminals,” said James Long, a neighborhood safety planner in Los Angeles, to the Globe on Wednesday. “I mean, he is, but to nowhere near where he should be, not with crime this high and those arrested just walking out.”

“But that Boudin recall up in San Francisco has been encouraging to many. Outside at petition signature gatherings, one of the oddest groups of people who have come out in support of the recall have been former San Francisco residents who moved here. They still see the news from back home, and they have seen that Boudin is now all but certain to be recalled next month. To them, that’s amazing. They’ve seen how wrong things have become in both cities, and hey, if San Francisco can recall their guy, so can LA.”

Click here to read the full article at the California Globe

DA Gascón Won’t Bargain Because of Recall Support, Prosecutors Union Says

‘His authoritarian approach demeans the oath he took and the office he holds. It’s bullying, not leadership,’ claims the union leadership

A union representing about 700 prosecutors has filed a complaint with the Los Angeles County Employee Relations Commission alleging District Attorney George Gascón is refusing to engage in collective bargaining because its members overwhelmingly support efforts to recall him.

An unfair labor practice charge filed April 27 by the Association of Deputy District Attorneys claims the Gascon administration “has simply ignored the ADDA’s request for mid-term bargaining and has failed to provide the bargaining related material requested by the Union.”

“It is of note that there has been absolutely no response from the Gascón administration, not a phone call, not a letter, not an email; neither has the Gascón administration taken issue with the legitimacy of the union’s request for mid-term bargaining; nor has the administration voiced any objections to the material requested by the union,” the filing stated.

The ADDA contends Gascón, in violation of city law and city ordinances, is retaliating against the union because 98% of its members voted in February to endorse efforts to recall him.

Organizers of the recall effort have collected 400,000 of the needed 566,000 signatures required by July 6 to put the measure on the ballot  Additionally, more than 30 Los Angeles County cities have take votes of “no confidence” in Gascón.

The union is requesting that the Employee Relations Commission order Gascón’s administration to participate in bargaining and provide materials needed for those negotiations.

According to the ADDA, bargaining is necessary to resolve:

  • Increasing the number of Grade IV deputy district attorneys.
  • Compensatory time.
  • Special pay adjustment for selected Grade IV deputy district attorneys.
  • Issues involving environmental protocols and metal detectors.

“George Gascón broke the law within the first five minutes of his administration,” ADDA Vice President Eric Siddall said Wednesday, May 4. “His contempt for the judiciary and the rule of law continues to this day. Now he is engaged in anti-labor activity. His authoritarian approach demeans the oath he took and the office he holds. It’s bullying, not leadership … plain and simple.”

The District Attorney’s Office referred questions about the filing to the Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office, which responded that it “does not generally comment on ongoing labor negotiations.”

The ADDA has been at odds with Gascón since his election in late 2020 amid promises of sweeping social justice reforms, which prompted several lawsuits. The union sued Gascón in December 2020 to block some of his directives it considers illegal.

Specifically, the suit focuses on the elimination of some sentencing enhancements, including the “three strikes” law — enacted by California voters in 1994 to add prison time to the terms of previously convicted felons.

“While an elected district attorney has wide discretion in determining what charges to pursue in an individual case, that discretion does not authorize him or her to violate the law or to direct attorneys representing the district attorney’s office to violate the law,” ADDA President Michele Hanisee said in a statement.

More than a half-dozen prosecutors have filed lawsuits alleging they were retaliated against and demoted for refusing to carry out Gascón’s  policies.

In December 2021, former Head Deputy Richard Doyle received an $800,000 settlement from Los Angeles County after claiming retribution from Gascón’ for refusing to drop charges against three anti-police protesters accused of attempting to wreck a train in Compton.

In the latest lawsuit, filed April 25 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Deputy District Attorneys Peter Cagney, Richard Todd Hicks, Mindy Paige and Karen Thorp allege Gascón retaliated against them for refusing to carry out his resentencing directives.

“Each plaintiff either opposed or disclosed to their supervisors that laws were being violated if they followed Gascon’s hastily conceived new resentencing guidelines, and that prison inmates that posed a serious and dangerous risk to society would be or were released from prison,” the suit says.

“Gascon’s policies effectively required prosecutors to unlawfully hide the truth from the courts by mischaracterizing many violent offenses and hiding the inmate’s propensity for violence, and danger to the community if given an early release from prison, from the courts and resentencing judges.”

Click here to read the full article at the LA Daily News

Campaign to recall LA County DA George Gascón Gains Momentum With Over 200K Signatures

Organizers of the second effort to recall embattled Los Angeles County DA George Gascón said they have gained momentum after collecting more than 200,000 signatures– with plenty of time to still hit their goal to get on the November ballot.

Campaign officials said they also have raised more than $4 million — already four times the money raised compared to last year’s recall efforts, which fizzled in September after failing to secure less than half of the approximately 500,000 signatures needed from LA County voters.

 “We are continuing to deploy our resources, and we are definitely going in the right trajectory,” recall spokesperson Tim Lineberger told The Post. “There is just a lot more support this time around since people are more aware that what’s been happening in Los Angeles County, especially crime increasing, is tied to George Gascón’s policies.”

While last year’s campaign garnered just 200,000 votes by the October 2021 deadline, the campaign this year has already collected more votes with still three months left before the deadline.

To get on the ballot, a total of 566,857 signatures — 10 percent of total Los Angeles County registered voters — must be submitted to the LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s Office by July 6.

This time around, recall organizers deployed several tools to get the word out — from the “Recall DA George Gascón” app to an “accountability” feature on their website that shows a list of Gascón’s major donors.

The campaign also made sure to set up permanent signing locations throughout Los Angeles County, which voters can track via the app.

Gascón ousted incumbent Jackie Lacey from office in November 2020, promising sweeping criminal justice reform. In his first 100 days, Gascón ended the filing of death penalty charges, stopped the practice of prosecuting children as adults and did away with criminal enhancements that he said “exacerbate recidivism.”

Last month, however, Gascón backtracked some of his controversial policies, according to a series of memos obtained by The Post.

Since Gascón pivoted on some of his policies, prosecutors can once again seek special enhancements for felony charges that would add additional prison sentences depending on the circumstance, such as a murder committed for the benefit of a gang.

Gascón Recall Bid Is A Factor In Race To Be Mayor

His name won’t be on the ballot in the June primary, but Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón still looms large over the L.A. mayoral race.

In a contest that has largely been dominated by discussion of homelessness and crime, the embattled district attorney has become a foil for two prominent candidates to voice their frustration with the direction of the city.

On Monday, real estate developer Rick Caruso joined City Councilman Joe Buscaino in backing the second attempt to recall the county’s top prosecutor in as many years.

Other prominent candidates, including Rep. Karen Bass and City Atty. Mike Feuer, have at times raised issues with Gascón’s tenure but do not endorse the recall effort against him.

USC law professor Jody David Armour said the Gascón recall campaign was playing a kind of proxy role in the race, with supporters aiming to show that they’re “a traditional, tough-on-crime, law-and-order candidate” by calling for Gascón’s ouster.

Many of Gascón’s critics have been quick to blame his policies for a dramatic increase in homicides and shootings in L.A. County that followed his election. The number of killings in the city jumped by 53% from 2019 to 2021, while homicides in areas patrolled by the Sheriff’s Department increased by 77% in the same time frame, records show.

Criminologists, however, have been quick to note that Gascón’s policies were unlikely to have an immediate effect on violent crime when they are largely focused on reducing the prosecution of low-level misdemeanors. Homicides decreased over the span of Gascon’s eight years in San Francisco, making the link between his policies and street violence murky at best.

Gascón — a former LAPD commander and San Francisco district attorney — unseated incumbent Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey to lead the nation’s largest local prosecutors office in November 2020. His win was heralded as a victory for the growing “progressive prosecutor” movement, and he announced a slate of sweeping policy changes the day he took office.

Gascón veered from his all-or-nothing stance on certain criminal justice reform issues two weeks ago, saying prosecutors can now seek to try juveniles as adults and pursue life sentences against defendants in certain cases. The move came as he faced increased blowback over his handling of the case of Hannah Tubbs, a 26-year-old allowed to plead guilty in Juvenile Court to sexually assaulting a child because Tubbs was a teen at the time of the crime.

An attempt to recall Gascón in 2021 fizzled because of a lack of organization and weak fundraising.

But this attempt has already collected $1.8 million, according to a January financial disclosure report, more money than the same campaign collected in 2021. The group has yet to release an estimate of collected signatures, but needs to rally roughly 560,000 supporters by early July to qualify.

Caruso had hedged on the topic since jumping into the race in February, saying he wanted to see a change from Gascón before weighing in on the recall effort.

He officially endorsed the recall campaign Monday, plowing $50,000 into the effort to unseat a man he has known since the early 2000s when Gascón was a member of the LAPD command staff and Caruso served as the president of the Police Commission.

Although the recall campaign has insisted it has bipartisan support, Republican megadonors Geoff Palmer and Gerald Marcil still account for one-third of all the money raised thus far.

“As I’ve said, many times, I firmly believe that George Gascón needed to stand up, admit that many of his policies have put the city of Los Angeles in peril, crime is rising, change those policies, or he should step down, and if he doesn’t step down, he should be recalled,” Caruso said in a video released Monday.

Caruso initially supported Gascón’s run for office in 2020, co-hosting a high-profile fundraiser for him where John Legend performed. He shifted later in the race, donating $45,000 to a committee supporting Lacey in October 2020, according to campaign finance disclosures.

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