The NY Post has a report today about the ongoing troubles in Los Angeles DA George Gascon’s poorly run office. According to the sources who spoke to the NY Post the office is still short by well over 100 staffers and has a backlog of 10,000 cases.
“The reputation of the office has been destroyed and people know he’s hostile to his employees,” said Eric Siddall, vice president of the LA County Association of Deputy District Attorneys.
“He has an authoritarian management style, and engages in retaliatory acts against employees who don’t share his ideology.”
Sources claimed the District Attorney’s Office has over 200 open positions, which has contributed to the huge backlog in cases, which sources say is up to 10,000 which have yet to be filed.
Gascon’s office denied having 200 openings and claimed the actual number was only 139. Either way, it’s a huge number, something which former DA Steve Cooley said was never a problem in the past. “I’m stunned from the historical sense, but knowing what a toxic manager and boss George Gascón is, I’m not surprised because some of the people he’s brought in are just odious people,” he said.
As for the size of the case backlog in Gascon’s office, no one wanted to comment on that. Take from that what you will. Regarding the backlog, an unnamed prosecutor in the office told the Post, “The problem is, people started leaving because they became so fed up with his policies, so those of us who stayed are carrying two or three times the caseload.”
Prosecutors who spoke out against the DA’s policies were often transferred to dead end jobs with little responsibility. At least 17 of them have filed lawsuits claiming workplace retaliation by Gascon. Back in March Gascon lost the first such lawsuit that went to trial. Shawn Randolph, one of his Deputy DA’s, went from running an office of 50 prosecutors to a dead end job in the parole division. Gascon testified at the trial in his own defense but clearly the jury didn’t believe him. Randolph was awarded $1.5 million by the jury.
Another pending retaliation lawsuit was filed by John McKinney. McKinney had been prosecuting some of the most high profile cases in Los Angeles as part of the Major Crimes Unit. He went from that to handling misdemeanors. He told the Post, “Morale is very, very low right now at the DA’s Office.”
In addition to the lawsuits filed by his own staff, Gascon is being sued by victims who claim his policy of ignoring California’s three strikes law was responsible for the deaths of two El Monte police officers who were killed last June.
Officers Michael Paredes and Joseph Santana were responding to a report of domestic violence at Siesta Inn in June when Justin Flores — a documented member of the Quiet Village gang with multiple prior convictions — shot them in the head…
At the time of the shootings, Flores was on probation as part of a plea deal struck in 2021 after he’d been arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm and methamphetamine. With a prior burglary conviction, Flores could have faced several years in prison under California’s “three strikes” law.
But the prosecutor assigned to the case said he couldn’t seek the enhanced sentence because of one of many sweeping policy changes Gascón made on his first day in office, according to a document reviewed by The Times.
Gascon has survived two recall attempts but hopefully the onslaught of lawsuits will make it untenable for him to run for office again. In the meantime, we’ll continue to get stories like this (2nd tweet below).
My live report on this case this morning, which I consider one of the most egregious soft of crime cases I’ve ever covered in Los Angeles. pic.twitter.com/cEsogMz3Hm
— Bill Melugin (@BillMelugin_) May 3, 2023