03 May L.A. County D.A.’s office under Gascón is at war with itself. How does anything get done?
Los Angeles Times
By James Queally, Staff Writer
May 3, 2022
In normal times, the convicted sex offender’s request for leniency would have been met with a swift, emphatic “no” from the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
But these aren’t normal times in the D.A.’s office.
So when the felon earlier this year asked a judge to reconsider his 73-year sentence, the prosecutor assigned to the case didn’t object. He couldn’t, he explained in a court filing, because his boss, Dist. Atty. George Gascón, wouldn’t allow it, court records show.
“The District Attorney believes that regardless of the number of charges committed or the number of victims that were harmed that a person should not serve a sentence that is greater than 15 years,” he wrote.
That stance earned the prosecutor’s supervisor a reprimand from one of Gascón’s top aides, who told her the attorney had misrepresented one of the many dramatic changes the district attorney implemented on his first day in office, according to court records. And when the supervisor was demoted to a lowly position in a remote Torrance courthouse, she sued, claiming she had been retaliated against.
The debacle was an example of how deep-seated discord over Gascón and his changes has complicated day-to-day operations within the nation’s largest prosecutor’s office, sometimes turning what should be mundane, routine business into messy affairs.
“The office has kind of become an embarrassment, in a way. It’s so dysfunctional. We’ve got lunatics out there,” the prosecutor said.