Los Angeles County District Attorney, George Gascón resigns, says the group’s all-White

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has resigned from the California District Attorneys Association, saying the group’s all-White board indicates the group has failed to keep pace with changing times.

"The absence of a single person of color on CDAA’s 17-member board is blinding," Gascón wrote Tuesday, in a letter to the group’s president.

"This is the leadership that sets the direction for an organization of elected prosecutors, all of whom disproportionately prosecute communities of color at a time when the nation is facing a reckoning over systemic racisim, and in a state with a plurality of minorities no less," Gascón continued.

He later accused the DAs group of having "lost touch with the public."

Earlier i9n the letter, Gascón accused the group of accommodating only "those willing to toe the ‘tough on crime’ line."

"For the rest of us," he adds, "it is a place that fails to support us, our communities, or the pursuit of justice."

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon takes the oath of office in downtown Los Angeles on Dec. 7, 2020. (Associated Press)

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon takes the oath of office in downtown Los Angeles on Dec. 7, 2020. (Associated Press)

In January, Gascón became the target of a lawsuit filed by his own deputy DAs in Los Angeles County, who alleged that Gascón’s order for them to forgo sentencing enhancements was a violation of state law, The Appeal reported.

The Association of Deputy District Attorneys of Los Angeles County (ADDA) has a history of opposing reform efforts, the report said.

In his letter, Gascón also denounced the state DAs group for supporting the county deputy DA group’s lawsuit against him, calling the decision "disappointing," though "it was not a surprise given the politics of the organization."

On Jan. 26, the state DA group announced it had filed an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit that the county deputy DAs filed against Gascón.

"No constitutional provision and no statute vests any district attorney with veto power over the law," CDAA Chief Executive Officer Greg Totten said in the state group’s statement.

Last week a Superior Court judge in Los Angeles temporarily blocked Gascón’s efforts to do away with some sentencing enhancements, including prosecutors’ option for seeking longer sentences for offenders under the state’s Three Strikes law.

Gascón has argued that sentencing enhancements help increase recidivism.

Gascón, 66, a native of Cuba, beame DA of Los Angeles County in December 2020 after defeating incumbent DA Jackie Lacey. He previously served as district attorney for San Francisco, being appointed to that position in 2011 by then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, after San Francisco’s previous DA, Kamala Harris, became California’s attorney general.

With his withdrawal from the state DA group, Gascón joins only one other California district attorney in not participating as a member. The other is San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Salazar, who left the group last summer, according to LAist.com.




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