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La Mirada Approves Vote of No Confidence for Gascon

D.A. GASCON was rebuked by Whittier and Pico Rivera also.


BY TAMMYE MCDUFF • April 30, 2021

This past Tuesday, April 27, Deputy DA and prosecutor Jonathan Hatami announced city leaders from La Mirada and Whittier voted for “no confidence” in DA George Cason’s policies.

These cities join Beverly Hills, Pico Rivera and Santa Clarita who have already voted no confidence in Gascon’s reform policies.

The cities of Norwalk and Santa Fe Springs are said to be considering the same vote at their next council meetings.

Gascon began pushing to eliminate all ‘special allegations‘ making approximately 20,000 inmates eligible for re-sentencing.

On his first day of the job, Gascon issued a number of directives stating that these special enhancements lead to mass incarceration.

The state of California has enacted over 100 sentencing enhancements which Gascon calls “outdated, incoherent and applied unfairly.”

He further says that State law gives District Attorneys broad authority over when and whether to charge enhancements.

Gascon was barred from implementing a significant part of his criminal justice reform earlier this year after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant ruled his plan to end to use of sentencing enhancements in thousands of criminal cases violated California law.

A lawsuit filed last year by Los Angeles County prosecutors states that some of his plans exceed his authority and puts prosecutors in an ‘ethical bind’.

Chalfant wrote, “A district attorney’s discretion is not unlimited. He or she must work within the framework of the criminal system. The legislature also is entitled to enact laws intruding on the executive or judicial branches of government so long as they do not defeat or materially impair that branch’s core function.”

On March 31 and April 21 two members of La Mirada City Council and Staff met with representatives of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office to discuss the city’s concerns regarding the special directives.

After this meeting it was advised that La Mirada City council adopt Resolution 21-14 voting ‘no confidence’ District Attorneys George Gascon’s policies.

“Public Safety is our number one concern and should be our highest priority,” stated Councilman John Lewis, “The current policies of the DA’s office should not be designed to give pause to the offender; it should give them a deterrent to committing a crime.”

City Council voted to adopt Resolution 21-14 in a 4-0 vote with mayor pro tem Anthony Otero recusing himself from the vote.