Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon has a staggering 10,000 case backlog

  • There are more than 130 open positions in the District Attorney’s office.
  • Gascón has scared away talent, demoted top lawyers and is known for fighting anyone with opposing views, sources say.
  • The understaffing has led to a backlog of as many as 10,000 cases with mid-career prosecutors doing the heavy lifting, the New York Post reported.

Woke Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon has been accused of letting 10,000 cases pile up and forcing dozens of prosecutors to resign.

Described as an “overbearing” and “toxic” manager, Gascón is said to have scared away talent, demoted top lawyers and fought anyone with opposing views, multiple sources who have worked with him told the New York Post. fiscal.

Gascón’s “wake-up” policies have caused public mistrust, according to a former Los Angeles prosecutor, who said generous plea deals are allowing felons to get out of jail without serving time or crimes not being prosecuted at all.

“In my career as a prosecutor, the families of the victims had never hated us until I came to this office,” a former assistant prosecutor told The Post. “All the victims hate us for the lack of prosecution and low sentences because of their policies.”

‘Gascón is so focused on justice for black and brown defendants, but the victims and their families are also black and brown. Where is the justice for them? We are making them victims of the criminal justice system once again.”

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon has come under fire for his “wake up” policies
Gascón has been accused of letting 10,000 cases pile up and making dozens of prosecutors resign

Eric Siddall, vice president of the Los Angeles County Assistant Prosecutors Association, said the office’s reputation has been destroyed.

“People know that you are hostile to your employees,” he said.

“He has an authoritarian management style and engages in retaliatory acts against employees who don’t share his ideology,” he told The Post.

There are reportedly more than 200 open positions in the district attorney’s office, with not enough candidates willing to fill them, sources told The Post.

The lack of staff has led to a backlog of up to 10,000 cases.

The District Attorney’s Office disputed this claim, insisting they only have 139 open positions, and attributed the understaffing to “retirement and a previous hiring freeze,” but failed to mention the 10,000 cases yet to be filed.

“During the hiring freeze, our office applied to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for permission to fill positions, but that request was denied,” a source with the Los Angeles County attorney’s office said.

“During this administration some prosecutors have gone to other jurisdictions, while others have been hired by our office from other jurisdictions.”

The office argued that there are many reasons why a case is not filed immediately, including the need for further investigation.

“A delay in filing a case does not prevent the prosecutor from filing a case at a later date, as long as it is within the statute of limitations,” according to the prosecutor’s office.

Former Los Angeles County prosecutor Steve Cooley, who led the office from 2000 to 2012, told The Post that, from a historical standpoint, recruiting had not been an issue until Gascon took office.

But the lack of talent doesn’t surprise Cooley.

‘I’m not surprised because some of the people he’s brought are hateful people. Who would want to come to work here in those conditions? Cooley said.

DA Gascón’s soft approach to crime is under fire as violent crime on the rise in Los Angeles

This is not the first time Gascon’s staff has come out against him.

Nearly 20 cases have been filed of high-ranking members of the District Attorney’s Office who say they were removed from their posts for criticizing Gascón’s policies.

Los Angeles County Attorney Shawn Randolph was awarded $1.5 million in a lawsuit against Gascon, with more than a dozen similar civil claims from other employees.

In Randolph’s case, she argued that Gascon transferred her in retaliation for rejecting his progressive policies, specifically for not charging minors as adults in certain cases.

Gascon denied the allegation, saying the move was a “typical decision that happens when you’re dealing with a large workforce like the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.”

One of the office’s top prosecutors, John McKinney, was preparing to try the murder of Briana Kupfer in January 2021, when he was suddenly transferred from the elite Major Crimes Unit to oversee misdemeanor cases out of eastern California. Los Angeles, an unusual location for someone who was responsible for high-profile cases.

I am not doing any trial and am supervising two attorneys. That’s how small the office is,’ he told The Post. “And because there are only two attorneys, every time they go to trial, I basically become the first-year misdemeanor district attorney in court. So I’m in court on average, three days a week, and I go back and do what I used to do 25 years ago instead of trying complicated murder trials.’

McKinney told The Post that he was transferred in retaliation for speaking out against Gascon’s policies.

Last year, a veteran Los Angeles prosecutor criticized the district attorney for his soft policies, as violent crime in the city increased 8 percent since he took office.

Mark Burnley, who has worked with the prosecutor’s office since 1999, condemned his boss in his December 2022 farewell letter.

He was criticized again the same month for his office taking a “blatant special interest” in a case in which singer John Legend nearly lost his luxury Porsche.

There has been public outrage and many complaints against Gascón’s awakening policies and ‘soft on crime’ approach throughout this year.

In February, Gascón suspended a lawyer who ‘mistaken the gender’ of a transgender child molester, who began identifying as a woman after DNA linked her to the cold case of a man beaten to death in the woods. .

Last year, the DA ordered prosecutors not to charge immigrants because they could face deportation and instead said they should consider non-criminal programs.

Gascon has previously defended his policy decisions, saying that a “tough approach to crime failed” and that his goal was to “drastically change a system that has served no one, not crime victims, not defendants, nor to the public”. .’

But with multiple attempts to remove the left-leaning district attorney, many voters disagree. One poll showed that nearly half of Long Beach voters supported the removal of the progressive DA in 2022, according to a poll by the Long Beach Center for Politics and Urban Policy.

Los Angeles County Assistant District Attorney John McKinney to challenge George Gascon in 2024 by running for DA
McKinney said he was transferred in retaliation for speaking out against Gascon’s policies.

Employees still under DA feel undervalued as they try to cope with the immense workload.

One prosecutor told The Post: “There are mid-level prosecutors who do the heavy lifting and are tired of being treated like crap.”

“The problem is that people started to leave because they got so tired of their policies that those of us who stayed had double or triple the number of cases.”

Gascón’s term ends in 2024 and he faces an uncertain future in the next elections.

The race to replace Gascón includes Deputy District Attorney John McKinney, Jonathan Hatami and former Assistant US Attorney General Nathan Hochma.