The Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA) said more than 97% of its “front-line prosecutors” voted in favor to recall Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón.
The association represents more than 800 of L.A. County’s deputy district attorneys, with 83.3% of its members participating in the vote. Of those who voted, 97.9% voted in favor of the Gascón recall.
“This vote is by those who are intimately familiar with how Mr. Gascón’s policies actually play out on a day-to-day basis,” ADDA President Michele Hanisee said in a statement. “We believe the vote of our members will resonate with the voters of Los Angeles as they decide whether to recall Gascón from office and restore public safety as the priority of the District Attorney’s office.”
The ADDA said its members had brought up concerns over Gascón in 2021, but did not take action until now, citing a “serious breach of the public trust.”
Gascón was invited to attend a webinar and address concerns that prosecutors had, but the ADDA claims that the district attorney “refused” to attend.
“The breach we see as the most harmful is your purposeful inaction in the face of
increasing and distressing violence against innocent members of the public,” the invitation letter expressed to Gascón. “We hoped that there would be a course correction. We have seen none.”
Aside from the association’s members concerns, at least 30 of L.A. County’s 88 cities have had their councils issue symbolic votes of “no confidence” in Gascón.
The city of Los Angeles is not among those cities, and the LADA’s office called the votes a “political ploy.”
Gascón said his core values were transparent during his campaign and on February 20, he released a statement saying he wanted to “reaffirm my commitment to the core values I expressed when I took office.”
“We should treat kids like kids and give them every opportunity to grow and change. We also do not believe people should be sentenced to death in prison,” Gascón said in a statement. “People change and evolve – most often, for the better. For too long, our system operated without recognizing this fact, ignoring entirely the capacity people have for change. We must restore that underlying value into our justice system. While we maintain our commitment to these principles and will continue working to improve our system, there are some cases and situations that require a different response.”
In the statement, Saturday, Gascón said the district attorney’s office would be making “minor adjustments” to policies involving juveniles, making exceptions to try them as adults in the “most extraordinary of cases.”
The changes are being made after a transgender woman named Hannah Tubbs, was sentenced to 2 years in a juvenile facility for sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl in a Denny’s bathroom in 2014. At the time of the incident, Tubbs was 17-years-old, but was not arrested or sentenced until she was 26.
Alleged recordings of Tubbs, obtained by Fox News, claim that in a phone call with her father, said, “I’m gonna plead out to it, plead guilty. They’re gonna stick me on probation, and it’s gonna be dropped, it’s gonna be done, I won’t have to register, won’t have to do nothing.”
In response to the recordings, Gascón said, “If we knew about her disregard for the harm she caused we would have handled this case differently. The complex issues and facts of her particular case were unusual, and I should have treated them that way. This change in policy will allow us the space to do that moving forward.”
Gascón added that in cases such as Tubbs’, prosecutors will now be allowed to request an exception that will be reviewed by a committee for approval.
“Over a year ago, Gascón began a massive social experiment by redirecting prosecutorial resources away from enforcing the law while simultaneously ignoring large portions of the penal code,” ADDA vice president Eric Siddall said in a statement. “The result is an emboldened criminal element that knows the DA will not hold criminals accountable. This experiment needs to end.”