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More lawsuits against Los Angeles County’s embattled top prosecutor from his own staff are expected in the coming weeks, an attorney who represents the plaintiffs told Fox News.
Two veteran prosecutors who worked supervisory roles filed a lawsuit this week against District Attorney George Gascon, alleging they were demoted after disclosing his prosecutorial reforms violated the law.
Maria Ramirez and Victor Rodriguez both have over 30 years of service in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and were bureau directors before being removed from their positions, the lawsuit states.
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Smith said he plans to file three more lawsuits against Gascon in the coming weeks and three more after that from employees at the DA’s office with similar allegations.
“Most of these are supervisor-level (positions),” attorney Gregory Smith told Fox News. “What they’re doing is they’re punishing them for either disclosing that some of his policies are unlawful or for refusing to follow them.”
Gascon took office in December 2020 amid nationwide calls for criminal justice and police reform. He immediately issued a series of directives that have come under fire since, including prohibiting prosecutors from seeking the death penalty or enhancements and a blanket policy against trying juveniles in adult court.
Gascon recently backtracked on the juvenile policy amid controversy over a convicted sex offender who gloated about her light sentence on a jailhouse phone call. Hannah Tubbs pleaded guilty to molesting a 10-year-old girl in 2014, weeks before she turned 18.
She received a sentence of two years at a juvenile facility after Gascon’s office declined to transfer the case to adult court.
In the case of Ramirez, she disclosed to Gascon that a policy of preventing juveniles from being charged with more than one crime despite having allegedly committed multiple crimes in one incident, her lawsuit says. Rodriguez was demoted after refusing to punish a subordinate who filed a statement in opposition to the re-sentencing of a violent inmate, the lawsuit states.
Both were demoted on Sept. 7, 2021, accordant to court documents. Gascon’s office has declined to comment on the matter, citing ongoing litigation.
The current and forthcoming lawsuits come as Gascon faces backlash from his own prosecutors, elected officials, law enforcement and some crime victims advocates. In February, nearly 98% of the Los Angeles Association of Deputy District Attorneys membership voted to support an ongoing recall attempt against their boss.
At the time, association Vice President Eric Siddall compared Gascon’s election win to a failed experiment.
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“Over a year ago, Gascon began a massive social experiment by reducing prosecutorial resources away from enforcing the law while simultaneously ignoring large portions of the penal code,” he 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.
The public opposition from deputy district attorneys against their boss is surprising, Smith said.
“It’s because of who he is. This is a guy who’s never practiced law in his life,” he said. “He’s never done anything in a courtroom to my knowledge except maybe testified as a cop.”