Los Angeles, CA – An overwhelming majority of the unionized prosecutors working for Los Angeles County George Gascon’s office have voted in favor of recalling their boss.
The Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA) announced Feb. 22 that approximately 83 percent of its 700 members participated in the vote, KNBC reported.
The turnout surpassed all prior elections held by the ADDA, according to the Press Telegram.
A total of 97.9 percent of those who voted said they support the effort to recall Gascon, KNBC reported.
ADDA President Michele Hanisee released a statement noting that those who participated in the vote have firsthand knowledge about the operation of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and the fallout Gascon has created.
“This vote is by those who are intimately familiar with how Mr. Gascon’s policies actually play out on a day-to-day basis,” Hanisee said, according to KNBC. “We believe the vote of our members will resonate with the voters of Los Angeles as they decide whether to recall Gascon from office and restore public safety as the priority of the District Attorney’s Office.”
The ADDA invited the district attorney to speak to its members ahead of the vote, but he refused, according to the Press Telegram.
“Regarding the invitation, I respectfully decline,” Gascon wrote in a letter to Hanisee. “I am not ignorant to the fact that there are those who vehemently oppose my philosophy and ideology when it comes to how the criminal legal system should operate.”
He went on to paint himself as a victim of his political opponents.
“Before I was elected to this position by over 2 million residents of Los Angeles County, a false narrative about me began, and it has continued ever since,” he told Hanisee. “These fear tactics did not work then, and they are not working now. Instead of focusing on political rhetoric, I want to focus on the issues facing the women, men and gender nonconforming deputy district attorneys that go to work each day to pursue justice.”
Gascon has refused to speak directly to the prosecutors in his office to discuss his policies since he took office, the Press Telegram reported.
But while he was running for office, he spent time with the county’s public defenders and fielded prescreened questions, according to the ADDA.
Gascon’s campaign spokesperson, Elise Moore, would not comment on the outcome of the ADDA vote, according to the Press Telegram.
The ADDA’s vote is one of many taking place amid the latest effort to recall Gascon, KNBC reported.
Gascon, who has been at the helm of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office since December of 2020, prevailed during a similar recall campaign last year.
The current recall effort was launched in December of 2021.
Over 30 city councils from communities in Los Angeles County have issued “no confidence” votes regarding the district attorney, KNBC reported.
Former Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Chief Charlie Beck withdrew his support for Gascon earlier this month, according to the Press Telegram.
Recall organizers need to collect a total of at least 566,857 signatures from Los Angeles County registered voters by July 6 in order to trigger a recall vote, KNBC reported.
“Over a year ago, Gascon 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 told the Press Telegram.
“The result is an emboldened criminal element that knows the DA will not hold criminals accountable,” Siddall declared. “This experiment needs to end.”