Soros-funded Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, as we’ve reported, made major waves during his first week in office. On day one, he issued nine Special Directives instituting “criminals first” policies like failing to prosecute many misdemeanors, a blanket prohibition on seeking the death penalty or life without parole, and a ban on charging juveniles as adults. Throughout the week, victims, law enforcement officers, and court personnel were shocked to see the results of those policies in action in the courtroom (including a failure to charge enhancements or “strikes” against a man accused of decapitating two of his children).
Many LA County Deputy District Attorneys vehemently disagree with Gascon’s directives, and some have refused to follow them. Those who refuse to follow them have been almost immediately ordered to appear at headquarters in downtown LA to receive discipline. With approximately 1,200 Deputy District Attorneys on staff, who work at courthouses scattered over 12 districts within the county, how will Gascon find out who’s not following his directives?
The same way corrupt bullies do – through toadies.
While there hasn’t been a public announcement, sources within the District Attorney’s office tell RedState that Tiffany Blacknell, a former Recruitment Director for the county Public Defender’s Office, has been hired by Gascon to head up recruitment efforts for the District Attorney’s office. Blacknell was a member of the Gascon campaign’s Public Policy Committee.
Blacknell has been keeping an eye on Deputy District Attorneys and taking note of those who are and aren’t following directives. This post on Blacknell’s Facebook page from December 8 (it’s since been deleted) calls out a Deputy DA who wasn’t following Gascon’s directive on bond/bail.
Other Gascon loyalists are monitoring courtrooms to ensure compliance. On Friday 21-year-old Austin Redden was in court on his third DUI charge. This time, he’d killed one person and severely injured two more when he smashed into a tow truck. Redden was facing “special circumstances” in the case due to his priors, but under Gascon’s new Special Directives prosecutors were supposed to ask the judge to dismiss those special circumstances but were uncomfortable doing so, according to victim’s rights attorney Sam Dordulian. As reported by Fox Los Angeles, Gascon’s “Special Advisor” Mario Trujllo was in the courtroom to make sure the prosecutors abided by Gascon’s new policy:
“They told me they completely disagree with everything they were asked to do, they felt they were in ethical quandary because they don’t believe in it,” Dordulian said.
He was in the Norwalk courtroom representing the family of Jacob Scianni when he says he witnessed Gascon’s special adviser Mario Trujillo approach the defense attorneys.
“In a voice loud enough for the DA’s to hear, he said ‘Mr. Gascon is very concerned and wants to be aware of everything that is said about this case and about the proceedings and he wants to make sure everyone follows the special directive.” Dordulian says it was clear to everyone in the courtroom, especially the DA’s that it was meant as a threat.
“He was sending a message. There is no doubt in my mind. He said it in a loud enough voice and directed it to the defense attorney, letting his prosecutors know that, ‘we’re listening, we’re watching, do not say anything against us,” said Dordulian.
Fortunately, the judge refused to drop the special allegations.
In case Gascon doesn’t have a lackey available to send to each and every courtroom, his staff have created a Google Document public defenders or members of the public can fill out to tattle on DDA’s who are actually fulfilling their duty to defend the public against scumbags. RedState has obtained screenshots from that form, titled “Issues with Non-Compliance with DA Directives,” via the Recall George Gascon Facebook page:
Perhaps knowing that these efforts violate labor law and that the District Attorneys’ union might have a problem with his actions, Gascon’s staff changed the form a few hours after screenshots were posted in the Facebook forum. There is now a slight disclaimer at the top of the form saying, “This is to gather information for study and action on what is happening in courts in Los Angeles under DA Gascon’s new initiatives.”
Nobody is fooled.
Deputy District Attorneys aren’t taking this laying down. While scared for their jobs, they are still working to obtain justice for their victims and put criminals behind bars. Expect many this week to take principled stands in courtrooms and refuse to follow directives that would put the public at risk, despite what personal consequences they might face. Expect courtrooms to be packed with observers who can and will file State Bar complaints against Gascon and any of his henchmen who threaten and intimidate these public servants who are simply trying to do their jobs.
As the story develops, I will post updates.