Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón Is Handing Out Overdue Promotions Prompting Deputy DAs To Question His Motives

George Gascón, the controversial District Attorney for Los Angeles County is on the ropes. Polls show the progressive DA has a negative view from a majority of voters leading into the November election. After two recall efforts, and nearly all his prosecutors against him, Gascón needs support wherever he can get it.

Is he mounting a comeback from within? Sources say yes.

Gascón’s soft-on-crime progressive policies have led to negative press, but most notable are the lawsuits that came out against the DA after prosecutors say they were harassed and retaliated by their employer for having a different opinion on his views of justice.

On day one, Gascón introduced sweeping changes without any employee feedback or concern for legal procedures or protocol. Gascón ordered prosecutors to stop seeking longer sentences for gun and gang crimes, he banned the prosecution of juveniles as adults and asked prosecutors to drop charges altogether for first time misdemeanor offenders. Gascón also told prosecutors his office would never seek sentencing enhancements for criminal defendants, and to never oppose a convicted person’s parole, no matter the crime.

That lead to push back from staff citing victims’ rights and the rule of law. Legal challenges were pursued. The union representing prosecutors filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction against Gascón’s policies.

And that’s when the harassment, re-assignments and demotions began.

My sources, who wish to remain anonymous for fear of further retaliation, say they were harassed for wanting to help victims, their families, and for objecting to a slew of progressive new policies that Gascón rolled out. One source was forced into a lower tier re-assignment that took away the chance for future advancement. The forced demotion also came with a change of office, on the other side of the county, creating a much longer daily commute that put undue stress on his home life. “It was like Gascón researched where I lived and picked the farthest point away from my home,” he said.

Sources tell me demotions and transfers are common tactics for anyone who questions Gascón.

According to another lawsuit, that Gascón lost, 17 civil claims were filed from prosecutors saying they were reassigned, and/or passed up for promotion after speaking out against his policies. The suit went on to describe Gascon’s hostile work environment, and retaliation if deputy DAs raised concerns over reforms they believe were unethical or illegal.

But within the last few weeks, as he seeks re-election in November, Gascón has changed his tune. Sources tell me he’s now promoting people that have been passed over for years, even calling them in person to congratulate them.

“I couldn’t believe it when he called me personally to tell me about the promotion, after refusing to talk to me when I challenged my demotion months ago,” says my source. “It definitely felt like he was trying to win me over.”

Are these promotions a tactic to gain support months before the critical November election? Is Gascón buying votes with each pay raise?

My sources say that’s how they feel. A statement provided by the DA’s office reads, “Any insinuation that these advancements were influenced by factors other than the demonstrated capabilities and contributions of the employees is unfounded and undermines the incredible work that is being done each and every day by the hard-working deputies in this office.”

When I read the statement to my source, his reply was, “I’ll take the promotion, because it will ease the stress and burden on my family, but I’m not going to vote for him.”

The DA’s office reports under the Gascón administration, 635 individuals have been promoted within the department.