(The Center Square) – Embattled Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon is facing a lawsuit for failing to respond to public records requests regarding hiring, policies, operations, and financial payouts. The former vice president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, which filed the lawsuit and represents over 750 of Gascon’s deputy district attorneys, is running to replace Gascon and was endorsed by the organization.
The lawsuit contains exhibits alleging Gascon did not respond to public records requests regarding which 20 inmates he announced he removed from death row, the hiring and qualifications of certain individuals, and payments to a special prosecutor who questionably continued private practice while working for Gascon.
“A million-dollar-plus no-bid contract with little work to show for it, outside consultants calling the shots on policy and staffing, serious cases handled and dismissed in secret (with seven-figure judgments), and political allies appointed to high-ranking and high-paid public positions, said ADDA vice president Ryan Erlich in a statement. “What’s he got to hide?”
According to a new poll from the University of Southern California, Gascon maintains a lead in the 2024 primary with 15% of voters’ support, while just 24% of Angelenos approve of his job as the county’s lead prosecutor. Gascon’s competitors received a combined 18%, with a leading 8% for Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami and less than 1% for the ADDA-endorsed Eric Siddall. 64% of voters didn’t know who they’d be supporting in the primary election.
Due to California’s top-two primary system that pushes , it’s likely Gascon and Hatami will face off in the general election in December. While now registered as a Democrat, Hatami previously ran for Santa Clarita City Council as a Republican.