A 24th city this week issued a vote of “no confidence” in Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, who is facing a possible recall.
La Verne’s City Council voted during a July 19 meeting to pass a resolution that says Gascón has passed directives that violate state laws and risk public safety.
The council is “expressing a vote of no confidence” in the prosecutor “for his attempt to undermine legislation and the ballot initiative process and place the safety of the general public at risk,” according to the resolution.
“I think the consensus is that right now, that the criminals have more rights than the criminalized, and I think it was time to let our district attorney know that we need to have a level playing field for all. But it has to be equitable on both sides, and it’s tipped the scales right now and it’s not fair for people who have been criminalized against,” La Verne Mayor Tim Hepburn, who cast the deciding vote, told The Epoch Times.
The rise in cases that are dismissed before trial has risen under Gascón, Hepburn said, causing concern among residents and police officers. He also described as disturbing the district attorney’s multi-page report conveying to assistant district attorneys a number of policy changes.
The two members who voted no wanted to discuss matters with Gascón, but the district attorney’s office declined to come to the meeting, the mayor said.
“There’s time for discussion and there’s time for action,” he said.
Gascón’s office did not provide comment by the time of publication.
Twenty-three other cities have also voted for resolutions saying officials do not have confidence in the district attorney, who promised not to seek the death penalty and to stop charging juveniles as adults in a speech after being sworn in late last year.
“It is time to change course and implement a system of justice that will enhance our safety and humanity,” Gascón said at the time.
“Today we are confronting the lie that stripping entire communities of their liberties somehow made us safer—and we’re doing it with science, research, and data. For decades those who profit off incarceration have used their enormous political influence—cloaked in the false veil of safety—to scare the public and our elected officials into backing racist policies that created more victims, destroyed budgets, and shattered our moral compass. That lie and the harm it caused ends now.”
The cities include Arcadia, Diamond Bar, La Mirada, Pico Rivera, and West Covina.
There are 88 cities in the county.
Gascón faces a recall effort. Organizers have until late October to gather 580,000 verified signatures.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told The Epoch Times last month that a surge in crime in the county is due to Gascón’s failure to prosecute crimes.
“You’re supposed to have a district attorney who represents the people … but [he’s] acting like a public defender,” Villanueva said. “There’s no one left representing the people. I need to work in partnership with the person who’s representing the people.
Chris Karr contributed to this report.