by Mike Sprague
La Mirada’s City Council next week is expected to become the next city to approve a vote of no confidence in Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón.
Already, the cities of Beverly Hills and Santa Clarita have approved similar resolutions. A recall effort also has been launched but that must wait until six months after he was sworn into office before they can collect signatures.
Council members in interviews before the vote on Tuesday, March 23 said Gascon’s policies of not prosecuting some lesser crimes already are resulting in higher crime.
“La Mirada has been affected by his policies,” Mayor John Lewis said.
“The fact he will not prosecute certain crimes has caused our own public safety numbers to increase, such as property crimes and grand theft auto and things of that nature,” Lewis said. “We need to have a no confidence vote to show we’re affected by the decisions being made by the District Attorney’s Office.”
Specifically, the city staff-drafted resolution criticizes his new policies,including:
- Eliminating cash bail for misdemeanors, non-serious or non-violent felonies;
- Calling for dismissal of several misdemeanor charges, such as trespassing, disturbing the peace, criminal threats, drug and paraphernalia possession, public intoxication and resisting arrest; and
- Elimination of sentence enhancements, including three-strikes law, gang enhancements and violations of bail
In an emailed response, Alex Bastian, special advisor to Gascón, defended the DA’s record.
“The District Attorney is very focused on enhancing public safety, increasing equity, expanding victim services and strengthening police accountability, Bastian wrote. “The policies implemented over the last few months go to furthering these core principles for all Angelenos, including La Mirada residents.”
Gascón’s also previously in a press conference has defended its policies. which include not seeking the death penalty, and eliminating cash bail and ending some sentencing enhancements, such as those impacting gang members.