Deputy DAs Sue George Gascón Over Public Records

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón is facing another lawsuit from lower-level prosecutors — this time, over his hiring of controversial employees.

The Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA) filed suit Wednesday, Jan. 31, seeking a trove of documents. According to the union, the district attorney has failed to comply with six public records requests made since March 2021.

The ADDA is seeking records pertaining to the hiring of his chief of staff Tiffiny Blacknell, former top aide Alisa Blair, deputy district attorney Shelan Joseph, and special prosecutor Lawrence Middleton. 

Blacknell has referred to local police officers as "barbarians" and "an occupying army.” Blair has been blamed for the release of several violent criminals who went on to commit additional crimes. Middleton, a former public defender, was still actively representing criminal defendants when he was hired, causing a judge to intervene. Middleton’s contract allows him to earn up to $1.5 million per year.

“The public must be aware of George Gascón’s lack of transparency,” ADDA President Michele Hanisee said in a quote from the Los Angeles Daily News. “His calculated and persistent refusal to comply with California’s freedom of information law is one of the worst examples of that, but it’s not the only one. Voters deserve to know his entire record before they vote.”

Gascón is fighting for re-election to a second term, and a new USC Dornsife poll shows him with a 51% disapproval rating. Eleven candidates are challenging him in the March 5 primary.