Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón was ordered Monday to pay $1.5 million in civil damages to a prosecutor who said she was punished for opposing his radical “criminal justice reform” policies.
Shawn Randolph, a veteran prosecutor who headed juvenile prosecutions in the county, was assigned to parole duty instead after she criticized Gascón’s ban on trying juvenile defendants as adults, among other policies.
(Gascón later amended that policy, as he faced a potential recall effort, and as public outrage grew over his handling of the case of a 26-year-old transgender violent pedophile sex offender, Hannah — formerly James — Tubbs, whom he tried as a juvenile, ensuring that Tubbs would not have to register as a sex offender.)
That was only one of several radical policies that triggered a backlash among rank-and-file career prosecutors, who pushed back against Gascón’s suspension of cash bail, his ban on seeking the death penalty even in murder cases, and his restriction on sentence enhancements for crimes committed using a gun or as part of a gang.
Many prosecutors alleged that Gascón retaliated against them for speaking out against him, and on Monday, a judge agreed, awarding what could be the first of many civil judgements. The Los Angeles Times reported:
An L.A. County prosecutor on Monday was awarded $1.5 million in a retaliation lawsuit against Dist. Atty. George Gascón, who faces more than a dozen similar civil claims that could prove equally costly.
The verdict does not bode well for Gascón, who testified at the two-week trial and faces similar lawsuits from prosecutors who say they were reassigned or passed up for promotions after speaking out against his progressive policies. A number of people suing Gascón, including Victoria Adams, his former chief of staff, and Deputy Dist. Atty. Maria Ramirez, testified against him at Randolph’s trial.
At least one retaliation claim against Gascón — filed by the former head deputy of the Compton branch court, Richard Doyle — has been settled by the county, also for a seven-figure sum.
Gascón has survived two recall efforts, both of which failed to gather the required signatures — though the second attempt came close, and only failed after the county scoured petitions and found ineligible signatures.
He is one of dozens of prosecutors backed by left-wing billionaire George Soros in recent years, who have pursued radical criminal justice reforms in the midst of a nationwide crime wave. Gascón, who defeated the county’s first black, female district attorney in 2020, has boasted about reducing prison sentences by thousands of years — as residents of Los Angeles have become increasingly desperate about the rise of violent crime.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.