Despite claims of being an “Ordinary person,” John (checks notes) Legend received preferential treatment from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in his grand theft auto case, one deputy of recall-magnet D.A. George Gascón is claiming.
Legend, who has been a long-time Gascón supporter, allegedly got the VIP touch from the D.A., who he backed in the 2020 election, when his Porsche was stolen outside of a recording studio, according to KTLA. No one’s mad at high-profile singer-songwriter-producer apparently, but what many critics do object to is an internal email in which the DA’s Acting Head Deputy, John Harlan, notified prosecutors that he wished to stay informed regarding the case.
In an email obtained by KTLA, with the subject heading, “BOLO Singer John Legend Victim of Attempted Auto Theft,” Harlan asked prosecutors to, “Please be on the lookout for this case” should it appear in the DA’s records.
Deputy DA Jonathan Hatami points out that such an email would not likely go over well with thousands of ordinary L.A. crime victims, who can presumably expect to see the likes of Legend and his fellow fancy celebs skipping them in line after reading such a missive.
“This specific case, it has the appearance of impropriety because he’s trying to get the case before it’s even filed, before the case is even presented, and so that’s unusual,” Hatami told the station.
Hatami and other prosecutors believe Legend’s case received special treatment because of his prior endorsement of Gascón.
“You have somebody, John Legend, who has given him money, he’s given George Gascón money. John Legend—who’s had fundraisers for George Gascón, John Legend, who’s friends with George Gascón, and now you’re going out of your way to find the filings before they’re even presented to a DA, and it sure looks like you’re trying to give him favoritism,” Hatami said.
Legend has been an avid supporter of Gascón not only on the campaign trail but online as well, tweeting in Dec. 2020 “Proud to have supported his election. This is the kind of change we voted for and the kind of change we need to bring our system closer to true justice.”
George Gascón, our new DA in Los Angeles, just announced some major reforms on his first day. Proud to have supported his election. This is the kind of change we voted for and the kind of change we need to bring our system closer to true justice https://t.co/MDEXGQaFe3
— John Legend (@johnlegend) December 7, 2020
A statement from Tiffany Blacknell, director of communications for the DA’s office, read in part:
“The allegations that we gave preferential treatment to a case involving John Legend is baseless. It is routine practice for the Head Deputy of the Charge Evaluation Division to seek information on all cases generating media interest. This matter was received the same way any media case is treated by the filing unit. Our office did not file this case. It was referred to the L.A. County Attorney’s Office back on November 23 for misdemeanor filing consideration.”