Law-Enforcement Unions Join Effort to Recall George Gasc贸n

County prosecutors and sheriff鈥檚 deputies get behind the new effort to oust L.A.鈥檚 controversial DA
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The first attempt to recall Los Angeles district attorney George Gasc贸n went down in flames last year much to the dismay of right-center law enforcement boosters and MAGA activists.聽 However, it appears the new recall attempt鈥攆unded by deep-pocketed Hollywood players and Democratic donors鈥攊s rapidly gaining steam.

On Monday, a pair of major law-enforcement unions took a big step toward boosting the Recall Gasc贸n campaign. The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, representing 8,000 L.A. county-sworn sheriff鈥檚 deputies, announced it is joining the effort. Additionally, the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, which represents about 800 of Gasc贸n鈥檚 own prosecutors, announced it will hold a membership vote on whether to endorse the recall of their own boss.

Neither union endorsed the previous recall effort.

ALADS, which donated $1.3 million with the aim to defeat Gasc贸n in the 2020 race 鈥攖he largest amount contributed by any single group鈥攕lammed the DA in a statement, saying the 67-year-old criminal-justice reformer 鈥渆mboldens criminal behavior and adds to the continued chaos and lawlessness.鈥

Considering the battle the county prosecutors鈥 union has noisily waged against Gasc贸n in court and in the media, the union鈥檚 endorsement of the recall seems all but guaranteed. Union president and deputy DA Michele Hanisee extended a personal invitation for Gasc贸n to make his case against recall when the membership meets to vote on Feb. 16. But there is one caveat: 鈥淧lease note: this invitation is for you, personally. No surrogates will be accepted,鈥 Hanisee wrote.

The latest effort to recall Gasc贸n is taking shape along lines similar to the November 2020 election, when he overcame strenuous opposition from the law-enforcement community to defeat the incumbent D.A. Jackie Lacey by more than 264,000 votes.

But in the wake of some well-publicized crimes since he took office鈥攊n particular the murder of Jaqueline Avant, 81-year-old wife of legendary Motown producer Clarence Avant, at the couple鈥檚 Beverly Hills home鈥攕upport among the Westside鈥檚 affluent community, never high to begin with, has plummeted even further.

Reliably right-wing mega donors like Beverly Hills real-estate baron Geoffrey Palmer and Palos Verdes Estates investor Gerald Marcil are also once again spending generously to defeat Gasc贸n. South L.A.-based civil rights advocate and radio host Earl Ofari Hutchinson, who is working to defeat the recall, accused Gasc贸n鈥檚 opponents of running 鈥渁 thinly veiled right-wing effort to sabotage Gasc贸n鈥檚 much-needed criminal justice reforms.鈥

The Los Angeles County Registrar approved a second recall attempt against the D.A. on Jan. 27, thereby officially opening the 160-day window for signature collection.

Steve Cooley, the former L.A. district attorney who is a proponent of the recall, told Los Angeles that law-enforcement groups previously cautious toward the recall changed their minds after polling showed 61 percent of voters said they would recall the sitting district attorney if the issue were put on the ballot.

鈥淕roups that were cautious before have made up their minds,鈥 Cooley said, 鈥渁nd committed more money.鈥

To get the recall on the November 2022 ballot, supporters must collect signatures from 566,857 registered voters by July 6.

But historically, recalling a countywide elected official is always a tough proposition, and an expensive one鈥攖he previous attempt to recall Gasc贸n raised more than 1 million before ultimately going down to resounding defeat.

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