Gascón Cancels Meeting With ADDA Leaders
By a MetNews Staff Writer
District Attorney George Gascón yesterday canceled a meeting set for that day with representatives of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys for a discussion of the ADDA’s plea to reconsider his decision to gut the office’s program aimed at assisting victims of violent crimes.
The meeting had been scheduled a week ago. A reorganization of the Victim Impact Program (“VIP”) is set to take place today.
The ADDA said in a press release:
“VIP is a division of specially trained attorneys who prosecute the most sensitive cases in the office, such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, elder abuse, child abuse, hate crimes, sex crimes, and stalking. Gascón’s planned reorganization would reduce the number of experienced lawyers handling these cases.”
ADDA President Michele Hanisee commented:
“This decision by Gascón to gut this essential unit is rash, self-serving, and retaliatory. It will make victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse less safe, and in many cases, put their lives in danger.
“But what do you expect from a guy who has never tried a case or had to help a traumatized crime victim navigate the court process?”
ADDA Vice President Eric Siddall asserted:
“No one outside of George Gascón’s insular and inexperienced executive team thinks this is a good idea. This level of mismanagement and incompetence is typical of Gascón. His stubborn refusal to pause or rethink this petty power tantrum is arrogant, irresponsible, and a threat to public safety.”
On April 7 of last year, Deputy District Attorney Val Cole, head deputy of the Compton Branch Office and chair of the Victims Impact Policies and Procedures Subcommittee, sent an eight-page memo to the director of branch operations and the director of central operations urging that support for the program be boosted. Instead, a reorganization was announced the following day minimizing the program.
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