In My Opinion
Haymon Is Constantly Late, Combative, Unprofessional
(The writer is a deputy district attorney whose identity was not revealed. The comments pertain to Deputy Public Defender Rhonda Haymon who is mounting an election challenge to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lynn Olson.)
I would like to preface what I am about to say with my personal belief that if you do not have anything nice to say, then say nothing at all. However, there also comes a time when people must speak up for the greater good.
In my nearly 20 years of being a prosecutor, I have never seen an attorney that was as unprofessional and offensive as Ms. Haymon. Despite having a heavy calendar with numerous clients waiting for her, she is constantly late to court, if she shows up at all. While this is an incredible inconvenience for prosecutors who have witnesses (both civilian and law enforcement) waiting, it is also a disservice to her clients who are waiting to speak to their attorney and have often sat in court until after the lunch break before finally speaking to her.
For obvious reasons, judicial officers began trying to crack down on her tardiness by admonishing her to be in court on time. Instead of acknowledging her mistake, she would proceed to accuse the judges of discriminating against her and her indigent clients, often implying that her race as an African American woman was a factor.
Towards prosecutors, she is often equally combative. A colleague once met her for the first time and she asked for a case to be dismissed. When the colleague declined, she asked “do you have a problem with me?” and proceeded to threaten to make that person’s life miserable. She has also threatened and accused other colleagues of being unethical and not following the law based on her incorrect understanding of District Attorney George Gascón’s office policies, which are obviously not the law.
Her attitude and toxic behavior extend not only to the bench and prosecution, but also to her own public defender colleagues. Admittedly, none of my colleagues who are public defenders would say anything specific about her work performance in the name of professionalism, but I have been told by multiple public defenders that they would not stand in on any of her cases (since she was always late, as stated above).
I have also had colleagues in the Public Defender’s Office who have inherited some of her older cases (she is notorious for aging cases by continuing them endlessly) and discovered her file was incomplete, that reports were missing, and that little to no work up had been done.
It is noteworthy that the judge she has decided to run against, Judge Lynn Olson, actually found her in contempt of court earlier this year. This ruling was subsequently upheld by Judge William C. Ryan and every prosecutor in the county has a copy of the decision. A finding of contempt is extraordinarily rare and only occurs in the most extreme of circumstances.
I cannot help but think that her decision to run against Judge Olson is her way to exact revenge.
With her uncalled-for combative demeanor, lack of patience, poor preparation, and poor knowledge of the law, I cannot think of a worse candidate to be a judicial officer.
Copyright 2023, Metropolitan News Company