DA George Gascón faces a backlash from his own deputies
Assistant prosecutor Paul Moll says Gascon’s policy changes make him feel like he is working for the defense.
“It’s all about the defendants, the defendants, the defendants,” says Deputy District Attorney Paul Moll.
THE ANGEL – He’s been a Los Angeles District Attorney for the past 15 years, but for the past two weeks, under District Attorney George Gascón’s new rules, Moll has felt more like he’s working in the defense.
He says, “It’s like it was a hostile Defense Bar takeover of the DA office. The way they are working together to keep us from keeping people safe. It’s shocking!”
Moll, the second assistant district attorney on record, says Gascón is forcing them to go to court if they drop specific amendments against a defendant.
Assistant Attorney Jonathan Hatami was the first to go public.
“He wants us to say it’s in the interests of justice, even if we don’t believe it and even if the evidence doesn’t show it, he wants us to say that and if we don’t we could get into trouble “says Hatami.
Moll adds: “Public safety seems to have been thrown out the window. I am supposed to argue, serious, violent repeat offenders who, as you know, go out again and victimize people just to let them go.” ”
Because he didn’t do exactly that, Moll says a defense attorney reported him to his superiors. He believes Gascón’s team works closely with defenders.
He says, “I work with defense lawyers all day every day and they told me they got these emails from my office asking them to report us.”
The new guidelines, which Moll is mainly concerned with, include re-convicting old cases, not representing the prosecutor at probation hearings, and a fees policy that does not allow prosecutors to introduce previous offenses or allegations.
Moll says the hardest part of everything is letting the victims know. “My heart goes out to the victims, they are about to have some terrible reality tests.”
Though Moll fears retaliation for speaking out, Moll says that silence is something he simply cannot do under the circumstances.
He says, “If I got fired, at least I could tell my kids that I did the right thing.”
FOX 11 News reached out to George Gascón for comment, but his office spokesman declined.
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