An Open Letter to George Gascón: Release your Personnel Files

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An Open Letter to George Gascón: Release your Personnel Files

By Eric Siddall

You launched your campaign for Los Angeles County District Attorney with the statement that you wanted to make the County “more transparent and more accountable to the public.” Should not that transparency effort include you?

You have not released your Los Angeles Police Department, San Francisco Police Department or Mesa Police Department personnel files, including complaint investigations of misconduct, despite public calls to do so. You have not answered if you were ever asked to participate in the LAPD Ombudsman program to mediate allegations against you by your former peers or subordinates.

Leaders lead by example; somebody who claims transparency as a core value should demonstrate by deed and not word their commitment to transparency by letting the public see everything they have done while employed by the public. For you, the details of your prior public employment are in your law enforcement personnel files. There is no legitimate reason at this time for you to refuse to release your personnel files and Ombudsman participation.

Your refusal to release in full your personnel files and Ombudsman participation raises questions about what is in those files. Is there something you don’t want the public to know?

As far as any files reflecting participation in the LAPD Ombudsman program, steps can be taken to ensure the confidentiality of the other party to any case. Simply redacting the name while ensuring the record contains the general nature of the dispute, i.e., sexual harassment, hostile and uncomfortable work environment, will suffice to inform the public.

Finally, you were quoted as saying,. “As a career law enforcement officer who spent 30 years in policing, I can tell you that good police officers do not fear transparency. Good police officers welcome transparency because it allows them to work effectively with the communities that they serve.”

We look forward to you quickly releasing in full your personnel files from all three police agencies, ensuring complete transparency for voters.

Eric Siddall
Vice President
Los Angeles Association of Deputy District Attorneys

Eric Siddall is Vice President of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys, the collective bargaining agent representing nearly 1,000 Deputy District Attorneys who work for the County of Los Angeles.
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