George Gascon, who was previously sanctioned by the San Francisco Ethics Commission and ordered to pay thousands of dollars in fines for violating campaign finance and ethics laws, today sought to distract from his dismal debate performance on Sunday by attacking Jackie Lacey’s choice of Zoom backgrounds.
It’s ironic. Gascon has spent this whole campaign trying to run from his own political ‘background’ in San Francisco and covering up his policing background here in Los Angeles.
FACT: George Gascon has been cited and fined for breaking campaign finance and ethics laws.
Gascon Illegally Solicited Campaign Cash From His Own Employees, Was Fined $4,000 For Violating SF Ethics Laws. “District Attorney George Gascon and two of his top aides have agreed to pay thousands of dollars in fines for violating city laws prohibiting the solicitation of political contributions from city officers and employees, San Francisco Ethics Commission officials said [on May 24, 2016]. Gascon agreed to pay $4,000 in connection with a November 2014 fundraising event held at Ted’s Sports Bar & Grill in aid of his re-election campaign.” [SFC, Bay City News Service, 05/24/2016]
FACT: As San Francisco’s police chief, Gascon cut the one program that trained officers on how to deal with civilians who were experiencing mental health crises.
Gascon Ended A Program That Trained Officers On How To Deal With Suspects With Mental Health Issues. “In the wake of two police shootings of mentally disturbed men within a week, mental health advocates criticized San Francisco Police Chief George Gascón… for cutting a program that trained officers in dealing with unstable suspects.” [SFC, J. Berton, Gascon Faulted For Ending Training Of Officers, 01/08/2011]
Decision To End Program Was A Budget-Cutting Move. “For nine years, police officers underwent 40 hours of training apiece in how to recognize mentally ill suspects and de-escalate crises. The training was called for under a lawsuit settlement with the family of a mentally disturbed man whom officers shot to death in 2001 when he brandished a knife at them in a movie theater. More than 1,000 officers completed the training before the department eliminated the program in June . Mental health workers say police officials described their action as a budget-cutting move.” [SFC, J. Berton, Gascon Faulted For Ending Training Of Officers, 01/08/2011]
FACT: As San Francisco’s district attorney, Gascon refused to prioritize mental health reform or conviction review. Lacey created groundbreaking units to address both issues. Gascon followed Lacey’s lead on conviction review, but didn’t create an in-house unit to address mental health issues.
LA Created Its Own Conviction Integrity Unit In 2015; San Francisco Didn’t Get To It Until 2016. [https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/Conviction-Integrity-Units.aspx]
Work Of LA’s Conviction Integrity Unit Has Led To Exonerations; Not The Case In San Francisco