PALMDALE — Frustrated with the policies of Los Angeles County District Attorney Gascón, the Palmdale City Council is investigating filing criminal charges in some misdemeanor cases itself through the city attorney, and is considering a vote of no confidence in Gascón.
Gascón was elected in November and immediately set in motion sweeping criminal justice reforms, including a halt to seeking harsher sentences through special enhancements and the elimination of cash bail for any misdemeanor.
Additionally, he directed deputy district attorneys to reject filing 13 types of charges, with some exceptions, including items such as trespassing, driving without a valid or a suspended license, disturbing the peace, resisting arrest, criminal threats, public intoxication, minor in possession of alcohol, loitering, drug possession and under the influence of control substances, according to City Attorney Christopher Beck.
Beck reported Tuesday that through May this year, the District Attorney’s office has rejected 1,208 cases for filing, a rate of 59%. This compares to the previous two years, prior to Gascón’s election, in which the office rejected 13% and 21%, respectively.
“It is just astonishing to me that we’ve reached this point,” Councilmember Richard Loa said. “All of those are offenses that affect human beings and affect our residents.”