Former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, along with 10 other victims’ rights attorneys and a former Los Angeles Police Department detective have called upon state Attorney General Rob Bonta to exercise his state constitutional authority over the county’s current top prosecutor, George Gascón.
The call for a crackdown on Gascón came in an open letter dated Sunday and publicly released yesterday. It tells the attorney general:
“The residents of Los Angeles County need and deserve a prosecutor who follows and enforces the laws, protects public safety and safeguards victims’ rights. Gascon has abandoned his duties in a wholesale way. As Attorney General and the chief law officer of California, you are obligated to intercede to ensure that the residents of Los Angeles County are equally protected and that the laws are uniformly enforced.”
The letter points to Art. V, §13 of the state Constitution which says, in part:
“The Attorney General shall have direct supervision over every district attorney…in all matters pertaining to the duties of their respective offices, and may require any of said officers to make reports concerning the investigation, detection, prosecution, and punishment of crime in their respective jurisdictions as to the Attorney General may seem advisable.”
The letter also makes note of Government Code §12550 which includes these words:
“The Attorney General has direct supervision over the district attorneys of the several counties of the State and may require of them written reports as to the condition of public business entrusted to their charge.
“When he deems it advisable or necessary in the public interest…, he shall assist any district attorney in the discharge of his duties, and may, where he deems it necessary, take full charge of any investigation or prosecution of violations of law of which the superior court has jurisdiction. In this respect he has all the powers of a district attorney, including the power to issue or cause to be issued subpenas or other process.”