Standing in front of a packed room in Whittier, longtime line prosecutor Jonathan Hatami promised to “restore civility” to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office and stand up for the crime victims he insists George Gascón has forgotten.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Maria Ramirez — who along with Hatami is one of at least 16 L.A. County prosecutors suing Gascón for retaliation or defamation — says she’ll bring her 30 years of experience to the helm of the nation’s largest prosecutor’s office, hoping to provide a calming presence after what she calls the “chaotic” nature of Gascón’s tenure.
And prosecutor John McKinney — fresh off winning a high-profile conviction in the murder of beloved rapper Nipsey Hussle — promised to work to undo what he sees as the chronic dysfunction in the office, caused by the divide between Gascón and his own staff.
After two years spent trashing Gascón in media appearances, courtroom hallways and lawsuits, many of the progressive prosecutor’s in-house opponents are now taking their complaints to the campaign trail. These three deputy district attorneys have already announced their intentions to deny Gascón a second term in office. Eric Siddall, vice president of the union representing rank-and-file prosecutors, has also said he is “considering” entering the fray.
Several sources have indicated that Nathan Hochman, the Republican nominee for California attorney general who was trounced by Rob Bonta last year, is also seriously mulling a run. One source said Hochman is expected to run as an independent and may announce soon.
The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the matter candidly. Hochman did not respond to a call seeking comment.