District Attorneys’ Union Files Unfair Labor Charge Against George Gascón For Lying About Union Activity and Undermining Union’s Work

Association of Deputy District Attorneys logo

Los Angeles, California, February 23, 2024 — The Association of Deputy District Attorneys (“ADDA”), the union representing nearly 800 line prosecutors in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, today filed an unfair labor practice charge against Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón for false, anti-union statements he made in an interview with an editorial board member of the Southern California News Group.

Gascón’s comments, which were published verbatim in newspapers across Los Angeles and Orange counties, contained provably false allegations about the union’s efforts to protect its members’ workplace rights.

“George Gascón’s lies are designed to undermine the hard work that our union has done to stand up for and defend our members’ civil service and workplace rights. He is also seeking to shift the blame for his failed leadership onto the line prosecutors who work in the District Attorney’s office,” said ADDA President Michele Hanisee.

In his comments, Gascón falsely alleged that the ADDA turned down an offer from Gascón to increase pay for its members, discouraged members from applying for promotions, and raised union dues multiple times without member consent:

“In their work against me, the union had to raise their dues twice and now a third time — they spend it on the campaign against me, on recalls, on lawsuits. But … we are seeing cracks” in the internal opposition. “We gave tests for DA 4,” a step up for junior prosecutors. “and the union told people not to take the exam, and over 300 people took the exam. The union refused my offer to give raises to many of our attorneys,” because they didn’t want him to have that victory.

None of that is true.

“District Attorney Gascón’s statements are utter lies made up from whole cloth, without a grain of substance to them, which only underscores the insult to the Los Angeles County Employee Relations Ordinance… and hearkens back to the days when anti-labor thugs used lead pipes instead of words to assault labor policy and labor unions,” the ADDA’s unfair labor practice charge alleges.

The ADDA’s Board of Directors has never discouraged its members from taking a promotional exam; indeed, all eligible members of the Board applied for the promotion to which Gascón referred. In his three-year tenure as District Attorney, Gascón has never offered to increase deputies’ pay; in fact, he lacks the power to do so. The ADDA’s members approved a one-time increase in their dues rate early in Gascón’s term to pay for additional legal expenses associated with protecting ADDA members from unlawful retaliation by Gascón.

“There’s only one reason for Gascón, or someone like him, to lie about the ADDA’s activities, and that’s to undermine the union’s credibility in the eyes of its members,” said ADDA Vice President Ryan Erlich. “If Gascón wants to blame someone for his failures over the last three years, he should blame the guy staring back at him in the mirror.”

Gascón is currently running for reelection.

Recent public polling indicates that Gascón is deeply unpopular with Los Angeles County voters. A January 2024 USC / Dornsife poll revealed that more than half of respondents disapproved of his job performance as District Attorney. A January 2024 poll sponsored by Thrive LA found that 53% of respondents held an unfavorable impression of Gascón.

Gascón faces 11 challengers on the March 5, 2024, primary election ballot, including four current deputy district attorneys. The ADDA has endorsed Deputy District Attorney Eric Siddall in that race.

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About the ADDA

The Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA) is the collective bargaining agent representing nearly 800 Deputy District Attorneys working for the County of Los Angeles

ADDA Releases Endorsements for March 2024 Primary Elections

Association of Deputy District Attorneys logo

Los Angeles, February 12, 2024 — The Board of Directors of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA) released its endorsements for the March 5th primary election. For some judicial races, more than one Deputy District Attorney is running for the seat, and the ADDA has chosen to provide dual endorsements.

District Attorney
Eric Siddall

City of West Hollywood, City Council
George Nickle

City of Los Angeles, District 4
Ethan Weaver

Judicial Seat No. 39
Jacob Lee

Judicial Seat No. 48
Renee Rose

Judicial Seat No. 93
Victor Avila

Judicial Seat No. 97
Sam Abourched
Sharon Ransom

Judicial Seat No. 115
Keith Koyano
Christmas Brookens

Judicial Seat No. 130
Leslie Gutierrez

Judicial Seat No. 135
Georgia Huerta
Steven Yee Mac

About the ADDA
The Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA) is the collective bargaining agent representing over 800 Deputy District Attorneys working for the County of Los Angeles

ADDA Files Lawsuit Against DA Gascón for Systematic Violations of The California Public Records Act

Association of Deputy District Attorneys logo

Los Angeles, February 1, 2024  – The Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA) has filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, alleging a systematic and deliberate failure to comply with the California Public Records Act (“CPRA”), the state version of the Freedom of Information Act. The ADDA, representing the interests of over 750 Deputy District Attorneys, contends that Gascón’s failure to comply with the law and to provide documents contradicts his professed commitment to transparency.

Michele Hanisee, President of the ADDA, remarked, “The public must be aware of George Gascón’s lack of transparency. His calculated and persistent refusal to comply with California’s freedom of information law is one of the worst examples of that, but it’s not the only one. Voters deserve to know his entire record before they vote.”

Numerous CPRA requests directed to the Custodian of Records within District Attorney Gascón’s office, the person designated to handle such requests, have gone unanswered. The 88-page complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court outlines instances where Gascón cited improper and nonexistent legal justifications to duck his mandated disclosure obligations. The lawsuit also reveals instances in which Gascón selectively turned over some documents while claiming it was overly burdensome to turn over others.

In one specific case, Gascón claimed it was overly burdensome to disclose communications related to his decision to hire particular individuals. Despite the disagreement, ADDA narrowed its request to focus only on documents referring to Alex Bastian and Maxwell Szabo for a 20-day period. Similarly, the request concerning the hiring of Tiffiny Blacknell, Alisa Blair, and Shelan Joseph was refined to a 12-day period. Notably, Gascón failed to cite any statute supporting claims of privilege or confidentiality, rendering the delays and refusals unjustifiable.

Ryan Erlich, Vice President of the ADDA, added, “George Gascón is quick to take credit for other prosecutors’ victories, but he’s even quicker to hide his failures.  We’re using California’s freedom of information law to ask about some of those failures. A million-dollar-plus no-bid contract with little work to show for it, outside consultants calling the shots on policy and staffing, serious cases handled and dismissed in secret (with seven-figure judgments), and political allies appointed to high-ranking and high-paid public positions.  Why is he running from public disclosure on these issues?  What’s he got to hide?”

It’s disheartening that legal action is necessary to obtain public documents from the District Attorney. The California Public Records Act explicitly mandates that public institutions promptly make copies of public records available without unnecessary delays. Unfortunately, George Gascón continues violating the CPRA, failing to provide the requested documents promptly and unlawfully prolonging the response process.

The Brown Green & Shinee and The Gibbons Firm are representing the ADDA in this legal action. To view a copy of the lawsuit, click here.