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

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

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