ADDA Makes Inquiry About Chief of Staff Joseph Iniguez

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Below is a letter sent Tuesday by John Rees, executive director of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys to Tim Pescatello, senior manager of the Los Angeles County’s Employee Relations Division. The letter sets forth an inquiry concerning Joseph Iniguez, District Attorney George Gascón’s controversial chief of staff. Iniguez ran for district attorney in 2020, then pulled out of the race, endorsing Gascón. Many have questioned his fitness for his position. Iniguez was arrested on Dec, 11, 2021, by a Pocatello Azusa police officer and booked on suspicion of public intoxication, but the Office of Attorney General, to which the case was referred, dawdled in its investigation and the one-year period within which charges could be filed expired.

This letter serves as a request for you to confirm or deny a disturbing rumor that is gaining  currency in the District Attorney’s Office (Office).

Under normal circumstances, attempts at “rumor control” between this Association and the Office would be quickly and effectively accomplished by a mere phone call, text, or email.  However, the word “normal” cannot be applied to this Administration. For as you know, given the District Attorney’s extreme anti-union animus, it is all but impossible for ADDA to communicate with this Administration at all, let alone quickly or effectively. While the rumor in question may seem both wild and half-baked, we are duty bound to confirm or debunk it  for the benefit of the entire Office.

Accordingly, through other than official channels, we are given to understand that the District Attorney intends to promote—at least on a short-term basis—a completely unqualified political appointee on his Unclassified Staff to the highly responsible permanent Civil Service  management classification of Grade V Deputy District Attorney (DDA). Reportedly, that individual is his unclassified Chief of Staff, one Joseph Iniguez.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill, Mr. Iniguez is a modest little man with much to be modest about. Reportedly, prior to his meteoric rise to the top as Acting Chief Deputy (ACD) in the Unclassified Service, Mr. Iniguez was a Grade II DDA. Reportedly, prior to his assentation to the ACD position, Mr. Iniguez had amassed a less-than-stellar Office record of having prosecuted a mere four felony cases—two of which he supposedly lost. While at some point he became a Grade III DDA, to the best of our knowledge, information, and belief, Mr. Iniguez has never been promoted to the level of Grade IV DDA.

(NOTE: given that Mr. Gascon has admitted that he, himself, has never tried any cases, this could mean that three of the top four Office executives in the largest prosecutorial agency in the nation may have collectively tried a grand total of four cases.)

Why, you may ask, would Mr. Iniguez—who receives a princely compensation package in excess of $406,000 per year—be interested in taking a pay cut occasioned by being placed in a Grade V DDA position? The answer may involve a sinister and a twisted scheme.

To begin with, Mr. Gascon will not be the District Attorney forever. When that occurs, the successor Department Head is highly likely to replace Mr. Iniguez with someone who is considerably more qualified and capable. This means that Mr. Iniguez may have to demote to his last Civil Service rank (e.g., Grade III DDA). However, by placing him on a Grade V DDA position on a short to very short-term basis, Mr. Iniguez may claim that he is entitled to be returned to his highest Civil Service classification (e.g., Grade V DDA). Additionally, by being placed in a Grade V DDA position following Mr. Gascon’s departure, Mr. Iniguez could avoid having to serve as a Grade III DDA under other attorneys that he may have stepped on while serving in the Unclassified Service.

As you know, the position of Grade V DDA is a very important Civil Service management  classification that only the most experienced and most capable Grade IV DDAs attain. Under any circumstances, it is difficult to imagine that Mr. Iniguez has meaningfully added to his otherwise unspectacular prosecutorial record.

If any of the forgoing is correct, then for the County to knowingly permit anyone so manifestly unsuited to be appointed to such a critical managerial position would be a travesty to the merit-based Civil Service system as well as to the very underpinnings of good government.

Tim, it is hoped that what we have heard and what has been related to you is merely an unfounded rumor. As always, if you have any questions in this regard, please contact me at your earliest convenience. That said, your prompt attention to this matter will be greatly appreciated.

Prosecutors Union Seeks Meeting to Discuss Gascón

Rees on Tuesday sent a separate letter to Pescatello saying:

The purpose of the letter is to briefly highlight our ongoing concerns with management of the District Attorney’s Office (Office) and to request to meet with you.

Policy changes and the management practices have resulted in numerous situations that have recently escalated to create working conditions that negatively impact service to the public and threaten the mission of the Office. We look forward to sharing information/data that may sort out the underlying issues and substantiate the hostile working environment by work unit that our members continue to experience.

Accordingly, below you will find a partial summary our ongoing concerns:

1. Since 2020, vacancy rates have increased in all levels of Deputy District Attorneys (DDA) in the Office.

2. Coinciding with staff vacancy rates, caseloads for all levels of classification have increased to unmanageable levels creating a backlog of cases and a resulting inability to meet the statutory prosecution deadlines.

3. Since 2020, retention of talented DDAs has become an issue with more DDAs leaving service by moving to other County positions, to other counties, and generally leaving County service in advance of actual retirement age than previously.

4. Recruitment has not produced enough candidates to fill Grade I DDA vacancies.<

5. Since 2020, the applicant pool for all DDA positions is historically low because of the reputation and policy direction of the current Administration.

6. Working conditions and salaries are no longer comparable to other County positions at the same grade level due to the policy changes that impact both workload and staffing.

7. Punitive transfers and reassignment of the most experienced and more senior DDAs to positions of lesser responsibility and into areas outside of their technical expertise has further created a hostile and toxic environment that is clearly a violation of the County’s Policy of Equity. More senior DDA’s are threatened with reassignment and increased commutes for any shared policy concerns that they may have expressed.

8. This Administration fails to engage in good faith interactive processes to address medical accommodations of more senior employees relying instead on transfers and reassignments to chill any discussions.

At the meeting, we will need to discuss data exchanges, sources of information and agree to an informational exchange process that directly deals with each of the above concerns. In addition, there may be a need to investigate different aspects of each allegation to find the root cause of the hostile work environment given that varying degrees of mismanagement may exist by work unit.

We look forward to scheduling a meeting in the very near future. Thank you in advance for your prompt reply. Woke LA DA George Gascón has 10,000-case backlog, ‘toxic’ attitude driving staff away: sources

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Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón is an “authoritarian” and “toxic” manager whose ultra-woke approach has led scores of prosecutors to quit and 10,000 cases to pile up, sources tell The Post.

Justice is not being served in the most populous county in the nation because Gascón has driven talent away, demoted top lawyers and fights anyone who doesn’t share his views, according to multiple sources who have worked for him.

One former LA prosecutor said Gascón’s policies have eroded trust with the public the office serves, through generous plea deals allowing criminals to get out of jail or prison without serving hard time or declining to prosecute crimes at all.

“In my career as a prosecutor, I’ve never had victims’ families actually hate us until I came into this office,” a former deputy DA told The Post.

“We are hated by all the victims because of lack of prosecution and low sentences because of his policies.

“Gascón is so focused on justice for black and brown defendants, but the victims and their families are also black and brown. Where is the justice for them? We are making them victims of the criminal justice system yet again.”

Cuba-born Gascón, 69, assumed office in Los Angeles in 2020 after eight years serving as the DA of San Francisco. He has been divisive from the start and has survived two attempts to recall him from the position.

“The reputation of the office has been destroyed and people know he’s hostile to his employees,” said Eric Siddall, vice president of the LA County Association of Deputy District Attorneys.

“He has an authoritarian management style, and engages in retaliatory acts against employees who don’t share his ideology.”

Sources claimed the District Attorney’s Office has over 200 open positions, which has contributed to the huge backlog in cases, which sources say is up to 10,000 which have yet to be filed.

The DA’s Office disputed the hiring figure, claiming they only have a total of 139 positions available and blaming “retirement and a previous hiring freeze,” but would not comment on the number of cases piled up.

Former Los Angeles County DA Steve Cooley, who ran the office from 2000 to 2012, told The Post that recruitment was never previously an issue, but the office has recently started to “hemorrhage” talent.


ADDA Thankful for ‘Friend of Court’ Briefs

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Los Angeles, April 26, 2023 – The Association of Deputy District Attorneys (“ADDA”) today thanked the victim advocates, legal experts, and community groups that have filed “friend of the court” briefs with the California Supreme Court supporting the organization’s landmark lawsuit against Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón.

“On behalf of our members, we want to thank those who have filed briefs in support of our position: that no one – not even George Gascón – is above the law. We are humbled and grateful for their support.” said ADDA President Michele Hanisee.

“This groundbreaking lawsuit will define the boundaries of the separation of powers between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches and whether that system of checks-and-balances is worth protecting. We think so, and it’s a position that a state superior court and a panel of state appellate court judges have agreed. We hope the California Supreme Court follows suit when it decides this case in the weeks and months ahead,” Hanisee added.

The lawsuit alleges that Gascón’s directive not to charge prior “strike” convictions violates California law, which imposes a mandatory duty on prosecutors to plead and prove strike priors.

“These briefs echo and add to our defense of a fundamental, non-partisan American principle: no one person is above the law,” said ADDA Vice President Eric Siddall. We are free to disagree with the law. We can – and should — critique its shortcomings and inefficiencies. When it doesn’t work, we can – and should – work like hell to change it. But no one person – no matter how high their office, how deep their pockets, or how inflated their ego – is above it. Not even George Gascón.”

Below are some excerpts from each of the amicus briefs in support of ADDA.

Professors Paul G. Cassell, Margaret Garvin, and John C. Yoo.
“The District Attorney’s refusal to enforce the Three Strikes Law not only violates the text of the California constitution and this Court’s precedents, it also rejects California’s implementation of the principle of the separation of powers.”

“Like all other powers vested in the Executive branch by the California Constitution, prosecutorial discretion is not absolute. The form of discretion Gascón claims aggrandizes the traditional scope of the executive power under the California Constitution, subverts and encroaches upon the role of the Legislature, and ignores the will of the people.”

“Gascón’s theory of prosecutorial discretion proves too much. It would extend prosecutorial discretion beyond its traditional bounds and subsume the role of the Legislature and the will of the people in defining crimes.”

Crime Survivors Resource Center, Justice for Murdered Children, and Barbara Jones
“Whether it is a Southern politician trying to preserve slavery, a conservative politician who opposes abortion and LGBTQ+ rights, a conservative rural sheriff who likes guns, a county that did not think COVID-19 was a serious health issue, or a progressive urban district attorney who does not want to punish dangerous serial criminal offenders, they are each subject to the rule of law. They must comply with the laws to which they are subject even if they do not like them and even if they conflict with their professed values.”

“Ultimately, whether Three Strikes law is good or bad public policy is irrelevant to the issues presented in this case. The sole question is whether Gascón has the power himself to alter state law because he does not like it. He does not.”

Criminal Justice Legal Foundation
“This case calls on the judicial branch to survey the line between the executive and legislative powers of the state. In theory, judgments about the wisdom of the competing policies should not matter in marking out this line. In the ebb and flow of political change, the sides could switch at any time. Even so, appellants have chosen to set forth as background information a sharply skewed portrait of both the history of the Three Strikes Law and the current state of research regarding public safety and sentence length.”

“The District Attorney’s claim that long sentences have a strong criminogenic effect, sufficient to outweigh the incapacitation benefit, is contradicted by the published research literature as a whole, not supported by it.”

California District Attorney’s Association
“Demonstrating a lack of understanding of the source of his authority, the District Attorney perversely turns the separation of powers doctrine on its head in an attempt to insulate his actions. He mischaracterizes the nature of “discretion” to apply to his capricious nullification of the law. He compels his subordinates to violate their own legal duties and ethical obligations. And he cloaks his actions in secrecy by failing to abide by a process that would put the impact of his decisions more squarely in the public eye.”

“The District Attorney presents this Court with a twisted view of the separation of powers doctrine. Through his reasoning, a single county prosecutor may be empowered to ignore the legal constructs of the People, the Legislature, and the Judiciary, declaring which law will be followed in that prosecutor’s county. Separation of powers provides checks on the branches of government, it does not serve to negate them.”

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 Hails Withdrawal of Motion to ‘Depopulate’ Los Angeles County Jails

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Prosecutors’ Union Terms Proposal by Solis, Horvath ‘Dangerous’

By a MetNews Staff Writer

The county prosecutors’ union has hailed the removal of a motion from the Board of Supervisors’ agenda for yesterday’s meeting that called for steps to “depopulate” the jails and “decarcerate” some of those convicted of crimes.

Among the prescribed actions was closing the Men’s Central Jail.

The Association of Deputy District Attorneys (“ADDA”) said in a statement released late Monday that Supervisors Hilda Solis and Lindsey Horvath had put forth a “dangerous proposal.”

The motion, introduced on March 29, called upon the board to “[d]eclare the State of mental health services and overcrowding in the Los Angeles County jails a humanitarian crisis, requiring the County to move with all deliberate speed on meaningful solutions; and prioritize decreasing the number of individuals entering the Los Angeles County Jails….”

Siddall Comments
ADDA Vice President Eric Siddall, a possible candidate for district attorney, was quoted in the ADDA press release as commenting:

“The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ motion to gut parts of the criminal justice system without input from stakeholders is dangerous and reckless. The authors sought no advice from those who know and understand public safety issues.

“The proposal sought to lower the jail population without addressing the root causes of crime or protecting the public. This catch-and-release program comes without any plan or infrastructure to protect the community from violent criminals apprehended by law enforcement. It creates no lockdown facilities for the mentally ill. It benefits no one except career criminals.”

Siddall added:

“We need to ensure that the most dangerous offenders don’t get out, first-time offenders don’t come back, and those with serious mental illnesses get appropriate care and help. This proposal does none of that.


California supervisors meet to reduce jail population

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Sweeping plan to ‘depopulate’ LA County jails embraced by supervisors

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‘This program benefits no one, except career criminals,’ says a leader of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys

A sweeping proposal calling for depopulation and decarceration of the Los Angeles County jails will be considered Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors, drawing the ire of an organization representing police chiefs for 45 law enforcement agencies.

The plan advanced by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Lindsey Horvath would declare a “humanitarian crisis” in the jails and advocate for or instruct several county agencies to evaluate, create and expand programs that would keep more people out of a jail, even after they are convicted of misdemeanors and some felonies.

Eric Siddall, vice president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, which represents about 900 LA County prosecutors, calls the proposal from Solis and Horvath “dangerous and reckless,” and claims it guts portions of the legal system without input from valuable stakeholders.

“The authors sought no advice from those who know and understand public safety issues,” he said in an email Sunday. “They seek to lower the jail population without addressing the root causes of crime or protecting the public.”

Siddall noted the proposal directs law enforcement to cite and release suspects for offenses such as illegally carrying a gun, domestic violence, possession of child pornography and some violent crimes, including residential burglary, robbery, and assault with a firearm.

“This catch-and-release program comes without any plan or infrastructure to protect the community from violent criminals apprehended by law enforcement,” he said. “Further, it creates no lockdown facilities for the mentally ill. This program benefits no one, except career criminals. We need to make sure the most dangerous offenders don’t get out, that first-time offenders don’t come back, and that those with serious mental illnesses get appropriate care and help. This does none of that.”

Yahoo News: L.A. County D.A. Gascón’s own prosecutors begin lining up to challenge him in 2024

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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.

Article. Gascón loses retaliation case, a grim omen for the L.A. County D.A.

An L.A. County prosecutor on Monday was awarded $1.5 million in a retaliation lawsuit against Dist. Atty. George Gascón, who faces more than a dozen similar civil claims that could prove equally costly.

Shawn Randolph, the former head of the juvenile division of the district attorney’s office, claimed she was shuttled off to the parole division for pushing back against some of Gascón’s shifts to the handling of criminal cases involving minors, including his blanket ban on trying juveniles as adults.

Randolph’s legal team, led by civil attorneys Greg Smith and Beth Corriea, argued that she believed Gascón’s policies violated laws pertaining to victims’ rights and that limitations on the types of felonies prosecutors could file against teens would lead them to bring charges that did not accurately represent the alleged conduct of certain defendants.

“We have a 30-year veteran complaining that there are ethical violations and Marsy’s Law violations, and you have an administration that wants their policies followed no matter what,” Smith said during his opening statement.

Attorneys from the L.A. County counsel’s office argued that Randolph did not suffer a demotion in rank or a pay cut, and her division change was part of a broad reshuffling of the district attorney’s office that took place early in Gascón’s tenure.

They also contended that Randolph was not engaging in protected speech because her assessment that Gascón’s policies around juveniles were illegal was inaccurate. Although the policies have not been challenged in court, Gascón did amend his stance on trying juveniles as adults after facing heavy criticism for his handling of a few cases in which teens were accused of extreme and violent conduct.

“I’m grateful to have a forum where what’s happening in the district attorney’s office can be heard in a fair manner,” Randolph said outside the courtroom, describing Gascón’s conduct as an “epic failure” in leadership.

A representative for the county counsel’s office declined to comment.

“We are disappointed by the jury’s verdict and stand by our decision to reassign this and other attorneys to new positions within the office,” Tiffiny Blacknell, chief spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, said in a statement. “As any manager will tell you, moving around personnel in order to improve the level of representation this community receives is absolutely critical to a functioning office.”

Several prosecutors could be seen in the gallery in Department 14 of downtown L.A.’s Stanley Mosk Courthouse; when the verdict was read, one excitedly said, “Finally.” 

The verdict does not bode well for Gascón, who testified at the two-week trial and faces similar lawsuits from prosecutors who say they were reassigned or passed up for promotions after speaking out against his progressive policies. A number of people suing Gascón, including Victoria Adams, his former chief of staff, and Deputy Dist. Atty. Maria Ramirez, testified against him at Randolph’s trial.

Ramirez is the first of what is expected to be a raft of challengers from inside the office who will attempt to unseat Gascón if he seeks reelection next year.

Eric Siddall — vice president of the union representing rank-and-file prosecutors, which has frequently sparred with Gascón — said there were as many as 16 other civil suits pending against the district attorney. 

“We all know what George Gascón thinks about public service. He has called lifelong public servants ‘internal terrorists.’ And he treated them as such. He silenced their voices, he engaged in petty and vindictive acts of retaliation, and rewarded political loyalty instead of competency and professionalism,” Siddall said in a statement. “Far worse, he did so at the expense of public safety. Today, jurors spoke out against Gascón’s incompetence and condemned his illegal machinations.”


Although Gascón handily defeated his predecessor, Jackie Lacey, to take office in 2020, his decisions to severely limit the use of sentencing enhancements, eradicate the use of the death penalty and all but end prosecutions of juveniles as adults have been deeply unpopular with rank-and-file prosecutors.

At least one retaliation claim against Gascón — filed by the former head deputy of the Compton branch court, Richard Doyle — has been settled by the county, also for a seven-figure sum.



Times staff writer Richard Winton contributed to this report.

Recall Campaign Calls on Gascon to Charge Suspects in CHP Ambush with Gun Enhancements

(LOS ANGELES, CA) – This week, a CHP officer was ambushed in East Los Angeles by two suspects when they opened fire on his patrol vehicle as he was driving down the street.   The suspects also fired at Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputies during the ensuing shootout.

As horrific acts of gun violence and crime are taking place throughout America, the Recall DA George Gascon campaign calls on Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon to charge all appropriate sentence enhancements in this case and others, including enhancements for using a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.

One of the main focal points of Gascon’s pro-criminal agenda has been the refusal to charge gun, gang, or other sentence enhancements against violent criminals, even as he calls for more to be done to stop gun violence.

“George Gascon is talking out of both sides of his mouth when he calls for stricter gun control laws but refuses to charge gun enhancements.  It is a total cognitive disconnect. Gascon’s failure to prosecute criminals who are committing acts of gun violence to full the extent of the law is in and of itself enough reason for his immediate removal from office.”  – The Recall DA George Gascon campaign.

The recall campaign has collected more than 450,000 signatures as of May 13. To get the recall on the ballot, the campaign must collect 566,857 signatures from registered Los Angeles County voters (10% of the total current registered voters). The deadline for submission to the Registrar is July 6, 2022.

The recall effort continues to build bi-partisan support throughout Los Angeles communities.  Supporters include victims’ rights advocates, current and former law enforcement officials, and Los Angeles County residents.  34 cities (and counting) in Los Angeles County have issued votes of no confidence in Gascon.  98% of Gascon’s own line prosecutors support the recall, along with Los Angeles police and sheriffs.

Visit to download or request a recall petition.

 Paid for by the Committee to Support the Recall of District Attorney George Gascon

LA City Controller Candidate Rob Wilcox Endorses Gascón Recall Wilcox Says, “Gascón’s Got to Go!”

Los Angeles, Friday, May 13, 2022 — Calling LA DA George Gascón “a study in arrogance,” LA City Controller candidate Rob Wilcox today threw his support behind the campaign to recall Gascón. “In less than a year and a half, George Gascón has shunned victims and their families, shown contempt for his dedicated deputies’ hard work and judgment, and bent over backwards to accommodate violent criminals,” said Wilcox. “Gascón is a study in arrogance. While crime ricochets throughout our neighborhoods, he has spurned the advice of the dedicated career prosecutors in his office and instead, he has stubbornly doubled down on his failed and short-sighted policies of leniency for criminals. Gascón’s got to go!”

Wilcox, a former Deputy Los Angeles City Controller, is the only candidate running for City Controller to support the Gascón recall effort.

“The top three things that I believe are wrongheaded moves on Gascón’s part are:

  1. forbidding filing sentencing enhancements for violent crimes and use of guns in crimes
  2. ignoring and abandoning victims of crime, both in new cases and at parole hearings
  3. pursuing multiple policies which blatantly ignore state law and propositions passed by voters.”

“As City Controller, I have pledged to find a myriad of ways to make our city so much safer. However, it is a challenging task because the current DA puts the rights and interests of accused and convicted criminals well ahead of those of the general public and victims of crime. We must remove Gascón because his flawed experiment in criminal justice ‘reform’ is endangering every resident of the City of Los Angeles.”

To find out more about Rob please go to or follow him on social media @Rob4Controller.