Justice may be blind, but she has very sophisticated listening devices. –Edgar Argo
(From Press Release) – San Francisco prosecutor Andrew Ganz has been found guilty of prosecutorial misconduct through “clear and convincing evidence,” the State Bar of California announced on Monday.
Specifically, Ganz is being sanctioned for suppressing evidence and misrepresenting it to the defense, violating the defendant’s constitutional rights, and not following California law when he hid evidence of the medical examiner’s opinions and statements in a 2014 homicide case in Vallejo, CA.
Most notably, these findings of prosecutorial misconduct mirror similar accusations Ganz is currently facing in another homicide case in SF, People vs. Carlos Arugeta.
Argueta’s attorney, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, filed a motion to dismiss his client’s homicide case in September based on the actions of Ganz.
The motion stated that Ganz, who was prosecuting the case, omitted critical parts of the medical examiner’s opinion and changed the key eyewitness’ testimony before the grand jury, after the case was initially thrown out by a judge.
“His actions in this case reveal the same disregard for his duties as a prosecutor,” wrote Adachi in the motion, citing Ganz’ hearing in front of the State Bar.
“Ganz—a prosecutor sworn to uphold the truth—has now been caught influencing the testimony of a medical examiner and then lying about it,” said Adachi. “The State Bar recognized this and rightly found him guilty of abusing his position and subverting justice.”
This decision hopefully will serve as a notice to district attorney’s offices throughout the state, Adachi said.
The California State Bar has placed Ganz on probation for two years, suspension for 90 days, and a one-year stayed suspension.
“I hope that prosecutors everywhere will take note that they will be held accountable for falsifying or hiding evidence,” said Adachi. “We will no longer look the other way and allow those who are trusted to uphold the law corrupt our most sacred process—the right to a fair trial.”
(ACLU’s Press Release) – On October 19, a State Bar Court of California judge found San Francisco prosecutor Andrew Ganz culpable of four counts of misconduct and recommended 90 days of suspension. The charges were related to a 2012 murder case Ganz prosecuted while working in the Solano County District Attorney’s office. In response, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California is calling for outside counsel to review all cases handled by Ganz.
Yoel Haile, Criminal Justice Associate with the ACLU Foundation of Northern California, sent letters callng for the review to the district attorneys in San Francisco and Solano counties and issued the following statement.
“The ACLU of Northern California calls on San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and Solano County District Attorney Krishna Abrams to appoint outside counsel to review all cases handled by prosecutor Andrew Ganz. Ganz was found to have committed prosecutorial misconduct on charges of suppression of exculpatory evidence, misrepresentation to defense counsel, failure to comply with state law, and violating the constitutional rights of defendants.
“Prosecutors are supposed to be honest, ethical, and fair administrators of justice. However, misconduct of this kind is not uncommon and elected DA’s should do their part in changing the culture and practice of the prosecutors in their offices. This is why we are calling on Gascón and Abrams to find outside counsel to conduct swift and thorough reviews of all the cases handled by Ganz.
“The ACLU launched its ‘Meet Your DA’ campaign in 2017 to educate communities across California about the power of district attorneys and hold them accountable for the role they’ve played in perpetuating mass incarceration.
“We applaud the State Bar of California for holding Ganz accountable for his unethical actions and misconduct. We encourage the State Bar to continually and aggressively investigate all allegations of prosecutorial misconduct, make appropriate rulings and sanctions, and collect data on prosecutor discipline and make it available to the public. A district attorney has the power to change a person’s life forever and the “win-at-all costs” mentality happening in many DA’s offices must be changed.”