LA District Attorney George Gascón Resigns from CA District Attorneys Association – Citing Group’s Misappropriation of Funds, Failure to Fight for Justice

George Gascón at a candidate’s forum last February

By Samara Yarnes

LOS ANGELES – County District Attorney George Gascón—feeling immense pressure to maintain the integrity and well-being of those he represents—resigned from the California District Attorneys Association Tuesday, becoming the second of California’s 58 District Attorneys to do so. San Joaquin County’s District Attorney Tori Salazar is the other.

In a well-crafted letter of resignation to the Honorable Vern Pierson, Gascón recounted his numerous grievances with the CDAA. He explained with a “heavy heart” that the CDAA does not fulfill its sole purpose: supporting communities and fighting for justice.

Rather, he said, the CDAA represents an old way of thinking, that of “tough on crime.”

He writes that CDAA has “dug its heels in, rejected science, and willingly turned a blind eye to a two-tiered criminal justice system that places communities of color and poor defendants at a clear disadvantage.”

Gascón argued CDAA’s failure to support initiatives that would offer aid to the community, such as Proposition 47, a proposition that would decrease certain felony crimes to misdemeanors. Even without the CDAA’s support, Proposition 47 passed, with its passage leading to positive change such as decreased poverty crime and recidivism, certainly beneficial impacts to communities.

Further, Gascón said the CDAA has blocked other policies that would promote positive change in communities. For example, CDAA has opposed laws that would stop minors being tried as adults, prevent racial discrimination in the selection of juries, and protect sex workers who have reported crimes.

Additionally, Gascón wrote that the CDAA’s rejection of prosecutorial discretion serves as proof of the CDAA’s abandonment of the core values of justice. Prosecutorial justice, he maintains, grants prosecutors the ability to decide when to prosecute for a crime and gives them the power to decide which criminal charges to file.

With the rejection of this, prosecutors are unable to rally for more lenient punishment in situations when it is beneficial, he added, noting the CDAA has clung to “the antiquated notion that safety and justice is achieved by overcriminalization and harsh prison sentences.”

Not only does Gascón cite the CDAA’s failure to grow and support policies for the good of all, but he said he is severely disappointed with the CDAA’s misappropriation of funds. The association transferred money meant to be spent on environmental prosecutions and instead used these funds to oppose criminal justice reform.

As a member of the CDAA for nine years, Gascón explained he had hoped the CDAA would grow past its detrimental ideologies and support fair justice for all.

However, after reflecting on his considerable participation and the more recent misappropriation of funds, Gascón has decided to leave the association.

With his resignation, Gascón takes the immense resources held by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, funds that the CDAA will most definitely miss.

He said he hopes that his resignation from the association will inspire others to look more closely at the decisions made by the CDAA and thus hold them accountable to promote justice in California.

Samara Yarnes is a senior at the University of California – Davis, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Psychology and Sociology. She is originally from La Crescenta, California.

To sign up for our new newsletter – Everyday Injustice –

Support our work – to become a sustaining at $5 – $10- $25 per month hit the link:


About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

Related posts

23 thoughts on “LA District Attorney George Gascón Resigns from CA District Attorneys Association – Citing Group’s Misappropriation of Funds, Failure to Fight for Justice”

  1. Keith Olsen

    LA District Attorney George Gascón Resigns from CA District Attorneys Association

    That’s a start, maybe next he’ll consider resigning from the LADA.

  2. Chris Griffith

    George Gascon hasn’t belong to the district attorney’s association for well over a year and a half so this BS about him resigning is just that BS

    Secondly if  George Gascan has any evidence that there has been a misappropriation of funds he is a district attorney and he should prosecute any crime till the fullest extent of the law. 😁

  3. Chris Griffith

    No sir Mr greenwald you are incorrect the district attorney has full and complete jurisdiction over something like this. Apparently this crime was committed with his knowledge and also with him being present and he is a district attorney and if this crime happened with his knowledge he is also complicit in a crime if he doesn’t fully investigate and make an arrest he’s not a helpless individual even though he acts like it sometimes

    1. David Greenwald

      The Attorney General has jurisdiction. A DA only has jurisdictions for crimes or potential crimes that take place in their county. There is also a conflict of interest that would preclude him from investigating.

  4. Chris Griffith

    Mr greenwald they’re called district attorneys not county attorneys they can go anywhere in the state of California and investigate any crime within the state boundaries and they can appropriately prosecute any crime in the state of California the district attorney is the chief law enforcement officer for the district his his boundaries are not just confined for the boundaries of the county.

    If you have questions about this drop a dime on Jeff our local district attorney and ask him these questions I’m sure he’d be happy to answer for you 😊

    1. Eric Gelber

      Attorney Griffith – You can’t just make up law as you see fit.

      The District Attorney (DA) is a constitutionally elected county official. The District Attorney is responsible for the prosecution of criminal violations of state law and county ordinances occurring within a county under California Government Code Section 26500. This includes investigation and apprehension, as well as prosecution in court. The District Attorney serves as legal advisor to the Grand Jury and, through its family support division, enforces parental financial obligations. The Board of Supervisors exercises budgetary control but not operational control over elected District Attorneys.

      Calif. State Association of Counties.

      1. Ron Oertel

        Not sure how that’s being determined (regarding all of the DAs), but isn’t Boudin himself an “undesirable” skin color?

        Along with that guy who challenged Reisig?  (And Johanasson, for that matter)?

        1. Ron Oertel

          If you mean that I “don’t get” the attempt to apply de-facto affirmative action (based upon one’s own observations of someone’s skin color, for example), than you’re right – I don’t get it.

          Neither do most California voters, apparently.

          I (for one) would encourage everyone to stop providing this information voluntarily, whenever possible.  (But of course, that won’t stop others from “guessing”.)

          Hopefully, those of us with undesirable colors, genders, etc., won’t have to start wearing disguises – as we know how that usually turns out.

          But again, your heroes seem to have an undesirable color and gender, themselves. According to your own criteria.

          1. David Greenwald

            No I mean you don’t get the issue – at all. You don’t understand why it’s problematic that a DA board has all white people on it. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have white people on it or that white people are bad, it means that the people who are disproportionately overrepresented in the criminal legal system have a body of DA’s who are all white. If you don’t get why that’s a problem – no point really in discussing further.

        2. Ron Oertel

          it means that the people who are disproportionately overrepresented in the criminal legal system have a body of DA’s who are all white.

          The implication is that someone of “color” (and without defining the color) is going to pursue criminal charges in a different manner than someone of no color.  You have no evidence for that.

          Again, your heroes have the “wrong” skin color. It’s entirely possible that someone with a preferred skin color/gender (like Kamala Harris, for example) would pursue a path that you don’t support. (As you’ve already acknowledged.)

          You’re also ignoring defense attorneys, in this “equation”. And, the same unsupported assumptions would apply regarding that, as well.

          By the way, you already “guessed” incorrectly, regarding the skin color/background of a DJUSD school board member.  What makes you think that you’re guessing correctly, this time?

          1. David Greenwald

            This is what Gascon wrote in his exit letter.

            “The absence of a single person of color on CDAA’s 17 member board is blinding.”

            He added, “This is the leadership that sets the direction for an organization of elected prosecutors, all of which disproportionately prosecute communities of color at a time when the nation is facing a reckoning over systemic racism, and in a state with a plurality of minorities no less. Whether by ignorance or defiance, the extent to which CDAA has lost touch with the public its members are elected to represent and serve is just baffling.”

            You don’t seem to have a better understanding of the problem than the CDAA does. Gascon gets it, you don’t. That simple.

      2. Ron Oertel

        And the only reason that I’m “guessing” that Gascon has an acceptable skin color is due to his name (rather than appearance).  (Sorry, I can’t find the little line to insert above the “o” in his name.)

        Are DA’s now required to provide their skin color, when entering a political race?

        1. Eric Gelber

          Gascon Name Meaning

          French, Spanish (Gascón), and English: regional name for someone from the province of Gascony, Old French Gascogne (see Gascoigne). 
          Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press


  5. Bill Marshall

    It’s entirely possible that someone with a preferred skin color/gender (like Kamala Harris, for example) would pursue a path that you don’t support.

    Proof that a stopped clock is right twice a day…

    Is it about racial/ethnic make up, or ‘conservative’ (traditonal “law and order”) vs. ‘reform’?  Or do many equate the ethnicity with the views?

    What if the “association” had Ward Connerlys, Clarence Thomas’, Kamala Harris’, and there are very conservative Asian and Hispanic lawyers as well… they’d have ‘diversity’ as to ethnicity, but is that the issue?  Or is it more about philosophical views of the ‘justice system’ than race/ethnicity?

    Meant as honest questions…

    I’d be more concerned with the philosophies than the race/ethnicity… the two are not at all synonymous… I definitely support a trend towards the ‘reform’ model, regardless of who supports it…

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for