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Prosecutor George Gascon Faces Lawsuits By His Own Employees

He was elected to be Los Angeles County’s top prosecutor, but George Gascón has spent a large amount of his first term as a defendant. In his first week in office, Gascon sent a political ally to order a veteran prosecutor to drop criminal charges against three protesters. That mission ended with the county paying out a seven-figure sum to the prosecutor to settle a civil claim. This year, Gascón settled a civil rights lawsuit for $5 million  from a company at the center of a bungled prosecution that he later had to dismiss amid concerns the charges were based on the word of conspiracy theorists who deny the results of the 2020 presidential election. Gascón has been named in more than a dozen other civil suits, nearly all of which were filed by his own employees, reports the Los Angeles Times. 


In total, 20 prosecutors have accused Gascón of workplace retaliation, alleging he pushed them out of leadership positions or into undesirable assignments because they challenged his progressive policies or pointed out portions of his Day 1 directives they consider illegal. It’s no secret he is at odds with most of his office's line prosecutors, but it’s unlikely any further developments in the pending litigation will affect his reelection battle with Nathan Hochman, as none of the cases is expected to go to trial before November. The suits do represent a legal threat that could cost the county millions of dollars, and Gascón has had little luck fending them off so far. A judge tossed some claims from prosecutor Jodi Link, but her retaliation allegations will still go before a jury this year. The only suit to reach a jury so far ended with a March 2023 verdict awarding prosecutor Shawn Randolph $1.5 million. Fourteen suits remain, 13 of which come from inside the office. The mess of litigation boisl down to one central question: When does Gascón’s right to choose his own management and leadership team cross over into retaliation against the people who already held those jobs?

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