Councilman Andrew Mendez says Gascón’s directives create a revolving door for criminals. "If you’re a victim of a violent crime, the last thing you want to hear is that someone who hurt you is back on the streets," he said.
- More LA County cities vote for 'no confidence' in DA Gascón's policies
- Pico Rivera becomes 3rd city to approve vote of no confidence in Gascón's reforms
However, Max Szabo, a spokesperson for Gascón sees it differently. He says the point of the directives "is to fix the revolving door that is our current criminal justice system. You have to remember that before Mr. Gascón took office, during a tough on crime administration, violent crime went up 25% in spite of the fact that LA county sent more people to prison per capita than 56 of 58 California counties."
During Monday night’s Azusa council meeting, numerous residents called in to express their disappointment in Gascón.
"George Gascón is terrible and as a result, crime has increased," one caller stated.
"We voted you guys in, we can vote you guys out," another caller warned.
Szabo is unfazed by the criticism and said: "The DA is the people’s lawyer, that means the victim and also means the community and when we go into court and we say for the people that has to have meaning, that doesn’t mean that we simply represent victims, it means we represent the victims of the entire community. What does that mean? That means that we are not going to seek sentences that we know lead to more recidivism and frankly create more victims of crime."
By 9:11 p.m., after the public finished their comments, the Azusa City Council voted unanimously to issue a vote of no confidence in Gascón.
So far, in addition to Azusa, Lancaster, La Mirada, Whittier, Beverly Hills, Pico Rivera, Covina, Rosemead and Santa Clarita have voted against his directives. Also, an additional 6 cities are expected to issue a vote of no confidence against Gascón on Tuesday night.