Gascón recall effort: Signatures on track for July deadline, campaign says

The Recall DA George Gascón campaign announced Wednesday it has collected over 125,000 signatures, which is on track to meet the July 6 deadline for submission. 

To qualify to be on the ballot, the recall must collect 566,856 signatures from registered Los Angeles County voters (about 10% of total current registered voters). 

If successful, the recall would likely appear on the Nov. 2022 ballot. 

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Last week, Senior Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys Maria Ramirez and Victor Rodriguez announced a lawsuit against District Attorney George Gascón, alleging they were reassigned because they complained about certain policies.

Lawsuits complaining of Gascón's policies were also filed last year by Shawn Randolph, former head deputy for the Juvenile Division, and Lesley Klein Sonnenberg, former assistant head deputy of the Family Violence Division.

"Ms. Kozma, who is not an attorney, voiced that ‘I am ready to convict the officers,'" the suit claims. "Ms. Blair stated the officers should be prosecuted ‘because too many African-Americans have been killed by police officers.’ Ms. Blacknell opined that the officers should at least be charged with ‘voluntary manslaughter.’"

A new effort to oust Gascón from office began in December, just months after a similar recall campaign fell short. Recall organizers must collect 566,857 signatures from registered voters in Los Angeles County by July 6 to force a recall vote.

The city councils of more than 30 cities in the county have issued "no confidence" votes involving Gascón.

Last September, organizers of the prior recall attempt said the effort was hampered by COVID-19 pandemic health mandates, along with a "premature start" and vowed to re-launch their bid to recall the county's top prosecutor, who was sworn into office in December 2020.

Despite the failure of the original effort, organizers said they remained committed to recalling Gascón, who has come under fire from critics for a progressive agenda that has included directives against seeking the death penalty and dropping sentence-enhancing allegations in some criminal cases.

Gascón has repeatedly defended his policies, saying his stances were well-known during his campaign and his election signified public support of his agenda.

The Association of Deputy District Attorneys filed a lawsuit in December 2020 challenging Gascón's directives to eliminate three-strikes allegations and some sentencing enhancements, alleging the moves are "unlawful."

A judge ruled mostly in favor of the association last February, but subsequently put the case on hold while Gascón appeals. A trial date is scheduled to be set for the case in April.

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