Whittier to vote on bypassing LA DA Gascón on misdemeanor crimes

The city of Whittier is looking to bypass Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón and prosecute its own misdemeanor crimes

"We need to make sure we are prosecuting our crimes, and we need to make sure we are safe," Whittier Mayor Joe Vinatieri said.

Vinatieri blames Gascón’s special directives for the number of crimes that have not been prosecuted. He says, "We’ve had over 700 misdemeanor arrests of what we call, ‘quality of life’ misdemeanor arrests, drug paraphernalia, under the influence, trespassing, you name it, that Mr. Gascón will not prosecute."

The City of Whittier is a charter city and is planning to add to the charter amendment to allow voters to decide. The measure would be added to ballots for the November elections if the city council approves the measure Tuesday night.

SUGGESTED: Over 715,000 signatures collected in DA George Gascón recall effort

The LADA’s office issued the following statement: 

"The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office has countywide resources to best handle even the most serious of misdemeanors including domestic violence and DUIs. 

Whittier does not have the infrastructure nor the resources to adequately and efficiently handle criminal cases. Having our office handle these cases would result in better outcomes that advance public safety.

Additionally, creating the structure Whittier is requesting would adversely affect equity across Los Angeles County."