At its regular meeting on Tuesday, the Monrovia City Council discussed the new policies of Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón.
The discussion was the result of an individual who, during public comment at an earlier meeting, had called for the council to take a stance of “No confidence” in the DA based on his new policies.
In November of 2020, Gascón was elected district attorney. He took office on Dec. 7, 2020. He immediately issued several special directives regarding the treatment of cases by his office. According to a City Council Agenda Report prepared by City Manager Dylan Feik, a special directive concerning misdemeanor case management “had the largest impact on misdemeanor filings, leading to many charges being rejected at the initial review level or dismissed once called to court.” Existing charges filed prior to the direcetive going into effect were “placed under review and many charges were also rejected.” Feik sites that between Dec. 8, 2020 and March 25, 2021, 155 of 156 misdemeanor charges were rejected by the District Attorney’s Office. In Monrovia, as of March 19, 253 of 369 misdemeanor charges have been rejected due to the directive. By comparison, in the year prior to the directive taking effect, 3 of 362 misdemeanor charges filed were rejected.
Mayor Tom Adams asked if this meant that misdemeanors were no longer being held responsible for their actions. Other councilmembers echoed this sentiment.
Since this was merely a review of the policies and their impact, the council did not make a decision on any vote of “No confidence,” they did follow a suggestion by Mayor Pro Tem Gloria Crudgington to set up a meeting with the district attorney.
A committee consisting of Crudgington, Councilmember Alex Blackburn (himself an attorney), Feik and Police Chief Alan Sanvictores was appointed to try to set up a meeting with Gascón before the next council meeting in two weeks.