by Raychel Stewart, The Signal
The Santa Clarita City Council is set to discuss a vote of no confidence for Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón during the March 9 City Council meeting.
City Council members are set to discuss the special directives set forth by Gascón and “take action as deemed appropriate and otherwise provide direction to staff,” according to the meeting’s agenda.
The discussion comes after the City Council’s Public Safety Committee called for the City Council to make a vote of no confidence during the Feb. 23 meeting, citing serious concerns with Gascón’s special directives.
“I have absolutely no confidence in somebody that, within less than five hours of putting his hands up and swearing an oath to the Constitution, will issue nine directives that greatly affect public safety in this community,” Councilman Jason Gibbs said during the Feb. 23 meeting.
“The district attorney is very focused on enhancing public safety, increasing equity, expanding victim services and strengthening police accountability. The policies implemented over the last few months go to furthering these core principles for all Angelenos, including Santa Clarita Valley residents,” said Alex Bastian, special adviser to Gascón, in an email.
After hearing a briefing of Gascón’s policies from Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Capt. Justin Diez and City Manager Ken Striplin, Mayor Bill Miranda agreed to bring the recommendation forward before the other City Council members.
Shortly after defeating former district attorney Jackie Lacey in the November General Election, Gascón announced a series of special directives which include ending pursuit of the death penalty, eliminating cash bail for many offenses and sentencing enhancements, as well as shifting away from charging minors as adults in all county prosecutions.
The Public Safety Committee also recommended the City Council look into developing an office of City Prosecutor, but was deemed not feasible for Santa Clarita as it would cost “tens of millions of dollars a year” and any move the city would push forward must pass through Gascón, according to Striplin.