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Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón. (Photo: da.lacounty.gov)

Los Angeles DA Gascon Ethics Chief Charged with 11 Felonies

Deputy DA Teran allegedly accessed and used material she was not allowed to

By Thomas Buckley, April 24, 2024 7:29 pm

In what can only be called a stunning development, especially considering their close relationship, California Attorney General Rob Bonta has filed 11 felony charges against Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon’s chief of ethics and integrity Diana Teran.

According to a release from Bonta’s office, Diana Teran, a Deputy District Attorney, has been charged with “11 felony violations of Penal Code section 502, subdivision (c)(2), alleging repeated and unauthorized use of data from confidential, statutorily-protected peace officer files. Penal Code section 502, subdivision (c)(2) prohibits the use of data from a government computer system without permission. “

In other words, Teran illegally – allegedly – looked into officer personnel files and then apparently improperly used said information in court or before a trial.

“No one is above the law,” said Bonta. “Public officials are called to serve the people and the State of California with integrity and honesty. At the California Department of Justice, we will continue to fight for the people of California and hold those who break the law accountable.”

The felony complaint for Teran’s arrest – it is unknown at this moment if she has been arrested, turned herself in, etc. – states 11 times that Teran “on or about April 26, 2021” – when she was already with Gascon’s office, though she could have been technically “on loan” from the public defender’s office – she worked there, too, though her status is a bit unclear – “did knowingly access and without permission take, copy or make use of data” regarding a “sheriff’s deputy.”

Teran joined the office a month after Gascon was elected, and her “LinkedIn” resume lists time with the sheriff’s office, the county, and the public defender’s office.  

Gascon, it appears, has acted quickly to try to staunch the damage.  In a photo of an internal DA’s office memo dated today the Globe has obtained, it states that “please note the following temporary executive office staff reassignments, effective immediately,” with one James Garrison now the assistant district attorney” in charge of “ethics and integrity.”

In other words, Teran seems to be out.

Prior to the Globe receiving the memo, Gascon sent a statement regarding the matter:

“When I took office, we developed a protocol that ensured we complied with our constitutional obligations under Brady – which requires us to turn over potentially exculpatory evidence to the defense, a category that includes law enforcement’s prior misconduct – while simultaneously complying with state and federal law around privacy. I stand by that protocol,” Gascon said.

“While we cannot comment on specific personnel matters, we will comply with any investigation from the Attorney General’s Office. I remain committed to upholding transparency and ensuring police accountability within Los Angeles County. These principles are paramount to the integrity of our work and the trust of the community we serve. We will address this matter with the utmost seriousness and diligence to uphold the values of justice and fairness.”

While it is unclear exactly what information Teran allegedly accessed and how she used it, it could have been rather valuable information considering she was, according to sources, the person in Gascon’s office who reviewed re-sentencing requests.

Typically, a defendant can request certain information regarding an officer.  The judge then reviews that information in camera and decides what, if anything, is relevant to the case.  The DA’s office can do the same but it seems Teran obtained and then used such information improperly.

Potentialities from the allegation are multiple, but include such things as “helping” someone who is trying to get re-sentenced to a lower prison term.  

Teran is also the person that notified the prison to stop allowing prosecutors in Los Angeles County to access prison records. Victim’s advocate Kathleen Cady called Teran “Gascon’s surrogate” when it came to delaying parole and re-sentencing requests 

“I have had several contacts with Teran and I have found her ethics to be questionable,” Cady said.  “At best.’

The exact details of what information Teran allegedly accessed and/or what she and the District Attorney’s office did with said information is unclear as of now.

What is crystal clear is that Teran – allegedly – accessed and used material she was not allowed to.

“Whatever she did with the information, she was not allowed to have it in the first place,” said Marc Debbaudt, retired veteran prosecutor and former president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys.

What is also crystal clear is that Bonta – a long time political ally of Gascon –has made a move few would expect,  especially considering he let another Gascon minion slide on threatening police officer charges.

Even before these charges against his ethic chief, Gascon faced a rough road to re-election in November where he will face challenger Nathan Hochman.

“This is just the latest example of Gascon’s demonstrated record of poor judgment and lack of leadership in running the district attorney’s office. Promoting Teran to Assistant District Attorney, ironically in charge of ethics and integrity, even occurred despite legitimate objections from many experienced prosecutors,” Hochman said.  ‘Those objections included Teran being paid by the Public Defender’s Office at the same time she worked for the DA’s Office and Teran suppressing a declination of a police officer’s abuse case to influence the 2022 LA County Sheriff’s race.”

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13 thoughts on “Los Angeles DA Gascon Ethics Chief Charged with 11 Felonies

  1. “No one is above the law,” said Bonta. … At the California Department of Justice, we will continue to fight for the people of California and hold those who break the law accountable.”

    Thousands of CA shoplifters beg to differ!

  2. Well isn’t THAT special. An assistant D.A. in charge of “ethics and integrity;” isn’t that always the way?
    But A.G. Rob Bonta’s move here is completely odd and out of character and definitely a mystery. What the heck is HE up to, anyway, given his “anything goes” protection policies and slobbering support of Dem allies, Gascon in particular, as Thomas Buckley noted. And, oh yeah, given his tendency to NEVER do the right thing but the exact opposite of it? Wouldn’t you just LOVE to know what the heck is going on here?
    Meanwhile, George Gascon might have more unwelcome trouble coming his way because word on the street down here is that at his presser he made up out of whole cloth the idea that Karen Bass’ intruder was “targeting” her (with implication that he broke in with the intent to harm, kill, or kidnap her).
    “L.A. Mayor Karen Bass’ Home Targeted by Career Criminal Ephraim Hunter”
    It is believed Gascon is lying because he needs to justify muscular treatment and actual prosecution of the suspect in the Karen Bass case, because thus far he is known for never prosecuting ANYONE for ANYTHING when an average L.A. County resident is victimized, even violently or fatally. So, the thinking goes, there had better be a good reason for Gascon to swing into action only for the high profile people and high profile crimes such as this one. His main focus seems to be prosecuting police officers, to the extent he does anything at all, which is doubtful. At least the press down here is all over him about the discrepancy, which is delicious.
    The suspect Hunter’s mother, by the way, asserts that her son was having a psychotic break and thought someone was chasing him so he randomly sought refuge in a random house. If I had to pick between believing George Gascon or believing the suspect Hunter’s mother, I’d pick suspect Hunter’s mother every time.

  3. This is a cut throat move by Bonta given the upcoming election, and the controversy already around Gascon. about his failure to oppose parole hearings. Why would Gascon hire a public defender? Is it because Bonta needs a law enforcement endorsement on his run for governor?

    1. Rod – Your idea that this Bonta move has something to do with running for Gov in 2026 is a plausible one if you ask me.
      Not sure if your question about why Gascon would hire a public defender is a rhetorical one or not. To L.A. County residents dismay, DA Gascon’s office has been jam-packed with public defenders —- who are typically staunch leftists —- from the beginning. Then you have outrageous along the way such as this one:
      “L.A. D.A. George Gascon Ignites More Controversy with [Police-Hating] Chief of Staff Appointment”
      This alone would be an ultra-alarming signal for residents of L.A. County, to realize that such a person as Gascon was their District Attorney, someone who is charged with prosecuting criminals and defending victims of those criminals but who has taken a polar opposite tack.

    2. Also, as was linked in Thomas Buckley’s article above, here is an example of Bonta’s support for something he should have energetically gone after as the state’s Attorney General, but didn’t:
      “A.G. Rob Bonta Lets Gascon Minion Slide”
      But as you know, these two examples aren’t the half of it. The list of Gascon and Bonta upside-down thinking and betrayal of the public trust is VERY LONG

  4. Leftists call good evil and evil good so naturally the ethics officers are going to be some of the worst. Just look at liberal colleges where the presidents and ethics officers all plagiarized their thesis.

    1. …..Or teach “Journalism in Ethics” classes at USC, as the thoroughly unethical editor of my city’s local rag once did.
      This stuff is seriously scary and comically cartoonish at the same time. Thus the only answer seems to be to relentlessly mock them until they are finally booted out of office. (fingers crossed)

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