Progressive-on-progressive tussle: CA AG charges top aide to (former SF) LA DA with 11 felony violations

Image by CastorGirl on Flickr

Last month, AG Rob Bonta charged LA DA George Gascón’s head of ethics Diana Teran with improperly using confidential police officer personnel information in court or before a trial. Gascón faced recalls in SF and LA for soft-on-crime policies. Despite an informational black hole from the AG’s office Thomas Buckley of California Globe points out that Teran’s alleged misuse of documents could potentially have satisfied the DA’s ideological mission to help inmates get out early.

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.

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. 

Read the whole thing here.

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