LOS ANGELES – Supporters of the attempt to recall Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon filed court papers Tuesday against the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, hoping to review the thousands of signatures that were declared invalid in August and put a stop for now to their effort to oust the county’s top prosecutor.
Gascon was sworn in to office in December 2020 and has been dogged by claims he is soft on crime with various directives, including not seeking the death penalty and a reluctance to try juveniles as adults.
California law guarantees proponents of a recall the right to review whether public officials have properly rejected a petition, according to the still unofficial lawsuit brought by the Committee to Support the Recall of District Attorney George Gascon.
“Without such review, public officials would have the ability to thwart every recall mechanism meant to ensure the accountability of public officials,” the petitioners state in their court papers. “This case presents the question of whether that legal review right is meaningful or hollow.”
A representative for the Registrar-Recorder’s office could not be immediately reached.
Dean Logan, the county’s registrar-recorder, in August determined the effort to oust Gascon fell short of meeting the required 566,857 signatures because nearly 90,000 of them were not registered to vote and roughly 45,000 were duplicates.
However, recall proponents are skeptical, stating in their court papers, “Nothing corrodes a democracy more than the public’s distrust in the electoral process.”
The recall advocates want injunctive relief giving them more access and information to conduct their review. They say the Registrar-Recorder’s office has not been as transparent as promised and have instead placed barriers that have been the review process “all but meaningless.”