Prosecutors allege antisemitism in DA’s office

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A longtime prosecutor in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office has accused District Attorney George Gascón of deliberately neglecting issues affecting the Jewish community in Los Angeles and discriminating against Jewish employees.

“This is the first time I lack confidence in our office’s ability to treat Jewish victims equally,” Schirn told the Jewish Journal after the violence at the Adas Tora.

Schirn said he is troubled by the scant criminal charges filed when Jewish victims are involved. Since October 7, 2023, the DA’s office issued press releases for only three antisemitic crimes: a burglar shouting “kill Jews” at a family, charges against two men for vandalism in Burbank and Glendale, and an attack on a Jewish couple in Beverly Hills.

He criticized Gascon for not prosecuting violent protesters, particularly after the pro-Palestinian encampments at UCLA and for not condemning Hamas, especially after the October 7 attacks, which frustrated many in the office. The Los Angeles Association of Deputy District Attorneys (LAADDA) condemned Gascón for his silence on the attacks, noting his frequent commentary on other international issues.

“When it comes to Jewish victims, Gascón refuses to make the same commitment to justice,” Schirn said. “After more than 30 years here, I see young Jewish attorneys constantly worried about this administration. It is my responsibility to encourage them to speak up. They fear they won’t be treated fairly because they’re Jewish and see their careers stalling under Gascón.”

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He said around 24 retaliation lawsuits have been filed against the DA’s office, with many involving Jewish employees such as Amy Pentz, a Jewish attorney with over two decades in the office.

Pentz, a founding member of the Jewish Prosecutor’s Association, was invited to join the Equity Action Team (EAT) as a Jewish community representative but was removed by Chief Deputy District Attorney Sharon Woo, who cited too many lawyers on the team. Pentz is suing Los Angeles County for whistleblower retaliation, alleging ethical and constitutional violations.

In March, the DA’s office created its first Interfaith Advisory Board, including several rabbis, but these actions have not quelled the widespread concerns. 

On October 11, 131 current and former DA employees sent a letter urging Gascón to address the concerns of the Jewish community and condemn Hamas. The letter detailed the atrocities committed by Hamas and questioned Gascón’s silence given his history of commenting on global events. In response, Gascón sent an email to his staff, expressing his commitment to public safety and condemning the violence against Israel.

Nathan Hochman, who is running against Gascon in November, criticized Gascón for failing to condemn antisemitism and violence, contrasting it with his own firm stance against hate and extremism.

“It should not be hard for Gascón to strongly condemn antisemitism and the violence at the L.A. synagogue, as I and many leaders including Mayor Karen Bass and Governor Newsom have done,” Hochman said. “It’s extremely concerning that Gascón apparently cares more about placating anti-Jewish extremists than he does about standing up for L.A.’s Jewish community. My support for our Jewish community and my strong stance against extremism and hate has been clear and unequivocal — something that cannot be said about Gascón and his lack of leadership on this and too many other issues.”

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08mellie
08mellie
5 days ago

Thank GAVIN NEWSOME for this gem. WTF?

Joshua88
Joshua88
5 days ago

If the same definition of antisemitism is the one used here, forget about this nonsense. It’s the quickest way to cancel people these days.

JF1
JF1
5 days ago

This guy has to go. One of THE worst things to happen to LA and that’s saying a lot.

Mike
Mike
7 days ago

Nowadays people dislike the rich,the poor,the homeless,criminals,immigrants ECT. Everything is open game,freedom of speech !

Eric
Eric
7 days ago

Alleged, haha….this POS DA has Jew Hater written all over his face.

Joshua88
Joshua88
5 days ago
Reply to  Eric

Astute observation?

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