Supporters of the attempt to recall Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon want an expedited hearing on their efforts to force the county Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk to allow them to review the thousands of signatures that were declared invalid in August, thwarting 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 lawsuit brought Oct. 18 by the Committee to Support the Recall of District Attorney George Gascon.
On Monday, committee attorneys filed court papers with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant asking that he set a hearing within two weeks on whether a preliminary injunction should be issued against the Registrar-Recorder. The recall advocates say injunctive relief will give them more access and information to conduct their review and that to date the Registrar-Recorder’s office has not been as transparent as promised.
“Here, meaningful review of the recall petition requires that the requested documents be produced immediately and that the Registrar not unreasonably restrict the committee’s access to its office so that the committee may complete the review and bring any necessary challenges in a timely manner,” the recall proponents state in their court papers. “Any significant delay in granting the relief is effectively denial of the relief.”
Chalfant is scheduled to hold a hearing later Tuesday morning on the group’s request for the expedited hearing.
According to the petitioners, their case “presents the question of whether that legal review right is meaningful or hollow.”
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.”