LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles County deputy district attorneys’ union filed a lawsuit to prevent District Attorney George Gascón from allegedly hiring more political supporters as unqualified prosecutors.
The union is also asking that Gascón’s office not take any action to deny eligibility to candidates that have applied for open prosecutor positions while appeals are being heard to challenge Gascón’s hiring earlier this year of former longtime Deputy Public Defenders Alisa Blair, Tiffiny Blacknell, and Shelan Joseph.
“In hiring Blair, Blacknell and Joseph, Gascon violated numerous Civil Service rules which implement the County Charter’s mandate of merit system of employment, designed to create a productive, efficient, stable and representative county workforce that is free of political patronage, influence or reward,” the petition states.
A representative from the District Attorney’s Office was unable to comment at this time due to pending litigation.
The union, Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA), brought the petition Oct. 12 in Los Angeles Superior Court against Gascón and the District Attorney’s Office.
Blair, Blacknell, and Joseph were hired for prosecutor positions without taking and passing competitive exams as required by Civil Service rules and the County Charter, the petition states.
The ADDA has filed about 11 appeals with the Los Angeles County Civil Service Commission on behalf of its members who were on valid promotion eligibility lists and who were passed over for promotions for which they were qualified by Gascón’s “unlawful appointment of the unqualified Blair, Blacknell and Joseph to those positions,” the petition states.
The union believes that Gascón intends to appoint additional deputy public defenders and members of the Alternate Public Defender’s office to positions in the next few weeks, the petition states.