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LA District Attorney George Gascon’s ethics chief charged with 11 felonies

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(The Center Square) – California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed felony charges against Los Angeles Ethics and Integrity Assistant District Attorney Diana Teran for illegally accessing confidential, “statutorily-protected” law enforcement files in her current role and prior role as Constitutional Policing Advisor at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

As one of Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon’s chief advisors, the Teran case creates a challenge for the embattled leader overseeing prosecutions for the largest DA district in the nation.

“While we cannot comment on specific personnel matters, we will comply with any investigation from the Attorney General’s Office,” said Gascon in a statement. “I remain committed to upholding transparency and ensuring police accountability within Los Angeles County.”

Bonta, meanwhile, said “no one is above the law,” and “at the California Department of Justice, we will continue to fight for the people of California and hold those who break the law accountable.”

Bonta’s charges allege Teran illegally “accessed computer data including numerous confidential peace officer files in 2018, while working as a Constitutional Policing Advisor at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and, after joining the LADA in January 2021, impermissibly used that data at the LADA.”

In 2019, LASD announced it was hiring a new Constitutional Policing Advisor, and noted the position pays between $147,721.80 and $223,588.92, and reports directly to the sheriff.

Teran is, on behalf of Gascon, credited with ordering prisons to stop allowing Los Angeles prosecutors to access prison records in 2021 soon after joining LADA, and even leading the charge in preventing prosecutors from attending parole hearings. Teran also ordered law enforcement to no longer send records such as police and probation reports, prosecutors’ statements, or other crime information to prison parole boards.

Teran was a key member of the LADA resentencing committee, and it’s unclear whether or not she may have used improperly acquired information at this position.

Gascon currently has just a 24% job approval rating, and faces former United States Assistant Attorney General Nathan Hochman in the November general election.

“This is just the latest example of Gascon’s demonstrated record of poor judgment and lack of leadership in running the district attorney’s office. Promoting Teran to Assistant District Attorney, ironically in charge of ethics and integrity, even occurred despite legitimate objections from many experienced prosecutors,” Hochman said to The Center Square. “ Those objections included Teran being paid by the Public Defender’s Office at the same time she worked for the DA’s Office and Teran suppressing a declination of a police officer’s abuse case to influence the 2022 LA County Sheriff’s race.”

A 2023 lawsuit alleges Teran “wanted the declination held back until after the sheriff’s election” because then-Sheriff Villanueva had defended the officer in question.