Recall effort against LA County DA George Gascón underway with support from Sheriff Villanueva

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ByRob Hayes via KABC logo
Thursday, May 27, 2021
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L.A. County D.A. George Gascón is facing growing efforts to remove him from office. Among those supporting the recall is Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angles County District Attorney George Gascón is now the subject of a recall effort.

The group "Victims of Violent Crime for the Recall of District Attorney Gascon" launched their effort Wednesday morning in front of the Hall of Justice.

"George Gascón, your days are numbered," said Tania Owen, the wife of slain L.A. County sheriff's Sgt. Steve Owen. She is the co-chair of the recall group.

L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva signed the petition. Former District Attorney Steve Cooley and former L.A. City Councilman Dennis Zine took part in the news conference.

RELATED: Signature-gathering approved for recall effort against DA George Gascón, organizers say

Organizers blast Gascón for caring more about criminals than the victims they left behind.

"He is treating victims and survivors like they did something wrong," said Patricia Wenskunas of Crime Survivors, Inc. "He is re-victimizing them day in and day out."

Desiree Andrade's son was beaten to death and his body thrown off a cliff in 2018.

"Before George Gascón took office my son's killers were facing life without parole and the death penalty," Andrade said. "They are now facing 25 years and only having to do 80% of that time."

Gascón ran against incumbent District Attorney Jackie Lacey last year, promising sweeping changes in the D.A.'s office and touting progressive, criminal justice reforms. When he took office in December, Gascón immediately issued a blanket initiative eliminating three-strike allegations and some sentencing enhancements.

Gascón's office released a series of quotes from the chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, the co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter and other local leaders.

Eyewitness News requests to speak with Gascón or a representative Wednesday were not returned before the time of publishing.

In order to get the recall on a ballot, organizers will need to collect more than 579,000 signatures. That would represent 10% of registered voters. If successful, a recall vote could make it onto the ballot next year.