Prosecutor in Gascón office charged with accessing confidential files of police officers

Thursday, April 25, 2024
Prosecutor in Gascón office charged with accessing confidential files
A Los Angeles County assistant district attorney is facing felony charges for allegedly accessing confidential files of police officers, the California Attorney General's Office said.

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- Felony charges have been filed against a Los Angeles County assistant district attorney, who is accused of repeated and unauthorized use of data from confidential, statutorily protected peace officer files, the California Attorney General's Office announced Wednesday.

After an extensive investigation, Diana Teran was charged by the California Department of Justice with 11 felony counts prohibiting the use of data from a government computer system without permission, according to a statement released by the Attorney General's Office.

Teran allegedly accessed computer data including numerous confidential peace officer files in 2018 while working as a constitutional policing adviser at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and allegedly impermissibly used that data at the District Attorney's Office after going to work there in January 2021, according to the Attorney General's Office.

"No one is above the law," Attorney General Rob Bonta said in the statement. "Public officials are called to serve the people and the state of California with integrity and honesty."

Teran's current employment status with the District Attorney's Office was not immediately available.

"When I took office, we developed a protocol that ensured we complied with our constitutional obligations under Brady -- which requires us to turn over potentially exculpatory evidence to the defense, a category that includes law enforcement's prior misconduct -- while simultaneously complying with state and federal law around privacy. I stand by that protocol,'' L.A. County DA George Gascón said in a statement.

"While we cannot comment on specific personnel matters, we will comply with any investigation from the Attorney General's Office. I remain committed to upholding transparency and ensuring police accountability within Los Angeles County. These principles are paramount to the integrity of our work and the trust of the community we serve. We will address this matter with the utmost seriousness and diligence to uphold the values of justice and fairness."

LASD facing criminal investigation into its own watchdog

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is being criticized for launching a criminal investigation into the watchdog agency that oversees the department.

In 2019, then-Los Angeles County Undersheriff Tim Murakami said the agency was investigating Teran along with Inspector General Max Huntsman for allegedly accessing confidential personnel files of high-ranking sheriff's executives, including then-Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

Murakami told ABC7 at the time that Teran had downloaded the confidential personnel records on behalf of the Inspector General's Office a few days before Villanueva was sworn into office in late 2018.

Huntsman at the time denied any wrongdoing, insisting that a county ordinance afforded his office access to county employee records, and that his office kept such records confidential.