Ethical Breaches Under George Gascon: Top Deputy Charged with 11 Felonies



Diana Teran booking photo.

The filing of 11 felony charges against Diana Teran, a top official responsible for ethics and integrity at the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, has raised serious questions about the management practices under District Attorney George Gascón.

The charges, involving unauthorized access and mishandling of confidential data, highlight potential systemic issues within his administration. As the case progresses, Gascón’s electoral challenger, Nathan Hochman, is calling for transparency and accountability, emphasizing that this situation is a critical test of the district attorney’s leadership.

Teran, previously a public defender, was appointed by Gascón to oversee all prosecutions involving law enforcement officers and maintain office integrity. She was recently arrested and booked on allegations of illegally transferring confidential LA County Sheriff’s Department personnel records to the DA’s office. This has raised serious questions about the ethics environment she was supposed to protect.

Amid these charges, Teran is also implicated in a whistleblower lawsuit that accuses her of delaying prosecutorial decisions against deputies in high-profile incidents, potentially to influence electoral outcomes. This backdrop of ethical controversies reflects poorly on the leadership of Gascón, who is already facing criticism for his handling of the office.

Hochman, who is challenging Gascon in the upcoming elections, has seized on these developments to highlight what he views as chronic mismanagement and lack of accountability at the DA’s office. Hochman has been vocal on social media, outlining a series of questions that probe the rationale behind Teran’s appointment and her continued role despite the ongoing investigation. “There is virtually no chance Gascón was unaware of the AG’s investigation of Teran. Why did he promote her to the No 3 position in the office (in charge of prosecuting law enforcement officers) while she was under criminal investigation?” Hochman questioned, emphasizing the need for transparency and accountability.

Adding depth to the discourse, Ryan Erlich, Vice President of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA), has penned a critical examination of the ethical practices within Gascón’s administration.

Erlich’s article recounts multiple instances of harsh disciplinary actions against deputies who questioned Gascón’s directives, contrasting these with the leniency shown towards senior figures close to Gascón, like Teran and Chief Deputy Joseph F. Iniguez, who faced no significant consequences despite serious allegations of misconduct.

Erlich in calling for a thorough review of the decisions and policies implemented under Teran’s supervision, especially given her role in overseeing sensitive units such as Conviction Review and Organized Crime. “The need for an internal or external review of Teran’s work is crucial to ensure that her alleged wrongdoing has not compromised the integrity of ongoing cases,” Erlich writes, urging Gascón to address these concerns transparently to restore public trust.

(Editor’s note: This story first appeared May 1 in the Westside Current and is printed with permission.)

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