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Woke Los Angeles DA George Gascon ‘packing’ his office with former public defenders: sources

Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón has hired a crack team of ex-defense attorneys for his prosecutor’s office and some are getting serious criminals out of jail early, sources tell The Post.

Insiders at the DA’s office say the Resentencing Unit — formed in 2021 — is now packed with staff who used to be on the opposite side of the court, which they say provides a host of problems.

They also charge the unit has been taking capital and life-without-parole cases and re-sentencing the defendants without informing victims or their families.

“In a word, it’s disgusting,” said one prosecutor who did not want to be named for fear of retaliation.

“That’s not to say every single case is bad or there’s no case that shouldn’t be re-sentenced. However, as a whole, the unit is supervised by former public defenders and their obvious push is to get people out of custody as soon as possible.”

As of this week, Nancy Theberge, a deputy public defender in LA County for years, was named deputy-in-charge of the Resentencing Unit, according to an internal memo seen by The Post.

Several sources claimed to The Post rank and file prosecutors in the re-sentencing unit are prevented from accessing an inmate’s entire file, and only provide certain information before they have to argue their cases in front of a judge.

“The bottom line is you’re supposed to advocate professionally and ethically and you should never mislead a court, and what some of these people are doing is just that,” claimed a third source.

“It’s misleading, because they’re not giving the pertinent information, and judges are used to DAs being ethical and giving them the right information.

“So if you don’t have a strong judge, to say, ‘Wait a second, what’s the context here? Why is this being brought back for re-sentencing?’ They could also just assume and say, ‘Okay, well, it’s a DA bringing the motion so it must be legitimate,’ when the reality is they’re not even true DAs.

“Even if they are by title, they’re working in a unit where their mission is to help release people.”

Gascón’s office declined to comment when approached by The Post over this story.

Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson explained that Gascón’s move of recruiting former public defenders and defense attorneys in his re-sentencing unit could be problematic, especially if they had been previously involved in the cases that were being re-evaluated.

Gascón’s office declined to comment when approached by The Post over this story.

“Maybe he thinks they would have a better understanding of how it impacts people to be sentenced.

“But they have different roles now. As the public defender their goal was to do everything to help their clients … [now] you want them to fairly evaluate these cases and not be stuck in a role before they came to the DA’s Office,” she warned.

The Post has found at least a dozen former public defenders and defense attorneys who now work at various departments in the LA County DA’s Office.

Tiffany Blacknell, communications director and Gascón’s special advisor, made headlines after social media posts from 2019 resurfaced that said, “Prison is obsolete. We need to reimagine America without it.” In another post she is seen wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with “The police are trained to kill us.”

Diana Teran, who worked in the LA County Public Defender’s Office on law enforcement accountability, was handpicked by Gascón and now heads the DA’s support operations.

Alisa Blair— who worked on Gascón’s campaign and served as his policy advisor, also came from the public defender’s office.

Days after George Floyd was killed by police officers in 2020 and riots occurred in Los Angeles and other parts of the country, Blair posted on her social media: “Burn that s—t down. We must destroy in order to rebuild.”

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