In my experience, people normally only care or learn about the vast work we do when they are the direct recipients of it, when someone is breaking in your house, you call our 911 Operators (PSR’s), who Dispatch our Police Officers, who arrest the suspects our Detention Officers maintain custody of, Evidence is collected & processed by our Criminalist, booked by our Property Officers, and finally prosecuted by the fine men and women of the LA City Attorney’s Office.
Putting any of them on Furloughs still sound like a good idea Eric Garcetti Or Mayor Pension Reform? I wonder if the LA Daily News will have the courage to Publish this.
Below is a letter from a very intelligent City Attorney, that was widely circulated, her message is clear. LA City Workers.com Supports our hard working LA City Attorney’s
Dear Mr. Orlov,
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to discuss with you the misconception voiced by a City “aide” that the City Attorney would not be using evidence available from sexual assault kits because “they prosecute misdemeanor crimes.” Over the course of my thirty five year career with the Office of the City Attorney I have often heard, “It’s only a misdemeanor.” There appears to be no clear understanding of, or appreciation for, what constitutes a misdemeanor in Los Angeles, a city which has suffered from an incredible devaluation of crime over the years.
When you mention misdemeanor crimes, you may conjure visions of barking dogs and spitting on the sidewalk. Rarely do you think of gang crimes, sexual assault, or abuse of children. Too often in Los Angeles, residential burglaries become trespassing, rapes become sexual batteries and attempted murders are charged as assaults with deadly weapons. The vast majority of domestic violence cases are charged as misdemeanors. In fact, each year thousands of felony arrests are referred to the City Attorney’s Office for prosecution as misdemeanors. Clearly, these should not be the crimes that become casualties of the uninformed.
You asked for statistics indicating the serious nature of the crimes prosecuted by the City Attorney. I have compiled the following numbers for the year 2010 from our Criminal Case Management System and Family Violence Operations Database:
- Penal Code Section 243 et. seq. (Sexual Battery) 83
- Penal Code Section 261 et. seq. (Child Sexual Abuse) 146
- Penal Code 286.5 (Sexual Assault of Animals) 3
- Penal Code Section 273.5 (Spousal Abuse) 2456, All Domestic Violence cases 3522
- Penal Code Sections 12020 et. seq., 417 et. seq.) (Weapons cases, including gang member enhancements) 576
- Penal Code Section 171.5 (b) (Weapons at an Airport) 9
- Penal Code Section 192 (Manslaughter, including Vehicular) 18
- Penal Code Section 242, et. seq., (Battery) 1912 , including 48 with serious bodily injury and 654 committed on a live-in or significant other. Please note that some sexual assaults may be filed as simple battery.
- Penal Code Section 245 (Assault with a Deadly Weapon) 429
- Penal Code Section 422 et. seq. (Criminal Threats, including gang member enhancements) 411
- Penal Code Section 459 (Burglary) 454
- Penal Code section 487 et. seq. (Grand Theft) 572
- Penal Code Section 529-530 (Identity Theft) 109
- Penal Code Section 597 et. seq. (Cruelty to Animals) 121
- Vehicle Code Section 10851(a) et. seq. (Driving a Stolen Vehicle, Vehicle Tampering, gang enhancements) 303
- Vehicle Code Section 23152a et. seq. (DUI) 13,228 , including 68 with injury
I have not included the thousands of offenses which are straightforward misdemeanors such as petty theft, prostitution, vehicular crimes, violations of restraining orders and gang injunctions and the entire Los Angeles Municipal Code. Nor have I noted the significant Business and Professions Code Section 17200 cases handled by our Criminal Division, most recently the multi-million dollar case against Deutsche Bank. I do not want the exclusion of these cases to diminish in any way the impact that their prosecution has on the quality of life for the citizens of our neighborhoods.
As to the assertion that the City Attorney’s Office was not included in a press conference regarding the elimination of the sexual assault kit backlog because we are not involved in the issue, nothing could be further from the truth. Years ago when then Deputy Chief Charlie Beck formed an advisory group to study the Sexual Assault/DNA backlog issue, Assistant City Attorney Sue Frauens was included. In large part this was due to the fact that she had previously represented this office on the County Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee’s Subcommittee on DNA where she took an active role in drafting DNA Expungement Procedures. Obviously, our participation has been long term and significant.
In closing, I appreciate the opportunity to provide you with statistics which clearly show the major public safety responsibilities of the Office of the City Attorney. It has long been my belief that government, among its many important obligations to the people it serves, has one obligation that stands above all others – that is the obligation to keep citizens safe in their homes, their schools and in their work environments. The failure to recognize the critical contributions of Los Angeles City Attorneys in this effort, whether by the imposition of devastating budget cuts or crippling furloughs, threatens this most crucial of obligations. I hope that, as you indicated in our prior conversation, you will pass this information to those who, unlike yourself, do not fully comprehend the good work of the Office of the City Attorney which continues year after year, administration after administration.