LA County and Gascón Lawyers Respond to Veteran Prosecutor’s Complaint – Pasadena Now
Los Angeles County attorneys and District Attorney George Gascón responded to an amended lawsuit filed by a veteran prosecutor who alleges he faced backlash for criticizing Gascón, saying some of the plaintiff’s claims were filed too late and still others should instead be resolved in a workers’ compensation claim.
Defense attorneys filed their court papers Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court in response to the amended lawsuit filed May 13 by Assistant District Attorney Jon Hatami, who now alleges eight causes of action from the five in his initial complaint filed on September 3. .
“Plaintiff fails to state facts sufficient to constitute claims upon which relief may be awarded…” the defense attorneys state in their court documents. “To the extent Plaintiff seeks relief for alleged physical and/or emotional injury based on Defendants’ conduct that does not violate basic California public policy or exceed the risks inherent in the relationship of work … the exclusive remedy for these alleged injuries is an action or claim under the Workers’ Compensation Act.
Other Hatami claims were filed outside the statute of limitations, according to court documents from defense attorneys.
Hatami alleges that he was defamed and denied promotions because he criticized Gascón’s directives. His new complaint also alleges that he was harassed and discriminated against because of his heritage, religion and complaints. Hatami is part Iranian and her father is Muslim.
Instead of ending the alleged disparate treatment, Gascón’s office ratified it by refusing to promote it, according to the amended lawsuit.
“Gascón maliciously embarrassed plaintiff by calling him an ‘internal terrorist,’ refused to promote him, and deleted or failed to assign plaintiff records that would generally be designated in his jurisdiction,” the amended lawsuit alleges.
Among the cases Hatami has been assigned to is that of Jose Cuatro and Maria Juarez, a Palmdale couple charged with murder and torture in the death of their 4-year-old son, Noah. He was also one of two prosecutors in the trial of Isauro Aguirre and Pearl Fernandez, who were sentenced to death and life in prison without the possibility of parole, respectively, for the death of his 8-year-old son. , Gabriel.
When Gascón was sworn in in December 2020, he promised to stop enforcing California’s three-strike law, end the use of the death penalty, and create a review commission to hold those responsible for more accountable. law enforcement. When Hatami criticized Gascón’s changes, he found himself in a hostile work environment, according to his amended complaint.
“Gascón deliberately denied assigning (Hatami) complex cases of child abuse and murder within his jurisdiction as punishment for not following his directions,” the amended lawsuit alleges. “This in turn impacts (Hatami’s) work and his ability to prove himself for desired promotions.”
In November 2020, Gascón said in an interview on Spectrum News 1 that the only reason the plaintiff asked for the death penalty in the Gabriel Fernandez case was because his ego was hurt by Aguirre, which Aguirre rubbed Hatami the wrong way, that Aguirre was not the “big guy” in the case and that Aguirre had turned down Hatami’s plea deal, according to the lawsuit.
The comments were “knowingly false” and intended to damage Hatami’s reputation and ability to perform her duties, according to the amended lawsuit.