At its regular meeting on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, the Santa Clarita City Council voted unanimously to adopt Resolution No. 21-7, expressing concern in Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón’s Special Directives 20-06, 20-07 and 20-08, and affirming a vote of no confidence in District Attorney Gascón.
“Our City has long been hailed as one of the safest in the nation,” said Mayor Bill Miranda. “This is thanks to the dedication of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and the vigilance of our residents. The special directives issued by District Attorney Gascón have significantly preempted our local public safety efforts and do not enhance the public’s wellbeing nor protect victims’ rights.”
Special Directive 20-06 eliminates cash bail for any misdemeanor, non-serious felony or non-violent felony offense. Special Directive 20-07 declines or dismisses several misdemeanor charges, including trespassing, disturbing the peace, criminal threats, drug and paraphernalia possession, public intoxication and resisting arrest. Special Directive 20-08 eliminates several sentence enhancements, including the Three Strikes Law, gang enhancements and violations of bail.
Since the Los Angeles County Superior Court temporarily suspended cash bail in March 2020, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station has arrested more than 590 repeat offenders, accounting for an approximately 9.5 percent increase in such arrests from the year before. Furthermore, of the 590 repeat offenders, over 1,800 arrests were made, accounting for more than one-third of all arrests in the past year.
Additionally, the aforementioned special directives issued by District Attorney Gascón will further exacerbate recidivism as many individuals are neither prosecuted for the crimes they commit nor receive rehabilitation.
Following the City Council meeting on March 9, 2021, City officials distributed copies of Resolution No. 21-7 and a letter, signed by Mayor Miranda, to the office of District Attorney Gascon and members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Deputy District Attorneys Association of Los Angeles County, League of California Cities, and California Contract Cities Association.