LA Lawyer: DA Stalled Indictments
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A prosecutor who was removed from the county’s police corruption probe has accused the district attorney of stalling efforts to indict rogue officers, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported today.
Deputy District Attorney George Rosenstock said he and other prosecutors were ready to file criminal charges two months ago against four Los Angeles Police Department officers linked to a scandal involving the Rampart station’s anti-gang unit.
But before Rosenstock could file charges, District Attorney Gil Garcetti pulled him from the task force and placed Dan Murphy, a head deputy district attorney, in charge of the probe.
Rosenstock’s removal in February occurred a month before Garcetti came in second in the county primary and was forced into a November runoff.
``It was my clear impression that Mr. Murphy was leading the team as a political operative, with one agenda: avoid any action which might damage Mr. Garcetti’s re-election chances _ not as a professional prosecutor,″ Rosenstock told the Daily News.
Murphy did not respond to interview requests from the Daily News.
Just days after Rosenstock’s reassignment, another deputy district attorney was ordered to delay his efforts to file charges in a separate case against Rampart police officers, according to Rosenstock.
Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for Garcetti’s office, said she was unaware of Rosenstock’s statement. ``But any allegations that political considerations have any impact on the work of the Rampart team are simply false,″ she said.
To date, no charges have been filed against any officers implicated in the corruption, though police have recommended prosecuting three officers and Garcetti has said he expects his investigation to result in charges.
The scandal centers on allegations that officers lied under oath, falsified reports, planted evidence and in some cases shot unarmed suspects. So far, 50 people have had their convictions overturned and two dozen officers have left active duty.