Report: L.A.’s Prosecutor Switched
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A prosecutor who urged his superiors to file conspiracy charges against several police officers was pulled off the task force investigating corruption days later, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported Sunday.
District Attorney Gil Garcetti had denied on a radio talk show that Deputy District Attorney George Rosenstock sought approval to indict officers involved in a station-house beating.
But when faced Saturday with confidential memos obtained by the Daily News, Garcetti’s spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons acknowledged Rosenstock wanted to file the first criminal charges against officers other than Rafael Perez, the central figure in the Rampart Division scandal.
Perez turned informant after his arrest in August 1998 when he was caught stealing eight pounds of cocaine from a police evidence room. Since then he has given investigators a litany of wrongdoing in the Rampart station’s anti-gang unit, saying fellow officers repeatedly falsified evidence, framed innocent people and lied under oath to win convictions.
To date, more than two dozen officers have resigned, been fired, or been relieved of active duty, and 46 criminal convictions have been overturned. But no officers other than Perez have been indicted so far.
Police Chief Bernard Parks and others have criticized Garcetti for not moving swiftly enough to file charges against crooked officers. Garcetti, who faces a November run-off election, has said he won’t jeopardize cases by filing them without sufficient evidence.
Gibbons said top prosecutors were aware of Rosenstock’s memos, but insisted Garcetti never was.
``There was no reason for them to notify (Garcetti). It was just a memo, basically a prosecutor’s assessment of what needed to be done,″ Gibbons said.
Gibbons said Sunday that neither she nor Garcetti would comment further on the memos. No one was at Rosenstock’s office Sunday to comment.
Rosenstock’s first memos about filing charges against Rampart officers are from December, according to the Daily News. By February, he wrote that he had a solid conspiracy case against officers involved in the Feb. 26, 1998 beating of Ismael Jimenez.
Within days, Rosenstock was pulled off the task force; he now handles routine, low-profile cases.