Ralph Ayala, an eight-year Los Angeles County deputy district attorney, has been fired for allegedly using cocaine while off duty, authorities announced Friday.
In a prepared statement, Dist. Atty. Ira Reiner declared that "the illegal possession or use of drugs by a deputy district attorney cannot be tolerated."
"The kind of responsibility exercised by a prosecutor makes this a firing offense. That's my policy," he said.
Reiner added that Ayala, 35, "by all accounts was a hard-working deputy district attorney."
"That's what makes this all the more tragic," he said.
Ayala, a Westside resident who has worked in the downtown Night Court Division since early 1986, was dismissed after an office investigation prompted by information received in early February from a tipster.
The attorney general's office, which reviewed the results of the investigation, has declined to file felony charges against Ayala. But the city attorney's office still has the case under study for possible misdemeanor prosecution, a spokesman said.