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East Valley Focus

SHERMAN OAKS : Garcetti Again Warns of Massive Layoffs

May 29, 1993|SCOTT GLOVER

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti reiterated Friday a scenario of massive layoffs and criminals walking free if his office budget is reduced by $25 million, as threatened by the proposed county budget.

Speaking at Valley Community Legal Foundation's annual Law Day USA, held at the Radisson Hotel, Garcetti said such a reduction would result in the layoffs of 251 prosecutors. Misdemeanor crimes and some felonies, such as drug dealing, burglary and grand theft, would no longer be prosecuted.

Garcetti said the proposed cuts threatened the closure of entire Municipal Court area offices.

"I mean it," Garcetti told the group of about 100, made up mostly of lawyers, judges and law enforcement officers. "That's where we'll be."

During his remarks at the ceremony, in which several law enforcement officers were given awards for outstanding achievement, Garcetti talked about a legal system in decline.

"Credibility is sorely lacking in the entire criminal justice system," he said. "We can talk about 'justice for all,' but we can't talk about it in a vacuum." Garcetti repeated a plea to take a long-term approach to solving some of the city's problems, such as focusing on crime prevention as opposed to building additional prisons.

"Unless we begin to think long term, we're going to continue to live in a city that is building walls around itself," he said. "We ourselves have to start believing in the future of Los Angeles again."

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