DA Gascon's Top Adviser Charged with 11 Felonies

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Her name is Diana Teran and until recently her title was Assistant District Attorney of Ethics and Integrity Operations. What this meant in practice was that ADA Teran was in charge of overseeing cases against police officers. If you know anything about DA George Gascon then you already know that he campaigned on criminal justice reform including bringing charges against more cops. But last week California Attorney General Rob Bonta charged ADA Teran with 11 felonies. She is accused of illegally accessing personnel records on 11 different police deputies.


California’s attorney general filed criminal charges Wednesday against one of L.A. County Dist. Atty. George Gascón’s top advisors, who supervises high-profile and sensitive cases including police misconduct, fraud and public corruption.

Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta announced the 11 felony counts against Assistant Dist. Atty. Diana Teran in a press statement. He accused her of improperly downloading confidential records of law enforcement officers in 2018 while she was working for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Teran then “impermissibly used that data” after joining Gascón’s office three years later, Bonta said.

The confidential records concern 11 sheriff’s deputies, according to a criminal complaint filed in L.A. County Superior Court. The deputies’ names were not included in the court filing.

The court filing doesn't offer much information on the case but LA Magazine reports this story goes back to 2018:

Diana Teran was a former Constitutional Policing Advisor to the Sheriff's Department, which gave her access to personnel files for deputies, which she is accused of downloading in 2018. She then used those illegally accessed files, Bonta said, while working as a "special advisor" to Gascón. 

According to a criminal complaint, Teran accessed private data on 11 unnamed deputies "without permission" and made copies that she later used in her role as a prosecutor.


Teran has been booked and was released on $50,000 bond. Her attorney complained about that.

“This is a high-ranking D.A.’s office official; she’s not a flight risk,” he said. “There should never have been an arrest warrant, because normally she would receive a summons in the mail. In many cases, people who are charged with nonviolent offenses like this are summonsed into court.”

As of last week, Teran was supervising high-profile and sensitive cases involving police misconduct, fraud and public corruption. The district attorney’s office on Thursday told The Times it did not comment on personnel matters, but Teran was no longer overseeing Ethics and Integrity Operations. The office said she was not working on cases involving the Sheriff’s Department, and there was no indication that any cases involving prosecutions of law enforcement were compromised.

There's a fine line here between information that prosecutors are required to turn over to defense attorneys and information they are not required to turn over.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1963's Brady v. Maryland case that prosecutors have to disclose "material evidence" that could help a defendant's case, according to experts at Cornell Law School.

But that doesn't mean they have to hand over all unflattering information about a given officer connected to a criminal case, and some of the information taken from the sheriff's office is believed to have included unfounded or unsustained allegations.


It will be several months before this case goes to trial so we'll have to wait and see which side has the better legal argument. But politically, this is more bad news for DA Gascon who is running for reelection. His opponent in the race posted a thread on X offering a list of questions that need to be answered in this case.

What did Gascon know and when did he know it?


And finally, who is paying for her defense?

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