‘Woke’ District Attorney “In Charge of Ethics” Charged With 11 Felonies

By: Julia Mehalko | Published: May 05, 2024

Diana Teran, the so-called right-hand woman of Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon, is now facing almost 11 felony charges. 

According to California prosecutors, Teran accessed a sheriff’s office database and then used this information when she went to work for the DA’s office. During this time, Teran also led the DA’s office’s ethics and integrity unit.

Allegations Against Teran

According to the California Attorney General’s Office, Teran accessed confidential information on 11 deputies by accessing a database at the sheriff’s office. This occurred when Teran worked at the sheriff’s office.

The official portrait of George Gascon.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Teran is accused of compiling this information as far back as 2018. Then, when Teran was asked to work for Gascon, she took this confidential information with her to the DA’s office. 

Teran Used This Confidential Data

State prosecutors have alleged that Teran then used this confidential data that she had taken from the sheriff’s office while she was working for Gascon.

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Teran allegedly used this stolen information to then help some criminal defendants. This information was also used to repress some prosecutors and their cases. 

The Beginning of Teran’s Investigation

When an investigation was first opened into Teran, she was the leader of the DA’s office’s ethics and integrity unit. Even while this investigation was ongoing, Teran remained the head of this unit — a unit that was investigating her.

A close-up of a Los Angeles Police cop car.

Source: Nick Page/Unsplash

Clearly, this led to a conflict of interest. The case was subsequently referred to the state attorney general’s office.

Teran’s Ethics Unit

While Teran was the leader of the ethics and integrity unit at the DA’s, she was in charge of leading prosecutions against police officers and public officials.

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These prosecutions stemmed from any misconduct allegations against these officials. However, now prosecutors are stating that she used this confidential information against some deputies. 

Using Information Against Officers

Deputy District Attorney Tatiana Chahoian has opened up about this unethical behavior from Teran.

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“She illegitimately accessed the officers’ files while with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department,” she explained. “Then she came to the district attorney’s office and used all that information against the officers.”


Helping Criminal Defendants

According to Chahoian, Teran used this information to help criminal defendants. In one example, Chahoian stated that Teran kept a full case file from the DA’s office and prosecutors in charge of the case.

A close-up of a defendant placard on a table in a courtroom.

Source: Wesley Tingey/Unsplash

Teran also kept video evidence of this case, as Chahoian explained that Teran wanted to ruin the deputy involved with this situation.


Criminal Proceedings Impacted by Teran’s Behavior

In this specific case, a woman who took a felony plea deal after being charged with breaking another woman’s clavicle was involved in a use-of-force incident with a deputy. This woman was holding a baby when she got into an altercation with the deputy.

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“The mother who was punched was a violent person and involved in multiple incidents,” Chahoian explained. “But Teran wanted to screw over the deputy, so she made sure no one in the DA’s office had access to the actual video, including me, the assigned prosecutor.”


“Brady” Material

Some analysts are claiming that Teran’s behavior could be a misappropriation of what is called “Brady” material.

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In 1963, the Supreme Court ruled in the Brady v. Maryland case that prosecutors must disclose any evidence that could potentially help a defendant in court. 


Giving Over Information

However, this ruling doesn’t state that all information about officers must be given over when a criminal case is being conducted.

A lot of files and paperwork stacked on top of each other.

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Further, some of the data and material that Teran has been accused of taking appears to have been unfounded claims against deputies.


California Lawmakers Respond to Claims

Already, many California lawmakers, both liberal and conservative, have responded to these claims against Teran. Democrat Attorney General Rob Bonta released a press release stating that “no one is above the law.”

The main government building in Sacramento, California seen in the daytime.

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“Public officials are called to serve the people and the State of California with integrity and honesty. At the California Department of Justice, we will continue to fight for the people of California and hold those who break the law accountable,” the release stated


Teran’s Response

Thus far, Teran hasn’t responded to these charges herself. However, her attorney James Spertus did release a statement about these allegations.

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“I want the world to know that the AG’s office will face a very quick and expeditious loss on this sort of thoughtless legal theory that an official can be prosecuted for doing an official act,” Spertus said. “It’s just really something that you wouldn’t expect in law enforcement today.”