July 19, 2024
Gascon Aide Tried Using DA’s Office to Avoid Intoxication Arrest, Got $10K Settlement

Gascon Aide Tried Using DA’s Office to Avoid Intoxication Arrest, Got $10K Settlement

(Molly BrunsHeadline USA) Breaking footage of a top aide for Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon facing arrest for drunken driving and public intoxication in 2021 put Gascon’s office in hot water this week, according to the Daily Caller.

Police officers stopped Joseph Iniguez, Gascon’s chief of staff at the time, and his partner for making an illegal U-turn on the way home from a fellow prosecutor’s wedding.

Iniguez turned on his phone camera and captured live footage of the event, during which he insisted the police stopped the wrong person and ordered his partner—who was driving—to not answer any questions.

One of the officers insisted the driver go to the station, but Iniguez pushed back on that, as well.

“He is not a DRE [drug recognition expert]. He’s not a DRE,” he said. “You’re under no obligation to answer any questions of his. You’re under no obligation to answer any questions of his. And [if] he believes you’re intoxicated, he’ll arrest you. He didn’t drink tonight! Partner, he didn’t drink tonight!”

The traffic stop lasted about 5 minutes in total.

Iniguez did not cooperate with the officers and encouraged them to check the license plate numbers—presumably so they could make the connection between himself and the DA’s office.

After putting the driver in the back of the police car, the officer turned to cuff Iniguez.

“Sir, you’re currently in public and you’re intoxicated,” he said. “You’re being placed under arrest right now. Turn around for me, placed your hands behind your back.”

Iniguez turned off the camera and presumably complied with the order.

There is some additional video footage of his questioning at the jailhouse, but no audio.

Fox News reported that Iniguez sued the department over a purported federal civil rights violation a year later. He received a $10,000 settlement.

Diana Teran, a fellow Gascon aide, incurred an indictment over improper access to information usually only available to Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies and using the data to assist the district attorney’s office.

Iniguez received a promotion to chief deputy district attorney since the incident.

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