December 2017
Volume 2, Issue 12
Dear Friends:
The holiday season is upon us!

It is that special time of the year when we reach out to friends and family, enjoy each other’s company and embrace the joy that the season brings.

Read the full remarks  here .
Spotlight:
 Pre-Filing Diversion Program
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey has unveiled a new program aimed at diverting low-level, nonviolent offenders out of the criminal justice system.

The Pre-Filing Diversion Program offers monitoring, treatment, counseling, education and other services to qualified and suitable offenders while ensuring that victims receive restitution for their crime-related financial losses. Participation is voluntary.

“This program offers low-level, nonviolent offenders the opportunity to alter their path in life,” District Attorney Lacey said. “If they complete the program, participants will avoid criminal charges that could limit their future as productive members of our community.”

The program is designed to reduce the number of low-level, nonviolent offenders entering the criminal justice system, ultimately lowering recidivism rates through rehabilitative services rather than incarceration and saving taxpayer money.
 
Experienced deputy district attorneys will screen cases for referral to the new diversion program in lieu of filing misdemeanor or low-level nonviolent felony charges, such as trespassing or driving a vehicle without an owner's consent. Offenders facing allegations of domestic violence, child abuse or elder abuse are ineligible for this program.

In the Pre-Filing Diversion Program, hearing officers establish the terms for each offender that address the concerns of the parties and account for public safety. In addition to monitoring and treatment, participants also may be required to complete community service hours and comply with stay-away conditions.

Offenders who fail to complete the program will be charged with crimes based on the original alleged offenses.
Fraud Alert
  Significant Cases
Unscrupulous insurance agents are holding presentations at senior centers and residential care facilities in an effort to persuade ineligible seniors to apply for the Veterans Aid and Attendance Program, a benefit only available to low-income disabled veterans and their surviving spouses.

Read the Fraud Alert and watch the video here .
  • A former state inspector admitted to accepting bribes from barbershops and salon owners in exchange for ignoring violations. Read about the case.

  • A mother and daughter were sentenced for stealing thousands of dollars from an Alhambra high school. Learn about their scheme.

  • A 21-year-old will serve time in prison for the accidental shooting death of a young woman near Tarzana. Find out about this crime.
LADA Employees Honored
Excellence in the District Attorney’s Office was recognized as four employees were lauded at the office’s Jemison Awards Ceremony on Nov. 16.

The top awards went to Paralegal Vanessa Rizzo and Senior Investigator Mary Cenovich. The awards, named for Frank Jemison, a former lieutenant in the office’s Bureau of Investigation, and his wife, Jane, honor a top investigator and support staff member every year.

Rizzo, a veteran of the office’s ESCARS (Electronic Suspected Child Abuse Report System) Unit, was recognized for the important work she performs auditing suspected abuse reports. She also helped organize the office’s first ESCARS Summit and was critical in revamping the system’s website.

Cenovich, of the office’s Public Integrity Unit, was heralded as a model investigator with extraordinary communication and precise organizational skills that paved the way for successful prosecutions.

Brenda Coleman, a legal office support assistant, received the Michael P. Noyes Humanitarian Award for her many charitable works, including serving as a foster parent for nine boys. Coleman also is active in a community foundation that supports education programs for underserved children.

Deputy District Attorney Keri Modder received the Ken Lamb Distinguished Achievement Award for her courage to take on challenging cases and her dedication to mentoring younger prosecutors in the office. 
The District Attorney’s Holiday Giving Drive is the office’s annual effort to assist some of the area’s neediest of families whose lives have been affected by violence.
 
You may contribute to the Holiday Giving Drive by clicking here  and donating online to the District Attorney’s Victim Assistance Fund, which is administered by the California Community Foundation. 
Did You Know...?
Employees at two LADA branch offices are more likely than all others to experience a winter wonderland while at work. Offices in the Michael D. Antonovich Courthouse, pictured here, and the Antelope Valley Juvenile Courthouse in Lancaster sometimes glisten with snow. Employees there say the annual snowfall, which averages an inch a year, has occasionally impacted courtroom schedules and their commutes. One of the largest storms – 8 inches – hit in 2008.
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office | (213) 974-3512 | info@da.lacounty.gov

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