Los Angeles, CA
ALADS’ legal teams have been fighting against the use of a Brady List since 2016. Despite today’s California Supreme Court decision, which allows for limited disclosure of information on a Brady List, ALADS still stands on the fact the Brady List is a direct product of a flawed disciplinary process. This flawed disciplinary process, which may be filled with bias, grudges, faulty analysis and outright misrepresentation, has plagued the Sheriff’s Department for decades.
The briefing before the California Supreme Court was both thorough and extensive. ALADS forcefully argued that a Brady alert from the Department to the prosecution was not permitted absent compliance with the Pitchess statutes, which, since 1978, have required a judicial officer to view personnel records in camera under certain criteria before disclosing them in connection with a criminal prosecution. We are disappointed that the Court today, despite the Pitchess statutes, permitted even the limited disclosure of a Brady alert from the Department to the prosecution for a deputy who is a potential witness in a pending criminal prosecution.
Nevertheless, we emphasize that the Court’s decision that Brady alerts are permissible is limited to pending criminal prosecutions and does not allow the Department’s wholesale release to the prosecution of its Brady List, as it originally set out to do. In addition, the Court did not require Brady alerts, but merely concluded they are permissible in the context of a pending criminal prosecution.
ALADS' primary interest has always been and will continue to be the protection of privacy for ALADS members and their families and the preservation of due process rights for all involved.
ALADS will abide by the Court's decision and all applicable statutes, even as we recognize that some LASD administrators -- current and prior -- do not.
As our next step, ALADS representatives have already sent a meet-and-confer request to develop a policy for handling these cases within the perimeters laid out by today's decision. ALADS also will sit down with departmental staff and develop an administrative process to enforce the Court’s ruling.
ALADS attorneys will continue to review the full extent of the Court's
as it applies to individual cases.
As always, please contact ALADS if you have any questions.