“No one is above the law, especially those who are sworn to uphold it.”
That is the motto of the District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division (JSID), where 14 deputy district attorneys and nine investigators work to maintain public confidence in the criminal justice system.
“Failure by a public prosecutor to hold a person in the justice system responsible for his or her own criminal misconduct profoundly erodes public trust,” Head Deputy District Attorney Shannon Presby said.
Prosecutors assigned to the division are tasked with reviewing criminal allegations against judges, attorneys, law enforcement employees and other justice system professionals, such as court employees and probation officers. Last year, they reviewed 274 complaints.
JSID attorneys filed 18 criminal cases last year, involving sexual assault, possession of child pornography, obstruction of justice and conspiracy. They referred as many as 50 more cases to other units for prosecution because the alleged conduct was a misdemeanor or not related to the defendant’s job. As many as 25 additional cases were sent to city prosecutors for review.
In addition, a prosecutor and investigator from the division respond to the scene of about 90 officer-involved shootings throughout Los Angeles County each year to monitor the agency investigation and initiate the painstaking review process.
Based on the facts and the law, most officer-involved shootings do not result in the filing of criminal charges. To close a case, prosecutors must prepare a detailed public report explaining why the office declined to file charges. These reports may be found on the office’s website at
The work of this division draws close scrutiny.
“Fortunately, our mandate is not to make people happy,” Presby said, “but to follow the facts of each individual case, wherever they lead, and make principled decisions.”