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Public Corruption

The citizens of Los Angeles County have the right to expect that their elected and appointed officials will carry out their duties in a lawful, ethical and professional manner. They also have the right to expect that administrators, supervisors and the immediate subordinates of elected and appointed officials, who play an integral role in achieving the mission of the officeholder, will discharge their duties and obligations in the same lawful, ethical and professional manner.

The District Attorney's Public Integrity Division ensures that public and appointed officials - and their subordinates - fulfill their legally mandated duties. To this end, the District Attorney’s Office will use all resources at its disposal to detect, investigate and prosecute criminal misconduct at all levels of public service.

The Public Integrity Division’s ultimate goal is to increase the public’s level of confidence in its elected and appointed officials.


SCOPE OF RESPONSIBILITY

  • Public Officials

Public officials are elected or appointed to positions of public trust. In the event of any breach of this trust, the Public Integrity Division will investigate and, if appropriate, prosecute criminal misconduct by any elected or appointed public official.

The term "public official" is defined in the broadest possible manner and includes state, county and city officials. Subordinates and employees of public officials, whose duties directly impact the public’s business, are also subject to investigation and prosecution by the Public Integrity Division.

  • School Officials

The Public Integrity Division will also be responsible for the investigation and prosecution of school officials, such as members of local school boards, district superintendents, principals, teachers and office administrators who engage in criminal misconduct relating to the discharge of their duties. This includes inappropriate or illegal use of public funds.

  • Election & Campaign Violations

Because the integrity of the election process is crucial to a free and democratic society, the District Attorney’s Office must be vigilant in enforcing all laws that regulate the election process. In this regard, the Public Integrity Division is charged with investigating and prosecuting allegations of voter fraud, illegal voter registration practices, illegal campaign practices, illegal campaign contributions and falsification of candidacy papers.

  • Brown Act Violations

The Brown Act governs meetings conducted by local legislative bodies such as boards of supervisors, city councils and school boards. As these legislative bodies are charged with conducting the people’s business, the Brown Act ensures that the business be conducted in open meetings, allowing public access and a free exchange of opinions. The law recognizes that a balance must be struck between the public’s right to open meetings and the legislative body’s need for confidentiality in certain circumstances. Although the Brown Act allows for closed sessions in specific, narrowly drawn exceptions, there is a presumption in favor of public access.

The District Attorney’s Office has the authority to prosecute individual members of the legislative body criminally and to initiate civil actions to prevent or nullify actions taken in violation of the Brown Act. The Public Integrity Division has the responsibility of investigating and prosecuting allegations of Brown Act violations.


Public Integrity Division
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
320 West Temple St., Rm. 766
Los Angeles, CA. 90012
Phone: (213) 974-6501


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Site updated: 01 Feb 2006