Nov 19, 2008

The watchdog watches

Kevin Roderick flagged a story in yesterday's L.A. Times about the L.A. District Attorney's decision to forgo prosecution of County Supervisor Yvonne Burke for abandoning her South Los Angeles home to take up residence in Brentwood.

David Demerjian, head of the L.A. District Attorney's Public Integrity Division, said investigators couldn't find a paper trail:
"It's not really about residency; it's about whether or not they lied on any particular documents," said Demerjian...
Aside from the paper trail compiled by the Times when it broke the story of Burke's district emigration, why would the PID have to rely solely on "particular documents" to build a case? Because...
Burke, 76, declined to talk to district attorney's investigators about the matter, according to a memo Demerjian wrote last month outlining his reasons against filing charges.
Now, I'm down with the Fifth Amendment, and from everything I've seen the PID prefers applying pressure to public officials to prosecuting them. But can anyone walk away from this and think the integrity of our public institutions was upheld? Does the DA's watchdog have a long enough leash?

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