Embattled Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon’s own prosecutor is criticizing his leadership for not pursuing charges against teens pulled over for DUIs, as a new recall effort is underway.

Jonathan Hatami, a deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County, said in doing so, Gascon has “failed” juveniles, who could get the message that there are no consequences for their actions, will never reach court-ordered alcohol programs and could then get behind the wheel again to kill themselves or others.

“You’re basically telling a 16- or 17-year-old if you drink and drive, you’re just not going to get in trouble,” Hatami said in a recent on-camera interview with KCBS-TV. “George Gascon says he wants to protect kids and he cares about kids. Well, if George Gascon really wants to protect kids, if he really wants to do that then sometimes what you have to do is protect kids from themselves. And as a parent, I know that and all parents know that. And George Gascon has essentially failed in this.”

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