“L.A. prosecutor put on leave over questionable case sparked by election conspiracy theories”

LA Times:

A Los Angeles County deputy district attorney has been placed on administrative leave for his role in the questionable prosecution of a Michigan software executive that may have been sparked by conspiracy theorists who deny the validity of the 2020 presidential election.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Eric Neff’s leave comes in the wake of Dist. Atty. George Gascón’s decision to drop charges against Eugene Yu, chief executive of Michigan-based Konnech, according to three sources with knowledge of the situation. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss a personnel matter.

Yu’s firm, which has contracts with L.A. election officials, had been accused of storing data about poll workers on Chinese servers….

During the Oct. 4 news conference, Gascón amplified some of True the Vote’s claims that Konnech had stored information overseas — an allegation that was conspicuously absent from a criminal complaint a week later charging Yu with embezzlement and conspiracy.

During an October hearing seeking to jail Yu, Neff claimed without evidence that the “data breach” was among the largest in U.S. history.

Gascón has not explained the discrepancy, and his office has declined to answer most questions about the case. The office declined to comment on Neff’s status because it is a personnel matter.

Neff did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday and has previously referred questions to Gascón’s chief spokeswoman, Tiffiny Blacknell; she did not respond Tuesday to a request for comment on Neff’s status.

Blacknell previously said the office decided to dismiss the case against Yu due to concerns about the pace of the investigation and potential bias in the presentation of evidence.

The case is being reevaluated, according to Blacknell, who said earlier this month that after the charges were brought, upper management in the district attorney’s office became aware of “irregularities in how the case was presented.” She did not offer specifics.

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