SANTA MONICA—Nicole Gougis has been selected by Santa Monica City Attorney Lane Dilg as the new criminal prosecutor for the city attorney’s criminal division. Gougis will replace the former criminal chief Terry White who served until 2008, and will be the new head of the division which has five prosecuting attorneys, which includes a victim advocate, an investigator and four staff members.

“Keeping neighborhoods safe is among the most important work that we do in the City Attorney’s Office. Nicole is a proven prosecutor known for effective collaboration with law enforcement and innovation in criminal justice policy,” said City Attorney Lane Dilg in a statement. “She will be an able leader of the Criminal Division and a tremendous asset to our overall efforts to prevent and prosecute crime in Santa Monica.”

Gougis has been hired at a time where Santa Monica’s crime rate increased by 8.8 percent in 2018. A 12.5 percent rise in 2017 revealed a violent crime increase by almost 50 percent.

Gougis has been the prosecutor for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office since 2007.

According to officials, Gougis was active in addressing issues involving proposition 47. A proposition that voters passed in 2014 to address overcrowding in prisons. She served as the Assistant Supervisor of the Central Trials Branch where she supervised 34 attorneys and 30 support staff members.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to serve the people of Santa Monica and to lead the community through the new criminal justice landscape,” said Gougis.

Written By Christianne McCormick and Donald Roberts