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ELECTIONS / L.A. CITY COUNCIL : Court Rejects Deputy D.A.'s Appeal to Join Race for 5th District Seat

March 19, 1995|HUGO MARTIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A state Court of Appeal has ruled that Lea Purwin D'Agostino did not meet the qualifications to be a candidate for the City Council's 5th District seat and should not appear on the ballot for the April elections.

The court's decision Wednesday appears to end D'Agostino's monthlong struggle to get her name on the ballot. Election officials disqualified her because they said she had failed to submit a nominating petition with the signatures of 500 registered voters.

D'Agostino, a longtime deputy district attorney, could not be reached for comment, but a spokesman said she has decided not to continue her battle.

"I think this is the end of the appeal process for this particular issue," said Darry Sragow, D'Agostino's campaign manager. "Lea is certainly disappointed."

In her fight against election officials, D'Agostino argued that they rejected dozens of valid signatures.

Her first defeat came after she appealed the decision of election officials to a Superior Court judge, who ordered election officials to accept some signatures that were rejected but not enough for her to reach the 500-signature mark.

She later appealed the judge's ruling to the Court of Appeal, which issued an 18-page opinion Wednesday denying D'Agostino's petition to be on the ballot. The opinion says she failed to meet the city's requirements and that election officials are not obligated to let her on the ballot with fewer than the required 500 signatures.

The qualified candidates are Jeff Brain, a Sherman Oaks businessman and activist; Roberta Weintraub, a former school board member; Mike Feuer, the former head of a legal clinic, and Barbara Yaroslavsky, a volunteer/activist and wife of Zev Yaroslavsky, who held the council post for 19 years before resigning in December to take a seat on the County Board of Supervisors.

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