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Garcetti on Times' Endorsement for D.A.

October 29, 2000

Given that I have never received The Times' endorsement, your support for challenger Steve Cooley did not come as a surprise (editorial, Oct. 22). Despite your statement to the contrary, Cooley has no intention of continuing my crime prevention initiatives. He's on record stating that he would eliminate my anti-truancy program, even though this program is responsible for keeping more than 51,000 potential dropouts in school.

You reference two cases, but since I became district attorney, my office has handled more than 2 million criminal cases, attaining a 93% conviction rate. These victories have been obtained in high-profile trials, including the Ennis Cosby, Stephanie Kuhen and "Halloween murders" trials.

Regarding Rampart, your editorial doesn't even mention that my office was the first in the country to adopt a policy calling for the ongoing monitoring of potential problem officers.

Morale remains strong in the district attorney's office, as evidenced by the fact that an overwhelming majority of voting deputy district attorneys endorsed my candidacy. My office not only enjoys one of the lowest turnover rates of any large district attorney's office in the country, it also continues to receive nearly 2,000 applications for employment each year.

Your lack of editorial consistency with respect to candidates for district attorney receiving money from office employees is troubling. Last year you editorialized against the Orange County district attorney for accepting campaign contributions from fellow prosecutors, saying that such contributions can create doubts over the motives behind a promotion or transfer. Yet when my opponent actively accepts and solicits contributions from 112 district attorney's office employees, The Times is virtually silent. Cooley's ongoing practice of taking money from D.A. staff will cast a pall over the entire office, as the 3,600 employees who haven't given contributions will rightfully have their suspicions of the 112 who have.

GIL GARCETTI

L.A. County District Attorney

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