CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 16, 2012 |
Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley said Tuesday that the corruption investigation of Assessor John Noguez has grown to include multiple targets and that he intends to seek grand jury indictments in the near future. In his first public comments about the expanding criminal probe, Cooley also accused the union that represents assessor's office employees of interfering with the investigation by ordering members to refuse to cooperate without permission from Noguez's office.
May 14, 2012
Most voters have by now received their sample ballots, and those who plan to vote by mail are sending in their applications. The June 5 election is underway right now. It is noteworthy for several reasons. Los Angeles County voters will be selecting a new district attorney, and this is the first time since 1964 that there is no incumbent trying to hold onto the seat. The field is wide open. To win outright in this nonpartisan race, a candidate must get more than 50% of the vote.
May 13, 2012
Los Angeles County voters will soon select a new district attorney, and it likely will be their most consequential vote in years. It is hard to overstate the role that the top prosecutor of the nation's most populous county will have as California completely reinvents its justice system. Residents must demand a D.A. who will do his or her utmost to keep them safe, while at the same time embracing reform and ensuring smarter, and less costly, punishment and supervision of nonviolent criminals.
May 11, 2012 |
In an office of 1,000 trial lawyers, many of whom can be temperamental and self-centered, Jackie Lacey looks and acts like the adult in the room. It's her best asset as a candidate. Is it also her worst liability? Lacey, 55, is the chief deputy to Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley , and her task in the campaign to succeed him is to demonstrate that she has an agenda, a style and a mind of her own. Like Cooley, though, she has a low-key personality. She exhibits a certain gravitas - but also a lack, on first glance, of passion.
May 11, 2012 |
Even when Danette Meyers lost a case -- a few weeks ago -- she won. The Metropolitan News-Enterprise brought a California Public Records Act action to compel Meyers to release her personnel records, and she fought it, she said, on principle. The judge reviewed the file in chambers and, based on what she saw, she ruled for the newspaper -- because Meyers' record was so “stellar” there was no good reason to keep it out of public view. The judge's explanation almost amounted to an endorsement, and Meyers has in fact used it in her campaign materials.
April 10, 2012
Many of the six candidates for Los Angeles County district attorney say they would seek out and prosecute corruption by elected officials, and it's no wonder. The pursuit of allegedly crooked pols is a winner with voters who see one example after another of politicians pushing the ethical envelope. But as an elected official, the district attorney is a politician too, and any effort he or she makes to crack down on government misconduct - or to let it be - is at least to some degree a political act. To ensure that prosecutions do not become persecutions, voters must probe deeply into the candidates' actions and attitudes.
April 3, 2012
Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley's three-strikes policy is often articulated simply - and wrongly - as follows: He won't seek a life sentence against a third-time convict unless that third strike is serious or violent. If that were in fact his policy, it would prevent life sentences for petty drug crimes and other nonviolent acts - and it is in essence what is being proposed in an initiative cleared for circulation that California voters may see on their Nov. 6 ballot.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 10, 2012 |
Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich announced Thursday that he is jumping into the race for district attorney, drawing attacks from rivals on his integrity in what promises to be a bare-knuckled election fight to become L.A. County's top prosecutor. The announcement came after Trutanich insisted for months that he had not decided whether to formally enter the contest even as he raised nearly $1 million and sought political endorsements. Within minutes of Trutanich declaring his candidacy, a campaign strategist for county prosecutor Alan Jackson criticized Trutanich for violating his promise to voters during his successful 2009 city attorney's campaign not to seek higher office if he won. "It's a window into his soul that the man can't be trusted," said John Thomas, who is running Jackson's campaign but worked for Trutanich in 2009.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 2012 |
With the race for district attorney heating up, Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, the obvious front-runner, recently listed key supporters who endorse him, including the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Assn., the Los Angeles School Police Assn. and the National Assn. of Prosecuting Attorneys. The problem: It was news to them. Officials with the three law enforcement groups told The Times last week that they were surprised to learn that Trutanich has touted them as endorsers, saying their organizations have yet to formally decide whom, if anyone, to back, in this year's race to become the county's top prosecutor.