Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, August 22, 2001


Page 1


Former Judicial Candidate Tops List of Commissioner Nominees


By a MetNews Staff Writer


A former candidate for Los Angeles Superior Court judge is the highest-ranked contender for court commissioner.

Jeffrey Marckese, currently a full-time court referee sitting in Compton, confirmed yesterday that he earned the No. 1 ranking from a panel of judges that evaluated the more than 200 candidates who applied for the positions.

Under local court rules, the rankings will be used to form a list of candidates for the upcoming election to fill four vacancies, and for subsequent elections as well. This is the first list compiled since last year’s unification of the county’s trial courts, the previous Superior Court list having been compiled in 1997.

Judges are not required to elect the highest-ranked candidates, but Marckese said he “was very pleased and very satisfied” to learn of his No. 1 ranking. The election for the current vacancies is expected to take place within three weeks, he said.

Marckese said he was unaware of any other rankings, but sources close to the process told the MetNews that referees S. Robert Ambrose, Mitchell Beckloff, Melissa Widdifield and Jane Godfrey were in the top 10, referees Stephen Marpet and Guillermina Byrne in the top 20, and Referee Joel Wallenstein in the top 30.

Marckese ran for the Superior Court last year, losing to Katherine Mader. Wallenstein is also a former judicial candidate, having run unsuccessfully for the former Antelope Municipal Court in 1998.

Wallenstein was also a contributor to Marckese’s campaign against Mader, who  captured 56 percent of the vote to defeat Marckese and Commissioner Douglas Carnahan.

Marckese was rated well-qualified by the County Bar in that race, as were Carnahan and Mader. Mader had a Los Angeles Times endorsement, name recognition from her tenure as Los Angeles Police Department inspector general, and placement on a number of slate mailers, won a majority of the vote.

Marckese said he has also applied to Gov. Gray Davis for a judicial appointment, and isn’t ruling out another run for election.


Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company