Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, April 26, 2002


Page 3


Board to Consider Naming New Lancaster Courthouse for Antonovich


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Board of Supervisors is set to name the as-yet unopened courthouse in Antelope Valley after one of its own, Supervisor Mike Antonovich.

Los Angeles Superior Court Executive Officer/Clerk John Clarke and county Chief Administrator David Janssen on March 29 sent the board a request to rename nearly a dozen former municipal court buildings, and to designate the new court building in Lancaster the Michael D. Antonovich Antelope Valley Courthouse.

The matter comes before the board Tuesday.

The county has long honored retiring members of the board by naming parks, buildings or other facilities after them, but generally has followed a policy of waiting until members leave office.

But there is a precedent. Supervisor Ed Edelman was still in office in 1992 when the new children’s courthouse in Monterey Park was named for him.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Frank Jackson, who is assigned to the Palmdale Courthouse, said he brought the idea of naming the new courthouse for Antonovich to the Lancaster and Palmdale city councils, which both endorsed the plan and asked the board to support it.

“I thought it was a good idea, since [Antonovich] has been the one that has been most involved in getting this courthouse for us from the inception,’ Jackson said.

Antonovich was unavailable for comment. But Jean Huston, his justice deputy, said the supervisor has worked for years to assure that funding is made available for a courthouse in the Antelope Valley

As for whether he was concerned that the building was to be named for him while he is still serving on the board, Huston responded:

“He’s just happy that they’re opening the courthouse up there. It’s been needed for years.’

The move would be the latest in a spate of courthouse renaming. Earlier this year, the massive Criminal Courts Building in downtown Los Angeles was renamed the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center for the state’s first woman attorney, who also served as the county’s first woman deputy district attorney and originated the idea of public defender offices.

The Central Courthouse is son to be renamed for the late Stanley Mosk, the longest-serving member of the state Supreme Court and a former Los Angeles Superior Court judge.

The motion before the board Tuesday also calls for an allocation of $500,000 to change signage on former municipal courthouses now named for now non-existent judicial districts. Under the measure, the Citrus Courthouse, for example, would be renamed the West Covina Courthouse.

One Southeast Court would become the Huntington Park Courthouse, while the other would become the South Gate Courthouse. Rio Hondo would become the El Monte Courthouse, Culver would become the Culver City Courthouse, and Los Cerritos would become the Bellflower Courthouse.

One South Bay Municipal Court building would become the Torrance Courthouse. The other would become the Redondo Beach Courthouse.

The Newhall Municipal Court building, which is not in Newhall, would become the Santa Clarita Courthouse. The tiny Santa Anita Municipal Courthouse, several miles from Santa Anita, would become the Monrovia Courthouse.

The Los Angeles Superior Court formerly was formerly funded mostly by county government, but now is a creature of the state, although a portion of funding continues to come from the county. But the buildings are owned, and can be renamed, by the county.


Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company