Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, December 8, 2003


Page 1


Field of Opponents of Wesley, Oki Thins at Deadline


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Several candidates who filed declarations of intent to challenge the re-election of Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Dan Oki and David Wesley did not return nomination documents by Friday’s deadline.

Only two of three potential opponents to Wesley, and only three of six to Oki, finalized their candidacies.

Wesley, the supervising judge of the criminal courts downtown, now faces Deputy District Attorney Daniel Lee Bershin and Herbert R. Lapin, a retired prosecutor who submitted the ballot designation “Crime Victim Advocate.” Kevin Burke, a former Orange County prosecutor who is now a Los Angeles police officer, did not return papers.

Burke had recently equivocated about running. He said he was first attracted to the race after reading a transcript of certain court proceedings that took place on May 28, suggesting that Wesley was involved in a decision to close an arraignment court early, leading to the release of a number of suspects.

But Burke said that after reading Wesley’s account of what transpired, he was unclear whether Wesley, who was assistant supervising judge, had actually participated in the decision or was merely delivering a message from then-Supervising Judge Dan T. Oki to the commissioner running the arraignment court.

Another candidate who declared for Wesley’s seat, Deputy District Attorney David Lopez, had dropped out earlier to seek an open seat.

In the race against Oki, who now has a civil assignment, the remaining candidates are Deputy District Attorneys Mark Debbaudt and Hillary Rhonan and Eugene Salute, an Encino lawyer who plans to run as Attorney/Temporary Judge.

The “Temporary Judge” portion of the designation is likely to be challenged, Oki campaign consultant Fred Huebscher said.

No longer running against Oki are Deputy District Attorneys Bradford Stone and  Kenneth Kahn and Superior Court Research Attorney Kevin Notre.

The complete list of Los Angeles Superior Court candidates for the March 2 primary, with ballot designations as submitted by the candidates, is:

•Office No. 18—Pat Campbell, Criminal Prosecutor/Professor; Miguel A. Dager, Deputy City Attorney; Daniel Feldstern, Criminal Trial Prosecutor, and Mildred Escobedo, Judicial Officer. 

•Office No. 29— Gus Gomez, Deputy Attorney General; Jeffrey S. Gootman, Deputy District Attorney; Edward Nison, Criminal Prosecutor/Instructor; Lori Jones, Criminal Prosecutor; Larry H. Layton, Law School Professor; and C. Edward Mack, Trial Attorney.

•Office No. 52—Larry Diamond, Criminal Prosecutor; John C. Gutierrez, Administrative Law Judge; Laura F. Priver, Criminal Prosecutor.

•Office No. 53—David Lopez, Criminal Prosecutor; Craig Jordan Mitchell, Criminal Prosecutor; Craig Renetzky, Criminal Trial Prosecutor; Robert Henry, California State Prosecutor; Michael D. Shook, Attorney at Law; and Daniel Zeke Zeidler, Superior Court Referee.

•Office No. 67—Daniel K. Dik, Civil Litigation Attorney, and Richard W. Van Dusen, Judge of The Superior Court.

•Office No. 69—P. Michael Erwin, California State Attorney; Donna Groman, Superior Court Commissioner; Judith Levey Meyer, Deputy District Attorney; Carol Najera, Criminal Prosecutor; and Mitchell W. Roth, Trial Attorney.

•Office No. 72—Daniel Lee Bershin, Criminal Prosecutor; Herbert R. Lapin, Crime Victim Advocate; and David S. Wesley, Judge of the Superior Court.

•Office No. 95—Mark Debbaut, Deputy District Attorney; Daniel T. Oki, Judge of the Superior Court Of California;  Hillary Rhonan, Criminal Prosecutor; Eugene Salute, Attorney/Temporary Judge.

•Office No. 111—Chesley N. McKay, Jr., Judge of the Superior Court; Stella L. Owens-Murrell, State Attorney.


Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company