Judge Orders Registrar to Restore Ballot Designation As ‘State Criminal Prosecutor’ to Candidate Henry
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court candidate Bob Henry is entitled to keep his requested ballot designation of “State Criminal Prosecutor,” Judge Dzintra Janavs ruled Friday.
Henry rushed to court to file a writ petition after being informed on Dec. 31 that the registrar of voters had rejected the designation that she had accepted more than three weeks earlier.
“The registrar in this case has really dropped the ball very, very seriously,” Janavs said. The registrar’s attorney, Deputy County Counsel Judy W. Whitehurst, voiced no objection to the judge’s comment.
The registrar’s belated objection was that the title might mislead voters into thinking that Henry’s role in the criminal justice system—he’s a deputy state attorney general, arguing appeals and writs in death penalty cases in state and federal courts—is more extensive than it really is.
While restoring Henry’s designation, however, the judge upheld the registrar’s similarly timed decision to list Deputy District Attorney Craig Jordan Mitchell—one of Henry’s five opponents for the seat being vacated by Judge Rosemary Shumsky—simply as “Criminal Prosecutor.” Mitchell had requested the designation “Criminal Prosecutor, Los Angeles County.”
“I don’t think I can [order the registrar to accept Mitchell’s preferred designation] in the posture the case is in now,” the judge said, explaining that Mitchell should have filed his own writ petition rather than asking for relief in his response to Henry’s petition.
The judge agreed with Whitehurst that consideration of Mitchell’s position on the merits would impair the rights of the other candidates, none of whom briefed the issue or appeared at the hearing.
Janavs’ ruling apparently finalizes the ballot for the judicial contests in the March 2 primary, since the ballot was scheduled to go to the printer Saturday.
The final list of candidates, with names and designations as they will appear on the ballot, is:
•Office No. 18—Pat Campbell, Criminal Prosecutor; Miguel Angel Dager, Deputy City Attorney; Mildred Escobedo, Superior Court Referee; Daniel Feldstern, Criminal Prosecutor.
•Office No. 29—Gus Gomez, Deputy Attorney General; Jeffrey S. Gootman, Criminal Prosecutor; Edward Nison, Criminal Prosecutor/Instructor; Lori Jones, Criminal Prosecutor; Larry H. Layton, Law School Professor; C. Edward Mack, Trial Attorney.
•Office No. 52—Larry Diamond, Criminal Prosecutor; John C. Gutierrez, Administrative Law Judge; Laura Priver, Criminal Prosecutor.
•Office No. 53—Bob Henry, State Criminal Prosecutor; David Lopez, Criminal Prosecutor; Craig Jordan Mitchell, Criminal Prosecutor; Craig Allen Renetzky, Criminal Trial Prosecutor; Michael D. Shook, Attorney at Law; Daniel Zeke Zeidler, Superior Court Referee.
•Office No. 67—Daniel K. Dik, Civil Litigation Attorney; Richard W. Van Dusen, Judge of The Superior Court.
•Office No. 69—P. Michael Erwin, Criminal Prosecutor; Donna Groman, Superior Court Commissioner; Judith Levey Meyer, Deputy District Attorney; Carol Najera, Criminal Prosecutor; Mitchell W. Roth, Trial Attorney.
•Office No. 72—Daniel Lee Bershin, Criminal Prosecutor; Kevin M. Burke, Police Sergeant; Herbert R. Lapin, Crime Victim Advocate; David S. Wesley, Judge of the Superior Court.
•Office No. 95—Mark Debbaudt, Deputy District Attorney; Dan Thomas Oki, Judge of the Superior Court; Hilary Anne Rhonan, Criminal Prosecutor; Eugene M. Salute, Attorney.
•Office No. 111—Chesley N. McKay, Jr., Judge of the Superior Court; Stella L. Owens-Murrell, Civil Litigation Attorney.
Copyright 2004, Metropolitan News Company