Governor Names Antelope Valley Defense Lawyer to Parole Board
By a MetNews Staff Writer
An attorney with the Los Angeles Alternate Public Defender’s Office has been named to the state board that hears parole disputes.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday tapped Richard Loa, 55, for a seat on the state Board of Prison Terms. Loa has been with the APD’s office since 1994 and was with the Alternate Defense Counsel for five years before that.
Loa is also a member of the Palmdale City Council, a post he said he will keep after taking up his new duties April 19. The city, he said, faces a number of challenges that he wants to deal with, including the fact that it is one of the few cities of more than 100,000 people without a hospital.
It is rare for a criminal defense lawyer to be named to the Board of Prison Terms, Loa said. But Schwarzenegger, who he campaigned for, “wants a good mix of individuals to carry out his polices,” the appointee said, adding that he was “gratified” the governor was willing to take whatever political risk was perceived to be involved.
Loa added that he will miss the APD. He enjoys the work, he said, adding that he is grateful to Alternate Public Defender Janice Fukai for allowing him the flexibility to serve in public office, traveling to various meetings while also serving his clients.
“I really have mixed feelings [about leaving.],” he said. But serving on the board “is something I want to do,” especially because of his high regard for Schwarzenegger. He noted that he took 40 days’ worth of vacation and unpaid leave to work on the new governor’s campaign.
Loa has worked as an attorney since 1977 when he worked for Legal Services Corporation in Corpus Christi, Texas. Upon returning to Los Angeles, the UCLA School of Law graduate engaged in private practice from 1977 through 1989.
He is also a licensed real estate broker and a Republican activist. He chairs the Antelope Valley chapter of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, is on the state and national executive boards of the RNHA, is a member of the California Republican Party Central Committee, and has been selected as a delegate to the 2004 Republican National Convention.
Copyright 2004, Metropolitan News Company