Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Candidate to Be Designated as ‘Lieutenant Colonel/Pilot’
By STEVEN M. ELLIS, Staff Writer
The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk yesterday accepted a ballot designation for judicial candidate Robert Davenport for the June 3 primary ballot after a Superior Court judge denied Davenport’s request to designate himself as a “Retired Criminal Prosecutor.”
A spokesperson for the registrar’s office confirmed that the designation “Lieutenant Colonel/Pilot” will appear under Davenport’s name on the ballot.
Judy W. Whitehurst of the County Counsel’s Office told the MetNews that Davenport came to the registrar’s Norwalk office and proposed the new designation later in the day after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David P. Yaffe denied his petition for a writ of mandate ordering the registrar to designate him as a “Retired Criminal Prosecutor” on the ballot.
One of three candidates in the race for Office No. 119, the Los Angeles Superior Court seat that was vacated last month by Judge Dzintra Janavs, Davenport had sought the writ after previously being denied the right to list himself as a “Retired Judge Advocate.”
The registrar had similarly rejected that designation two years ago when Davenport ran against then-Deputy City Attorney Daniel J. Lowenthal. Davenport ultimately ran as “Disabled Veteran/Attorney” in that race after the registrar also rejected “U.S. Judge Advocate.”
At the time, Lowenthal—who has endorsed Deputy District Attorney Jared D. Moses in the current race—said he did not believe Davenport’s designation was valid, because being a disabled veteran is not a “profession, vocation, or occupation,” as required under Sec. 13107 of the state Elections Code.
However, Lowenthal chose not to challenge the designation, and Davenport garnered 39 percent of the vote in the race.
The spokesperson for the registrar’s office was not able to specify the basis on which the office had concluded that Davenport’s proposed designation satisfies Sec. 13107’s requirement that it identify the profession, vocation or occupation that the candidates currently holds or held in the calendar year immediately preceding the filing of nomination documents, saying only that the designation has been “accepted.”
Court documents and military records indicate that Davenport—who filed his nomination documents on Feb. 13—was an active naval officer from 1973 to 1977 and a reserve officer from 1977 to 1982, which encompassed the years of his law school attendance. They also indicate that he was honorably discharged from the Navy for having twice failed to earn promotion.
Davenport applied to the Army Reserve and was commissioned a judge advocate in 1990. However, he was discharged in 2002 after a panel of officers found that he failed to advise the Army of his prior discharge and to obtain the waiver required when an officer discharged from another service branch seeks an Army Reserve commission.
The discharge was accompanied by other findings of misconduct and was originally labeled as being “under other than honorable conditions,” but was upgraded to honorable by a military review board in 2004.
Davenport, a Harvard Law School graduate who has been an inactive State Bar member since 1978 declined to comment on the matter, and copies of documentation he submitted to the registrar in support of his proposed designation could not immediately be obtained.
The other two candidates in the race, Moses and consumer law attorney Douglas Weitzman, both expressed surprise over Davenport’s designation.
“I’m not sure what that means,” Weitzman said. “I’m not sure that really explains what he does.”
Moses agreed, saying, “I don’t know what to make of it.”
Both Weitzman and Moses declined further comment.
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company