Thursday, January 24, 2008
Deputy District Attorney Michael O’Gara to Seek Judgeship
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
Michael J. O’Gara said yesterday he will run for an open seat on the Los Angeles Superior Court, becoming the fourth deputy district attorney to do so.
O’Gara, 43, a prosecutor for nearly 17 years, said he had not yet targeted a specific seat, but would probably not run against a court commissioner. “I want to give them the respect that they’re due,” he told the MetNews.
Two commissioners have declared—James Bianco for the seat of retiring Judge Daniel S. Pratt and Harvey Silberman for that of retiring Judge Dzintra Janavs—and others have said they are considering running.
O’Gara, who currently prosecutes employers who fraudulently underreport their payrolls in order to reduce their workers’ compensation premiums, previously spent five years as calendar deputy in Superior Court Judge Marsha Ravel’s downtown courtroom and before that spent several years doing trials, including four years prosecuting violent crimes before various judges in Pasadena.
“I was contemplating [running] last election and I’ve been thinking more seriously about it in the last year or so,” he explained. He has been soliciting support from fellow prosecutors, he said, adding that several judges responded favorably to endorsement requests but want to wait until the field of candidates is set.
Monday will be the first day for candidates to file declarations of intent to run. The deadline is Feb. 6, except that there will be a five-day extension in which non-incumbents may file for any seat in which there is an incumbent judge who has not filed.
A candidate may file declarations for multiple seats, but must pay a separate filing fee or file signatures in lieu of a filing fee for each seat.
Feb. 11, in addition to being the last day of the extension period, is the first day that candidates who have filed declarations of intent to run may return their declarations of candidacy and other nominating documents. Doing so commits a candidate to run for that particular seat and no others.
O’Gara said he has not yet begun raising funds and did not know how much he would have to spend on a campaign. He said he was in talks with potential consultants.
He is a 1990 Southwestern Law School graduate, with an undergraduate degree from UCLA.
In other election news yesterday:
•State Deputy Attorney General Robert Henry, who ran for the Superior Court in 1992, 2004, and 2006, told the MetNews he may try again. But he will not make a decision before the five-day extension period begins Feb. 7, he said.
•Deputy Attorney General Lance Winters, who had earlier begun the process of soliciting signatures to run for the Pratt seat, became the first candidate to take out papers to run for the seat being vacated by Judge Alan Kalkin, who is also retiring.
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company