Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Major Crimes Prosecutor Alan Jackson Announces Bid to Succeed Cooley
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson said yesterday that he is running to become district attorney in 2012.
A spokesperson for Jackson told the MetNews that Jackson was announcing his candidacy because he did not think that District Attorney Steve Cooley would seek a fourth term in office.
Cooley last month lost his bid to become California attorney general, and in a news conference last week declined to rule out a bid for another four-year term. He indicated that he would run unless “a qualified person” steps forward to succeed him.
The district attorney said he wanted a “career prosecutor”—such as an assistant U.S. attorney or “preferably” a deputy district attorney—to succeed him if he did not run again, and commented that he did not want to allow “some politician-type occupy this seat.”
Jackson, currently assistant head deputy in the Major Crimes Division, said in a release that he “intends to run a dynamic and vigorous campaign to ensure that the DA’s office remains in the hands of a prosecutor, not a politician.” His spokesperson called Jackson the type of “credible and viable candidate” to which Cooley was referring, noting that Cooley had hand-picked Jackson, a 16-year veteran of the office, to prosecute a number of high-profile cases, including the murder trial of music producer Phil Spector.
The spokesperson said that Jackson had no intention of running against Cooley, but commented that Jackson did not anticipate his boss seeking another term based on Cooley’s public statements and on “private conversations” with the district attorney.
Cooley’s office yesterday referred calls to the spokesperson for his recent unsuccesful attorney general campaign, who could not be reached for comment.
Jackson attended the University of Texas after serving in the U.S. Air Force as a jet mechanic, and he joined the State Bar of California in 1994 after graduating from law school at Pepperdine.
He began his legal career in civil legal work with Rosoff, Schiffres & Barta, in Santa Monica, but joined the District Attorney’s Office in November 1994 after a hiring freeze was lifted.
Jackson joined the Major Crimes Division after spending five years prosecuting hardcore gang cases in Compton.
During his 16 years with the District Attorney’s Office, he won renown for successfully prosecuting the murder of auto-racing legend Mickey Thompson, who was shot and killed with his wife, Trudy, in front of their home in 1988 by two men hired by an embittered former business partner, Michael Goodwin. Jackson also helped to put behind bars the murderer of Lily Burk, the 17-year-old daughter of attorney Deborah Drooz, who was kidnapped and later killed inside her car last year in downtown Los Angeles.
The Association of Deputy District Attorneys gave Jackson its “Prosecutor of the Year” award in 2008, and the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Criminal Jusice Section gave him a similar award earlier this year.
Copyright 2010, Metropolitan News Company