Friday, January 29, 2010
Judge Emily Stevens to Forgo Re-Election Bid, Prosecutor Garcia Seeks Seat
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Emily A. Stevens will not run for re-election and will retire before her term ends next January, the MetNews has learned.
Stevens, 61, has been a judge since 1990 and will be eligible for maximum retirement benefits in October. She has been on leave recently, and several sources said she has been caring for her husband, who is seriously ill.
Efforts to reach Stevens for comment have been unsuccessful, but a source at the court, who asked for anonymity because he was not authorized to speak officially, confirmed rumors that she had decided not to seek another term.
Stevens, a graduate of Pitzer College with an M.B.A. and a law degree from UCLA, was a deputy city and assistant city attorney in Los Angeles between 1976 and 1987, and was named to the Los Angeles Municipal Court by then-Gov. George Deukmejian in December 1987.
She survived an election challenge in June 1990, and was elevated to the Superior Court by Deukmejian in September of that year.
Stevens’ decision means there will be at least three open seats up for grabs in the June 8 primary. Judge William Pounders has announced he will leave office at the end of his term, and Judge William Weisman has slated a May 11 retirement.
Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Chris Garcia yesterday became the first candidate to take out papers to run for Stevens’ seat. He said he is “in six figures” in fundraising—reports are due Monday—and has hired professional fundraiser Stephanie Daly Smith to work on his campaign, along with the consulting firm Cerrell Associates.
Garcia, who until recently was also a special assistant U.S. attorney, added that he has the endorsements of three Superior Court judges who are former City Attorney’s Office colleagues—Deborah Sanchez, George Lomelli, and Daniel Lowenthal—as well as Sheriff Lee Baca.
Others who have taken out papers to run for open seats are Deputy District Attorney Alan Schneider, who is seeking to succeed Pounders, and Deputy District Attorney Valerie Salkin, who is hoping to capture the Weisman seat. Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Thomas Griego said he will also run for Weisman’s seat.
Glendale attorney Marvin Fischler took out papers to run for the seat of Judge Laura Matz, the only incumbent to draw a challenger so far. Others who have said they are looking to run for open seats include Calabasas solo practitioner William M. Margolin; Deputy District Attorneys Laurie Trammell Castaneda and Lou Holtz Jr.; Beverly Hills attorney Mark K. Ameli; Pasadena personal injury attorney Anthony de los Reyes; Los Angeles Superior Court Referee Randolph M. Hammock; and West Los Angeles attorney and mediator Elizabeth A. Moreno.
The declaration-of-intent filing period for judicial candidates begins Monday and runs through Feb. 10, with an extension to Feb. 16 for the open seats.
Copyright 2010, Metropolitan News Company