Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Page 1


Yaroslavsky Appoints Retired Judge Lourdes Baird as Second Member of Special Jails Panel


By MARC B. HAEFELE, Staff Writer


Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky has appointed former U.S. District Judge Lourdes G. Baird to the county’s newly created five-member Commission on Jail Violence.

“Judge Baird is a person of impeccable integrity, wisdom and independence,” Yaroslavsky said in a statement.

“As this region’s top federal prosecutor and one of the most respected federal judges in the district, she earned a reputation as a straight shooter who lets the facts dictate her conclusions,” Yaroslavsky said. “Los Angeles County, the Sheriff’s Department and the jail and county taxpayers will be well served by her appointment to the commission.”

Baird is the second person to be appointed to the panel, authorized by the board on Oct. 18 in the face of widespread reports of rising violence in the county’s Men’s Jail, which is run under the auspices of the Sheriff’s Department and crewed by deputies. The facility’s alleged problems have also been investigated by the FBI.

The other three county supervisors have yet to make public each of their own choices for a member to sit on the five-person special panel; according to board papers, they have until today to submit a choice.

County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, who chairs the Board of Supervisors, made known his choice for the panel on Oct. 17th, the day before the board passed the measure authorizing the panel’s creation. Antonovich chose retired U.S. District Judge Dickran Tevrizian to serve on the panel.

He said he strongly endorsed Yaroslavsky’s choice of Baird.“These two distinguished judges bring vast knowledge and objective viewpoints for a thorough evaluation and corrective actions to restore public trust,” Antonovich said.

Baird began her legal career at age 41 as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Central District of California, where she served for seven years. After three years in private practice with the firm of Baird, Munger and Myers, she was appointed first, by then-Gov. George Deukmejian,  to the Los Angeles Municipal Court  in 1987 and then, also by Deukmejian, to  the Los Angeles Superior Court in 1988.

She was then recommended by then-U.S. Sen. Pete Wilson for the post of U.S. attorney for the Central District, to which she was appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1990.

In 1992, Bush tapped her to become he first woman judge of the district court. She served there for 13 years before stepping down to become a private judge.

An alumna of UCLA Law School, Baird has attained that institution’s Alumnus of the Year Award. The native of Ecuador is a member of the Mexican American Bar Association, the Latino Judges Association and the National Association of Women Judges.


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