Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Molina Appoints Retired Justice Carlos Moreno to County Panel
By MARC B. HAEFELE, Staff Writer
First District Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina yesterday named retired state Supreme Court Justice Carlos R. Moreno to the county’s new Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence.
The appointment of Moreno, who served 10 years on California’s high court, and before that on the federal district bench, brings to three the number of former federal judges named to the five-member panel which the board authorized Oct. 18.
Molina said “Justice Moreno’s breadth of experience, intellect, integrity and judicial temperament will be a vital and necessary component in the commission’s work of reviewing use of force by deputies in the jails and recommending appropriate corrective action.”
The motion came last month in response to widespread reporting on rising violence in the county jails and the downtown Men’s Central Jail in particular, specifically of the sheriff’s deputies who serve as guards against the inmates.
An FBI investigation also asserted there was a high level of institutional violence as well as other administrative irregularities. The motion mentioned yesterday as the date for submissions of names for the five-member panel, one from each supervisor. But so far only Molina, Third District Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and Fifth District Supervisor Mike Antonovich have announced their candidates for the panel.
Yaroslavsky chose retired U.S. District Judge Lourdes G. Baird and Antonovich picked retired U.S. District Judge Dickran Tevrizian. Both are now private judges, while Moreno is with Irell & Manella.
Fourth District Supervisor Don Knabe’s spokeswoman Cheryl Burnett said that Knabe was working hard on choosing a candidate, but wasn’t prepared to announce his choice yet yesterday. Calls to Second District Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas were not returned.
Molina noted that Moreno “has personally visited some of our county jail facilities—including Twin Towers, Men’s Central Jail and the Century Regional Detention Center in Lynwood—as well as several federal and state prisons.”
Moreno graduated from Yale University in 1970 and got his law degree from Stanford in 1975. He began practicing in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, then entered private practice before his appointment to the Compton Municipal Court by then-Gov. George Deukmejian in 1986.
In 1993, then-Gov. Pete Wilson appointed him to the Los Angeles County Superior Court. In 1998, President Clinton named him to the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California.
In 2001, then-Gov. Gray Davis appointed him to the California Supreme Court, from which he retired Feb. 28. He is 62.
Final approval of the complete five-member county panel is slated for next Tuesday.
Copyright 2011, Metropolitan News Company