Monday, June 13, 2011
Deputy D.A. Banished From Public Integrity Division
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A deputy district attorney who sought a job for her nephew from the law firm representing potential witnesses in a criminal case has been transferred from the Public Integrity Division, effective today, the MetNews has learned.
Last Monday, the Los Angeles Times revealed the job solicitation by Juliet Schmidt. A District Attorney’s Office spokesperson said that afternoon that Schmidt was still working in the PID—which was true, but only part of the picture.
That morning, she had been given a week to clear out her desk and wrap up matters, it has been ascertained. Today, she will go to work in the complaints division in the Central Bureau—a step down in prestige.
In a May 17 e-mail to Klinedinst, a Figueroa Street law firm, Schmidt said her nephew “is very interested in legal malpractice and would love the opportunity to join your firm,” adding:
“Please let me know if there is a possibility that he could get hired by your firm.”
In the same e-mail, Schmidt offered to supply a citation to legal authority that could benefit Klinedinst’s client.
Klinedinst is representing the law firm of Orbach, Huff and Suarez which is bracing for possible litigation over having given a green light to the Beverly Hills Unified School District to enter into a contract with Karen Christiansen. She is presently charged with conflict of interest violations and misappropriating $2.2 million from the district.
A Dec. 9, 2010, District Attorney’s Office press release says:
“Christiansen, who now lives in Las Vegas, was hired as a facilities director for the district in 2004 at an annual salary of $113,000. But in 2006, she allegedly secretly negotiated a contract to be an independent contractor while performing her same duties as director, a violation of state conflict of interest codes.”
The June 8 Times story revealing Schmidt’s pitch for her nephew quotes two law school professors—Laurie Levenson of Loyola and Robert Weisberg of Stanford—as questioning the lawyer’s judgment.
Copyright 2011, Metropolitan News Company