Monday, March 18, 2013
Longtime Lawyer Baldo M. Kristovich Dies at 98
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Longtime lawyer and former Los Angeles County Public Administrator/Public Guardian Baldo M. Kristovich has died.
Social Security records show that Kristovich, whose death has not been previously reported, passed away March 1 at the age of 98.
Kristovich, a graduate of Loyola University and Loyola Law School, was admitted to the State Bar in 1938 and remained an active member until his death.
He worked in the Los Angeles county counsel’s office—future Gov. George Deukmejian was a colleague—and was one of 31 candidates for appointment as district attorney in 1956 following the death of S. Ernest Roll.
That appointment went to William McKesson, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, but Kristovich was appointed by the Board of Supervisors as public administrator/public guardian in 1960. He held the post for 11 years, but his tenure ended in controversy after an investigation showed that he had personally sold automobiles from estates under his administration to his brother and to an auctioneer who conducted sales on behalf of his department.
While such sales were not illegal, Kristovich was found to have concealed the true identities of the purchasers by providing false names to the property management division of his office.
He was indicted on charges of grand theft, embezzlement, perjury, and creation of false evidence in 1972.
As explained in In re Kristovich (1976) 18 Cal.3d 468, Kristovich was acquitted on the grand theft and embezzlement charges, and the false-evidence charges were dismissed following an appeal, but he was convicted on two counts of perjury and committed to prison for a diagnostic study.
He was subsequently released on five years’ unsupervised probation. His license to practice law was suspended for three months by the state Supreme Court.
He was active in local legal organizations. His daughter, Marlene Kristovich, served on the Los Angeles Superior Court prior to her retirement in 2011, and his son, Thomas Baldo Kristovich, is an inactive member of the State Bar.
A number of other family members are attorneys, including niece Theresa Kristovich, a partner at Gordon & Rees LLP.
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