Friday, May 9, 2014
Superior Court Issues New List of Commissioner Candidates
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Los Angeles Superior Court yesterday made public its list of candidates to fill future commissioner positions.
The list replaces one that was in effect from 2006 until last December. More than two dozen commissioners were elected from the list, the bulk of those between 2006 and 2009.
The list has largely been in disuse since then, due to budget constraints and to state legislation allowing the conversion of some vacant commissioner positions to judgeships. The last election using the list occurred more than two years ago, when Nicole Bershon and Eloise Phillips were elected.
Bershon took the post and was subsequently appointed a judge. Phillips declined her position, choosing to remain at the District Attorney’s Office rather than become the least senior commissioner amidst an uncertain budget situation.
Presiding Judge David Wesley explained when the previous list was revoked that future selectees would be assigned to child support enforcement proceedings. The court can then obtain funding for those positions from the federal government under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, so it will not impact the court’s budget, the judge said.
First on the new list is Nancy Ramirez, western regional counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. She is followed by Deputy Public Defender William L. Sadler; Robert Palazzolo of the Glendale firm Holmes & Holmes; Brenda Penny, a Culver City attorney who served as a probate attorney for the court; Superior Court Managing Research Attorney Nicole Heeseman; Terry Truong, a former court referee now at the County Counsel’s Office; Deputy Public Defender Terrance Lewis; Deputy Alternate Public Defender Barbara McDaniel; Pasadena attorney Valerie Skeba, a former referee; Glendale sole practitioner Scott J. Nord; Los Angeles attorney J. Christopher Smith; Bellflower practitioner Maria Puente-Porras; Deputy District Attorney Latonya Hadnot Prioleau; Woodland Hills sole practitioner Michelle Short-Nagel; and Deputy Public Defender Lisa Strassner.
Making up the rest of the list are Deputy Federal Public Defender Alicia Blanco; Montebello attorney Armando Duron; Administrative Law Judge Amy C. Yerkey; court staff attorney Nichelle Blackwell; dependency court attorney Timothy Martella; Agoura Hills attorney and former referee Marilyn Mordetzky; Michael Miller; Orange County Deputy Public Defender Sheryl Beasley; Amparo V. Sauceda; and Irvine attorney Doreen Boxer.
Martella and Truong have also had their names sent to the State Bar Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation as possible judicial appointees. Martella is married to Superior Court Judge Patricia Nieto.
The court, which offered an incentive program for commissioners to retire early at the end of 2011, has chosen no new subordinate judicial officers since then. No commissioners lost their jobs, but all of the court’s referees were laid off.
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