Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Superior Court Candidate Defends ‘Prosecutor’ Designation
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A candidate for Los Angeles Superior Court judge has defended his right to call himself a “Deputy City Prosecutor” on the June 3 primary ballot.
B. Otis Felder, a candidate for the seat being vacated by Judge Michael Nash, told the MetNews Friday night that he is entitled to use the designation because he was a fulltime prosecutor in the Volunteer Attorney Training Program run by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office from March of last year until he became a candidate last month.
Felder was responding to comments earlier Friday, and included in a story in yesterday’s MetNews, by Brendan Huffman. The political consultant is advising Deputy District Attorney Dayan Mathai, who is running for the same seat.
Huffman said the issue may be litigated through a writ petition. A third candidate, Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Jacqueline H. Lewis, is also seeking the office.
Although he is a certified specialist in admiralty and maritime law, and lists that as his area of practice on the State Bar’s website, Felder said he has not practiced in the field in the past year.
“The court has been telling juries that I’m a prosecutor,” he said. “…I’ve prosecuted over 50 assigned cases, including jury trials.”
He cited Elections Code §13107, which allows the use as a ballot title of “[n]o more than three words designating either the current principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate, or the principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate during the calendar year immediately preceding the filing of nomination documents.”
Another judicial candidate whose ballot designation may be challenged, Pamala F. Matsumoto, declined yesterday to discuss the substance of a potential challenge to her designation of “Administrative Law Judge,” and would wait to see what, if anything, is eventually filed in court. Fred Huebscher, the consultant for her opponent, Deputy District Attorney Amy Carter, said Friday a challenge was under consideration.
Matsumoto is one of the former fulltime Superior Court referees let go because of budget cuts in 2012. She subsequently worked for the state in a fixed-term administrative law judge position that ended last year, and is now employed by a Glendale law office that represents insureds of Allstate Insurance Company.
Similarly positioned to Matsumoto is Arnold William Mednick, who is running for another Superior Court seat. The former referee, who served as an ALJ in the same program as Matsumoto, explained that he has not worked since his appointment expired in January of last year, and that he has been actively seeking either a full-time position as a quasi-judicial officer or teaching law.
His opponent, Deputy District Attorney Andrew Cooper, declined to comment for publication yesterday on the possibility of a challenge.
The final, official list of candidates for judicial office in the primary, as posted late Friday by the Registrar-Recorder’s Office, is:
•Office No. 22, Carter (Sex Crimes Prosecutor) and Matsumoto (Administrative Law Judge) for the seat of Judge Michael Solner, who retired last month.
•Office No. 48, Charles Calderon (Retired Lawmaker Assembly member) and Carol Rose (Sex Crimes Prosecutor), for the seat now held by Judge Ronald Sohigan, who is retiring in April.
•Office No. 54, Shannon L. Knight (Gang Homicide Prosecutor) and Debra L. Losnick (Superior Court Commissioner), for the seat now held by Judge Lance Ito.
•Office No. 61, Felder (Deputy City Prosecutor), Lewis (Superior Court Commissioner), and Mathai (Gang Homicide Prosecutor), for the seat now held by Judge Michael Nash.
•Office No. 76, Alison Matsumoto Estrada (Government Corruption Prosecutor) and Helen Kim (Violent Crimes Prosecutor), for the seat now held by Judge Harvey Giss.
•Office No. 87, Tom Griego (Criminal Gang Prosecutor), Steven P. Schreiner (Gang Homicide Prosecutor) and Andrew M. Stein (Gang Homicide Attorney), for the seat now held by Judge Rex Heeseman.
•Office No. 97, Teresa P. Magno (Gang Murder Prosecutor), and Songhai “Sunny” Armstead (Supervising Criminal Prosecutor), for the seat formerly held by Judge David Milton, who retired last month.
•Office No. 107, Emma Castro (Superior Court Commissioner) and Joan M. Chrostek (Major Narcotics Prosecutor), for the seat now held by Judge Bob S. Bowers Jr.
•Office No. 113, Steven Klaif (Superior Court Referee) and Stacy Wiese (Criminal Homicide Prosecutor), for the seat now held by Judge R. Bruce Minto, who is retiring this month.
•Office No. 117, Carol Najera (Gang Criminal Prosecutor) and James B. Pierce (Judge of the Superior Court).
•Office No. 138, Marc A. Gibbons (Trial Attorney) and Donna Hollingsworth Armstrong (Gang Homicide Prosecutor), for the seat now held by Judge Carlos Uranga.
•Office No. 157, Cooper (Gang Homicide Prosecutor) and Mednick (Administrative Law Judge), for the seat formerly held by Judge Jessica Perrin Silvers, who retired last month.
Copyright 2014, Metropolitan News Company