Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Judicial Candidate Accuses Rival of Lying to Registrar-Recorder
Petition Filed on Behalf of Carter Says Matsumoto Untruthfully Represented That ‘Administrative Law Judge’ Is Her Current Occupation
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Deputy District Attorney
Attorneys for Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Amy Carter yesterday filed a petition for a writ of mandate asking that the Office of Registrar-Recorder be ordered to reject the proposed ballot designation of Carter’s rival in a judicial race, attorney Pamela Matsumoto, who wants to be billed as an “Administrative Law Judge.”
Matsumoto left that post in July of 2013 and is currently working as an attorney in the Glendale law office of Gregory Lucett, representing Allstate Insurance Company.
Yet, on a form filed with the Office of Registrar-Recorder on Feb. 27, a copy of which was attached to the writ petition, Matsumoto listed “Administrative Law Judge” next to the printed words: “Current or Most Recent Job Title.”
Her employment by Lucett pre-dated the form she filed (which was not executed under penalty of perjury). A Feb. 13 MetNews article, cited in the writ petition, reported that Matsumoto “recently took a job doing insurance defense work.”
She confirmed in an interview Thursday that she works for Lucett.
Elections Code Provision
Elections Code §13107(a)(3) permits a ballot designation 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.”
Although the section contains the alternative of a designation reflecting former pursuits, that alternative, attorney Bradley W. Hertz said in the writ petition, was intended to apply to candidates who are currently out of work,
“In 1991, according to data from the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics, unemployment was on an upward trend, and reached a peak in 1992,” he wrote, explaining that this accounted for the alternative being added in 1992.
Hertz asserted that “a candidate may reach back in time to disclose her principal professions, vocations, or occupations when she is retired, but a candidate may not ignore and hide from the voters her current principal professions, vocations, or occupations (i.e., insurance defense counsel) and instead use a more politically popular “former” job description (i.e., ALJ) from the candidate’s past.”
To allow that, he argued, would contravene the requirement of §13107 that a designation be rejected if it “would mislead the voter.”
Hertz pointed to a provision in the Code of Regulations which spells out:
“If the candidate is engaged in a profession, vocation or occupation at the time he or she files his or her nomination documents, the candidate’s proposed ballot designation is entitled to consist of the candidate’s current principal professions, vocations and occupations. In the event the candidate does not have a current principal profession, vocation or occupation at the time he or she files his or her nomination documents, the candidate may use a ballot designation consisting of his or her principal professions, vocations or occupations, which the candidate was principally engaged in during the calendar year immediately preceding the filing of the candidate’s nomination papers.”
Matsumoto acknowledged Thursday that a regulation has the force of law, but said that she did not know of the regulation (§20714) at the time she filed her papers. She told the MetNews she was considering signing a stipulation, presented to her by Hertz, that the designation be changed.
Efforts to reach Matsumoto since Thursday have been unsuccessful.
The petition notes:
“Petitioner provided Matsumoto with several opportunities to stipulate to amend her ALJ ballot designation without the need for contested litigation, but Matsumoto failed and refused to do so.”
Hertz, of The Sutton Law Firm, said the case was assigned to Judge James Chalfant. A hearing date was not immediately set, he noted, but pointed out that according to the Office of County Counsel, a decision has to be made by next Monday in light of printing deadlines.
Ballot designation disputes are statutorily entitled to priority over all other civil cases.
The case is Carter v. Logan, BS 147690.
Copyright 2014, Metropolitan News Company