Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, February 13, 2014


Page 1


Andrew Stein Says He Will Skirt Race Against Ex-Senator Calderon

Defense Lawyer Touts Endorsement of Former District Attorney Cooley




Criminal defense lawyer Andrew M. Stein said yesterday he will definitely be a candidate for the Los Angeles Superior Court seat now held by Judge Rex Heeseman.

Stein, who had filed a declaration of intent to run in that contest last week, hedged his bet early Monday by also filing for the seat now held by Judge Ronald Sohigian. Former state Senate Majority Leader Charles Calderon shook up that race when he filed his declaration of intent last Thursday.

But Stein said yesterday he was going to stick with his original plan, which will pit him against Deputy District Attorney Steven Schreiner and Assistant City Attorney Tom Griego. And he touted the endorsement of former District Attorney Steve Cooley.

‘Skilled Lawyer’ and Friend

The county’s former chief prosecutor told the MetNews he had endorsed the former president of the Criminal Courts Bar Association because Stein is a friend as well as a “skilled lawyer.” Stein, he predicted, would “do what many lawyers do when they become judges, be a good neutral and run an efficient courtroom and make good judicial decisions.”

As for the deputy district attorney in that race, Cooley said he does not know Schreiner personally and had not been asked to endorse him. “I always reserve the right to co-endorse if I choose to do so,” he added.

With Stein out of the way, the remaining potential opponents to Calderon include Deputy District Attorneys Amy Carter, Efrain Aceves, Carol Rose, and Helen Kim. But it appears that only one or two of those will actually run in that race.

Candidates for judge may file multiple declarations of intent, but must commit to a specific race by returning nominating documents by the end of the nominating period, which this year is on March 7.

Many Seats

Carter filed declarations of intent to run for four seats, but has only taken out the nominating documents for one of them, the seat from which Judge Michael Solner is retiring next week. She said Monday she was “99.9 percent sure” that was the race she would run in.

Kim filed in eight seats, but seemed unlikely to run in a large field. The other contests in which she filed had only one or two potential opponents.

Aceves, the first candidate to file for the seat, and the only prosecutor to do so before Monday, expressed frustration with the way events unfolded in the last days of the declaration-of-intent period.

It was upsetting, he said, that “career politicians are seeking to come in and buy a race,” and that “our D.A.s treat this office so politically, [when it] should be above all these types of politics.” He said he was “not sure” whether he would stay in the race.

That left Rose as the only candidate saying she would definitely run against Calderon.

“I’m running on my reputation,” the 34-year prosecutor said. “I’m running on my experience.”

She noted that she has about 37 years of litigation experience, having practiced civil law for three years before joining the District Attorney’s Office. She said she has had “well over 500 jury trials” and has spoken and been interviewed by various media outlets as an expert on childhood sexual abuse and sexual harassment, and has been an adjunct professor at UCLA and Loyola law schools.

She also served on the county’s Judicial Procedures Commission. She said she has just retained David Gould as her campaign consultant.

Former Referee

In other news, attorney and former Superior Court Referee Pamala Matsumoto—another last-day filer—confirmed that she intends to return papers for the Solner seat, setting up a likely head-to-head confrontation with Carter.

Matsumoto was among more than a dozen referees laid off in July 2012, and subsequently served as a short-term administrative law judge, hearing benefits cases. That assignment ended last August, and she recently took a job doing insurance defense work.

She said she did not know how much money she will be able to raise for a race against Carter, who has reported having more than $500,000 on hand. Matusmoto said she would not hire a campaign consultant.


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