Thursday, April 7, 2016
Judge Rejects Schreiner ‘Gang Murder’ Designation
But O’Brien Says Candidate May Appear as ‘Gang Homicide Prosecutor’
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
A Los Angeles deputy district attorney running for Superior Court judge may be designated as a “Gang Homicide Prosecutor,” but not a “Gang Murder Prosecutor,” on the June 7 ballot, a judge ruled yesterday.
Retired Superior Court Judge Robert O’Brien, sitting on assignment, agreed with opponent Paul Kim that Steven Schreiner’s ballot designation is misleading, but accepted the similar-sounding alternate designation over Kim’s objection.
Kim is also a deputy district attorney and is running as “Gang Murder Prosecutor.” The other candidates for Office No. 11 are Deputy District Attorney Debra Archuleta and Jonathan Malek, a civil litigator.
Archuleta Tuesday won a ruling upholding her right to use her preferred designation, “Violent Crimes Prosecutor.” The four are running for a seat being opened as a result of Judge Michelle Rosenblatt not running for reelection.
In challenging Schreiner’s preferred designation, Kim argued that while Schreiner has prosecuted murder or other homicide cases involving defendants or victims who were gang members, such status “does not render a case a ‘Gang Murder’ or ‘Gang Homicide’ case and does not render the prosecutor who handles such a case a ‘Gang Murder’ or ‘Gang Homicide’ Prosecutor.”
Schreiner responded that although he was not a member of a specialized gang unit, his primary responsibility in the office is prosecuting homicide cases involving gang members. He told the MetNews in a recent interview that he was “called upon to do those kinds of cases, particularly if they’re difficult ones.”
O’Brien did not immediately issue a written ruling.
Kim said after yesterday’s hearing that there didn’t seem to be much difference between the rejected and accepted designations, and that he will talk to his attorney, Stephen Kaufman, about a possible appeal. Kaufman did not return a phone call late yesterday.
Schreiner’s attorney, Stuart Leviton, declined to comment, deferring to his client, who could not be reached.
Ballot designations for candidates in other races are:
•Office No. 42—E. Matthew Aceves (Child Molestation Prosecutor), Alicia Molina (Domestic Violence Attorney), Michael P. Ribons (Arbitrator/Attorney), and Cyndy Zuzga (Superior Court Commissioner).
•Office No. 60—Stepan W. Baghdassarian (Attorney at Law) and James A. Kaddo (Judge of the Superior Court).
•Office No. 84—Javier Perez (Supervising Criminal Prosecutor), Susan Jung Townsend (Criminal Fraud Prosecutor), Aaron J. Weissman (Small Business Attorney), and Hubert S. Yun (Gang Homicide Prosecutor).
•Office No. 120—Eric O. Ibisi (Attorney at Law) and Ray Santana (Superior Court Judge).
•Office No. 158—David A. Berger (Violent Crimes Prosecutor), Onica Valle Cole (Prosecutor), Naser “Nas” Khoury (Law Professor/Attorney), Fred Mesropi (Child Molestation Prosecutor), and Kim L. Nguyen (Deputy Attorney General).
•Office No. 165—Kathryn Ann Solorzano (Superior Court Judge) and Tami L. Warren (Violent Crimes Counsel).
Copyright 2016, Metropolitan News Company