Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, January 10, 2018


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Candidates Coletta, Cole Stake Out Los Angeles Superior Court Seats


By a MetNews Staff Writer



Los Angeles Deputy D.A.


Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney


Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Alfred Coletta will be running for Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 4, the seat being vacated by Judge Roy Paul who is retiring Feb. 16, and Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney Onica Cole yesterday picked up a declaration of intent to run for Office No. 67, now held by Judge Donna Goldstein who plans to leave the bench around the end of March.

Coletta’s political consultant, David Gould (who is also representing Cole), on Monday filed a “signatures in lieu” of filing fee petition on behalf of Coletta.

Both candidates have been campaigning for several months and each has a campaign website.

Yesterday was the first day declarations of intent were available.

Office Accepts Signatures

The  period for filing declarations begins Jan. 29 and ends Feb. 7—except that where an incumbent judge does not file, the period is extended by five days.

Nominating papers must be filed between Feb. 9 and March 12, but if a judge who filed a declaration of intent does not file the nominating papers, there is another five-day extension.

Paul and Goldstein are two of three judges who are up for reelection this year and have indicated they are not running. The other is Judge Carol Rehm.

Judge William Willet remains mum as to his plans. It was earlier believed he would not be seeking reelection in light of ill health.

Candidates’ Backgrounds

Coletta has been a deputy district attorney for nearly 30 years. He won convictions in more than 120 felony jury trials, 40 of which involved homicides.

Before becoming a prosecutor, he was a deputy county counsel—and before that, was an aerospace engineer.

He attended California State University at Los Angeles and went on to receive a law degree from Western State University. Coletta was admitted to practice in 1987.

He is a past president of the Italian American Lawyers Association.

Cole is a second-time candidate. Two years ago, she came in last in the primary in a five-person race for an open seat.

Her undergraduate degree is from Yale and her law degree is from Loyola. She was admitted to practice in 1998.

Possible Candidate

Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. De Jute of the Central District of California has been raising funds for a possible run for a Superior Court seat.

Two would-be candidates—Shlomo Frieman, an attorney who practices out of his home, and Klint James McKay, an administrative law judge for the California Department of Social Services in Sacramento, took out signature “in lieu” petitions for five offices that were vacant and scheduled to be filled by voters. However, Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. on Dec. 22 made appointments to those offices.

Candidate Handbook

Confusion is apt to be spawned by an advisement in Registrar Recorder’s Office candidate handbook that ballot designations, other than for elected officials, must be comprised of “[n]o more than three words to either describe the current principal profession, vocation, or occupation of the candidate or the principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate during the calendar year immediately preceding the filing of nomination documents.”

That is no longer true, with respect to judicial candidates. Under SB 235, enacted last year and effective Jan. 1, a deputy district attorney employed by this county, for example, would be identified as “County of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney.”

A spokesperson for the Registrar Recorder’s Office said yesterday that the handbook “is intentionally general, not specific.” She said that SB 235’s “updates” Elections Code §13107 “regarding what designations judicial candidates may or may not use on the ballot are listed on the required Ballot Designation Worksheet which will be distributed to candidates during the nomination period.”


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