Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Dennis P. Vincent
Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 67
There are two contenders in this race who are able: State Bar Court Judge Mary Lucy Armendariz and Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Dennis P. Vincent.
Armendariz is, however, a bit cagey. On her website, she is billed as “Judge Lucy Armendariz,” using the slogans, in huge letters, “Proven Judicial Experience” and “Experience Matters.” This strongly implies Superior Court incumbency-though “State Bar Court of California” does appear, inconspicuously, elsewhere on the page. Catchy headlines are more apt to be read than fine print.
Heading her list of endorsers are 33 politicians, with their names in bold-face; there later appear 10 names under the heading “Superior Court Judges,” in light-face. Armendariz apparently values more highly the backing of state and local politicos—many of whom are not attorneys—than members of the court she aspires to join. She has, however, had more experience dealing with politicians than judges.
MONG THE JUDGES LISTED as endorsers is “Hon. LaDoris H. Cordell (Ret.).” It is not disclosed on the website that Cordell was not a judge in this county, but sat on the Santa Clara Superior Court.
Armendariz never appeared before Cordell as a lawyer—or, for that matter, any of the local judges endorsing her. Although she has served as Los Angeles chief of staff to the Senate majority leader, counsel to the California Senate and Assembly Committees on Public Safety, and ombudsman for California women’s prisons, she has not practiced law.
Vincent, by contrast, is a veteran practitioner. With 23 years of courtroom experience—first as a criminal defense attorney, now as a prosecutor—he knows how a Superior Court courtroom should be run, and has dealt with legal issues more varied and complex than those Armendariz encounters as a hearing officer in administrative proceedings.
HERE IS A THIRD CANDIDATE in the race: Onica Valle Cole. She is listed on the ballot as Attorney/Mother.” On at least one slate mailer, however, she identifies herself as Consumer Fraud Prosecutor.” This supposed fraud prosecutor is plainly making an effort to commit voter fraud. She is not, in fact, a prosecutor of any sort. On Jan. 3, she was fired as a Los Angeles deputy city attorney, and is currently unemployed.
On another slate mailer, she’s termed a” 15 year prosecutor,” implying a present status. Her campaign website contains repeated references to her being a “career prosecutor’’ with no mention that this is a past career.
Two years ago, in running for a judgeship, she represented on her campaign website: “Onica volunteers as a Temporary Judge for the Los Angeles Superior Court and is regularly called upon to fulfill the duties of a judge.” She had not “regularly” been called upon. Up to that point, she had handled one half-day calendar.
She was fired as a government attorney (which can hardly be effected upon whim) in part based on deception.
Cole is self-pitying, self-indulgent, and disputatious. If she were elected to a judgeship, given the various ailments of which she has complained, she might soon be seeking a disability retirement. On the other hand, if she demonstrated the propensities that caused the City Attorney’s Office to discharge her, she could wind up being booted off the bench following Commission on Judicial Performance disciplinary proceedings.
Copyright 2018, Metropolitan News Company