Los Angeles Superior Court Aspirant Says in Slate Mailer He’s Endorsed by LAPD; Two Years Ago, Burbank Police Chief Contradicted Lawyer’s Representation
By ROGER M. GRACE, Editor
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore has disputed the claim by attorney David D. Diamond, a candidate for the Los Angeles Superior Court in the Nov. 3 run-off election, that he’s endorsed by Moore’s department.
A slate mailer called “COPS Voter Guide,” which Diamond’s committee paid to carry a recommendation that its candidate be elected, contains this message:
Moore said in an email Thursday night, in response to an inquiry:
“LAPD does not endorse candidates and nor do I. It’s unfortunate when politicians misrepresent and lie in their pursuit of office.”
Burbank Police Chief
This is the second time Diamond has been contradicted by a police chief, though on the previous occasion, it was by the leader of a far smaller department. Two years ago when he ran for a Superior Court open seat—which was won by then-Deputy District Attorney Troy Davis—Diamond claimed the endorsement of Burbank Chief of Police Scott LaChasse.
When queried, LaChasse said of Diamond:
“I had absolutely no knowledge that he was running for a judgeship, and I have not and will not endorse him.”
Diamond on Friday explained the reference to an LAPD endorsement by saying:
“I am endorsed by the Los Angeles Police Protective League, which is compelling given my opponent is a prosecutor.”
The league is a union representing LAPD officers.
As to the claim that he is a “20 year Attorney/Law Professor,” State Bar records show that Diamond will hit the 20-year mark on Dec. 1.
“I have not been a professor for 20 years.”
However, Diamond maintained, “20 year” modifies only the word “Attorney,” and not the words, “Law Professor,” noting:
“It says 20 year attorney and it is then separated with a slash followed by the word law professor.”
A contrary interpretation, he remarked, would be “quite a stretch to create controversy.”
Diamond is an adjunct professor at Woodbury University’s College of Liberal Arts, lecturing undergraduates on criminal law and the courts. He has held various part-time teaching posts since 2007.
Another slate mailer—that put out under the name of “The Council of Concerned Women Voters”—identifies Diamond as a “Victim’s Advocate.” He’s a criminal defense attorney.
The candidate explained:
“I am a victim’s advocate being that I have handled hundreds of restraining order cases, many of which involved victims of domestic violence.
“I also litigated many civil actions for victims such as a lawsuit against the grandfather of a minor who was sexually assaulted. I represented a woman who was raped at a party and sued her assistant, for examples. I have been a lawyer for twenty years.”
As of December of last year, his law office website and campaign website said that Diamond was currently teaching at Lacasse Southwestern School of Law. He had not taught there since 2012.
In an interview, he attributed the error to his “web people” being slow at making the changes he had ordered.
After LaChasse in 2018 disclaimed having endorsed Diamond, the lawyer insisted that the police chief had, in fact, offered an endorsement, through his secretary, in an email. The police chief responded:
“Not true at all. Diamond said he was applying for a gubernatorial appointment. My assistant asked for the address if I chose to write a letter to the appointments secretary. That didn’t happen.”
“I can’t endorse candidates using my current position. When will the games with this individual end???”
At that time, Diamond was chair of the Burbank Police Commission, an advisory body. A declaration executed by LaChasse was apparently instrumental in causing Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Strobel to order that Diamond’s chosen ballot designation of “Police Commissioner/Attorney” have the words “Police Commissioner” excised on the ground that the activity did not meet the statutory requisite of a “principal” profession, vocation, or occupation.
In granting a writ sought by Davis, she declared:
“It is undisputed that a Police Commissioner is unpaid. Scott LaChasse, Police Chief for Burbank, states that the Police Commission meets once a month for an hour or two….”
In September 2018, Diamond spearheaded an ill-starred effort to force LaChasse from his post, but he maintained that the move had “nothing to do with the election results or sour grapes,” and was based solely on the chief having failed to fire his then-deputy chief for “racist remarks” made in emails in 2012 and 2013. The content of the emails sent by Tom Angel, who was no longer with the department, was reported by the Burbank Leader in 2016.
The Burbank Police Officers’ Association this year has endorsed Diamond’s election rival, Deputy District Attorney Scott Yang (as have the Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association and the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs).
Current Ballot Designation
Diamond’s present ballot designation is “Attorney/Law Professor.” Yang, did not challenge the designation although Diamond does not hold a professorship and does not teach at a law school.
However, it is doubtful that the words “Law Professor” on the ballot will boost Diamond’s chances of winning. In 1994, then-Assemblyman Terry Friedman, with the ballot designation of “Law Professor/Lawmaker,” did prevail, but candidates in subsequent elections who used “Law Professor” or similar terms lost.
Yang’s own ballot designation is a formidable one: “Deputy District Attorney, County of Los Angeles.”
Yang did not respond to a request for comment on Diamond’s claims on slate mailer.
Slate Mailer Deception
Slate mailers are constantly under attack as spawning deception by implying endorsements by political parties or groups connected with particular causes. The COPS Voter Guide, featuring a badge, has no actual connection with law enforcement. In barely legible gray type on a brown background, it says: “This organization does not represent any public safety personnel.” That disclaimer is mandated by Government Code §84305.7 where a law enforcement connection is implied. However, that section specifies: “The color of the text of the disclosure shall be in a contrasting color to the background color of the box.” Also barely legible is this advisement required by §84305.5: “Appearance is paid for and authorized by each candidate and ballot measure which is designated by an *.” That section requires that the notice “shall be in a color or print which contrasts with the background so as to be easily legible.” There is light gray type on a medium gray background.
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