Tuesday, January 7, 2020
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Katherine Mader—who was a defense attorney for serial killer Angelo Buono, one of the two Hillside Stranglers, was a deputy district attorney for 11 years, served two-and-a-half years as inspector general of the Los Angeles Police Department, and has been a judge for 19 years—said yesterday she will retire from the bench on Feb. 14.
Her last day on the job was Dec. 24, she noted, explaining she is using up her remaining vacation days.
“I’m not going to be private judging” she said, remarking:
“There’s no market for old criminal judges.”
“I may return as an assigned judge—hopefully downtown, where my heart is.”
The judge said she will continue genealogical studies in a quest to ascertain what became of an aunt and three cousins who “disappeared in the Holocaust.” Mader related that she has spoken with the last person known to have seen them, and expresses the belief that they were then “taken to a concentration camp.”
At present, she mentioned, an agent in seeking a publisher for a book she has written, “Inside the Robe,” on her experiences in the courthouses.
In the months ahead, Mader disclosed, she will become involved in “partisan politics,” declining to pinpoint what role she will play.
Her fondest memory of service on the bench, she declared, is that of the interplay with her colleagues whom she termed “a delightful, well informed group of people who are always generous with their time” in helping each other.
She expresses particular pride in having gained the concurrence of the Office of District Attorney in her declaration of factual innocence of a man named Kash Register who spent 34 years in prison for a murder. Register was released on Nov. 8, 2013.
Mader received a law degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law in 1972. She served as a Sacramento County deputy public defender from 1973-76; joined the Patients’ Rights Office of the California Department of Health in Sacramento, serving as director for a year; became a criminal defense attorney, in 1977, and joined the District Attorney’s Office in 1985.
From July 1996 to January 1999, she served as the inspector general of the LAPD, a post created in response to the report of the Christopher Commission which followed the police beating of Rodney King.
In resigning, she complained that the department was seeking to thwart her independence in monitoring it.
Returning to her position as a deputy district attorney, Mader was elected to the Los Angeles Superior Court in the March 7 primary, winning 56.18 percent of the vote in a contest with a Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner and a referee of that court.
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