Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, March 28, 2022


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Registrar-Recorder’s Office Alters Candidates’ Designations

Slaten Won’t Be Allowed to Run As ‘Administrative Law Judge’ Without Department Being Specified; Changes Made in Descriptions of McKay, Vodnoy, Park


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s Office has disallowed the ballot designation chosen by former actor Troy Slaten, who wanted to be identified on the June 7 ballot as “Administrative Law Judge,” and has reconfigured other judicial candidates’ labels.

Slaten’s designation was first changed to “Administrative Law Judge, State of California,” and now to “Administrative Law Judge, California Department of Industrial Relations.”

The office acted to bring the designation for Slaten, a candidate for Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 60, in conformity with Elections Code §13107(b)(3)(D) which provides:

“If the candidate performs quasi-judicial functions for a governmental agency, the full name of the agency shall be included.”

McKay’s Designation

Two years ago, the Registrar-Recorder’s Office likewise altered Administrative Law Judge Klint McKay’s designation to include the name of the agency for which he works when opponent David Berger, then a deputy district attorney, protested McKay’s omission of it. Berger won the contest in a November run-off.

McKay is running again this year, and again, his title was altered. He chose: “Presiding Judge, Administrative Law, Dept. of Social Sciences”; it was modified to read, “Supervising Administrative Law Judge, California Department of Social Services.”

No competing candidate had complained to the Registrar-Recorder’s Office, McKay’s campaign consultant, Crystal M. Litz of LP Campaigns, said Friday, explaining: “It was the county. We reached a compromise based on his bureaucratic state title and his working title.

“His working title is ‘Presiding Judge’ but some of his promotion paperwork says “Supervising Judge II.”

The change in Slaten’s designation was secured through efforts by Litz, consultant to Deputy District Attorney Sharon Ransom, a candidate for Office No. 60.

Inclusion of Grade

Litz said she is pursuing an attempt to persuade the Registrar-Recorder’s Office to disallow the Roman numeral in the ballot designations of two candidates for Office No. 151. Karen A. Brako and Richard Quiñones are listed as “Deputy District Attorney IV, County of Los Angeles,” and each contends that the grade is part of the office title.

Elections Code §13107(b)(2) says:

“For a candidate for judicial office who is an active member of the State Bar employed by a city, county, district, state, or by the United States, the designation shall appear as one of the following:

“(A) Words designating the actual job title, as defined by statute, charter, or other governing instrument.”

The county Charter and the County Code each makes reference to “Deputy District Attorney IV.”

Litz is representing Deputy Public Defender Patrick Hare in that race.

Invalid Title

Former prosecutor Matthew Vodnoy, seeking Office No. 70, had chosen the ballot designation of “Criminal Justice Attorney.” However, such descriptions are barred by legislation that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

Sec. 13107(c) sets forth:

“A candidate for superior court judge who is an active member of the State Bar and practices law as one of his or her principal professions shall use one of the following ballot designations as his or her ballot designation: ‘Attorney,’ ‘Attorney at Law,’ ‘Lawyer,’ or ‘Counselor at Law.’”

Vodnoy’s designation now reads, “Attorney at Law.”

Lawyer Carolyn “Jyoung” Park wanted to run for Office No. 118 as “Attorney/Community Leader.” However, Code of Regulations §20716 declares “unacceptable” a designation “which would suggest an evaluation of the candidate’s…leadership abilities or character,” and Park’s designation was changed to “Attorney at Law.”

The designation for Lloyd E. Handler, who is opposing Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David B. Gelfound, has not been adjusted from “Deputy Public Defender” to include the county, as required by §13107(b)(2)(B) which says: If the candidate is an official or employee of a county, the name of the county shall appear preceded by the words ‘County of.’ ”

Other Candidates

Competing with Slaten and Ransom for Office No. 60 are Deputy District Attorney Abby Baron, Deputy Public Defender Anna Slotky Reitano, and drunk driving defense lawyers Mark Rosenfeld and Craig Sturm.

In the contest for Office No. 70, in addition to Vodnoy, are Deputy District Attorney Renee Yolande Chang, Deputy Public Defender Holly L. Hancock, Long Beach Assistant City Prosecutor Randy Fudge, and attorney Eric Alfonso Torices.

Candidates running for Office No. 118, in addition to McKay and Park, are Deputy District Attorneys Malissa Hammond and Keith Koyano, former prosecutor Georgia Huerta, and Deputy County Counsel S. (Shawn) Thever.

Seeking Office No. 151, in addition to Brako, Quiñones and Hare is attorney Thomas D. Allison.

Coming before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant on Tuesday is Hammond’s challenge to Huerta’s use of the designation, “Deputy District Attorney” and Huerta’s protest to rejection by the Registrar-Recorder’s Office of her preferred designation as “Deputy District Attorney, Los Angeles County.”


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