Judge Ongkeko to Retire
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rafael A. Ongkeko’s last day on the bench will be Thursday of next week.
The Santa Monica-based judge will then use up earned vacation days and will officially retire on June 27. Ongkeko yesterday declined to provide reflections on his judicial career or tell of his plans, explaining that he is “leaning towards a quiet exit” at this point,
He was appointed to the bench on Oct. 16, 2002, by then-Gov. Gray Davis. Ongkeko was then a Los Angeles principal deputy county counsel.
He said at the time of his appointment:
“I think every litigator would like to be a judge, or should be thinking about [it]. I was encouraged to do this sooner rather than later.
“I’m very lucky to have gotten this far.”
Ongkeko was member of the County Counsel’s Office for 19 years, taking out two years—from 1998-2000—to be in private practice.
His law degree is from the University of California, Berkeley.