Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, January 3, 2024


Page 8




Steven Yee Mac

Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 135



s between Deputy District Attorneys Georgia Huerta and Steven Yee Mac the only contestants in a three-way race whose candidacies rate consideration our preference is Mac.

He is articulate, thoughtful, and knowledgeable. That, coupled with the sort of demeanor one would hope for in a judge, renders him well suited to judicial service.

Huerta is more experienced as a prosecutor than he, having served as a deputy district attorney from Aug. 17, 1987 to March 26, 2021, and again since last Aug. 16. She could do the job of a judge. But, in our view, she would not perform in that role as deftly as Mac.

While we are aware of Huerta's deceitfulness in the 2022 judicial election a factor we believe voters ought to take into account we would, even if we were blind to her campaign indiscretion, opt for Mac based on his exemplary qualities.


uerta does possess talents. One Los Angeles Superior Court judge tells us:

Deputy District Attorney Georgia Huerta has extensive criminal experience and would make an excellent judge. I worked with her when I was a deputy district attorney, and she was one of my mentors. She has integrity, patience, and outstanding work ethic, she is smart, and would need very little training in her new role as a judge. She is well respected by judges, judicial staff, opposing counsel and her colleagues.

Another judge says:

Georgia has a long history of experience in the Office of the District Attorney. She is a pleasant person and dedicated.

Yet, her credentials simply don t match Mac s.


he latest performance evaluation Mac received from the District Attorney s Office, dated Oct. 26, 2021, gives him the rating of Exceeded Expectations (Very Good) and says:

Mr. Mac is currently one of the finest prosecutors in the Hardcore Gang Division, and he exemplifies the highest traditions of the unit. Mr. Mac is a tireless and highly skilled attorney who can be entrusted with any case, no matter the issue, complexity or difficulty.

The report notes:

Mr. Mac consistently has carried one of the heaviest caseloads in our entire unit. In terms of volume, complexity and difficulty. Mr. Mac s caseload is unsurpassed.

That report also says:

Mr. Mac is liked and respected by everyone in our unit. Mr. Mac is the quintessential team player who always is willing to help a colleague.

Mr. Mac treats support staff, civilian witnesses, law enforcement officers and his fellow deputes with courtesy and professionalism.

Mr. Mac always is affable and never exhibits any signs of stress. No matter how challenging the situation is that he is facing, Mr. Mac maintains a calm, confident demeanor.

It credits him with having [e]ffectively resolved novel, unusual, or rare legal issues with wisdom, creativity, and sound judgment.

In his three previous performance evaluations, Mac was also found to have exceeded expectations.


lso rating Mac’s prowess as a lawyer is the U.S. Army. After receiving his law degree from UCLA in December 2007, he joined the Judge Advocate General s ( JAG ) Corps. In 2012, Mac was deployed to Afghanistan as a legal advisor, charged with making sure operations there were in compliance with congressional strictures.

The following year, he joined the District Attorney s Office, but remained in the Army Reserve. Mac was promoted from the rank of major to that of lieutenant colonel following a May 10 evaluation report by three senior officers.

A lieutenant colonel hailed his [a]bsolutely superb performance in one of the most demanding jobs in the JAG Corps, adding:

Using his incredible operational proficiency and subject matter expertise, he consistently assisted me as the Command Judge Advocate on a plethora of unit investigations and other complex legal matters .Steve s intellect, teamwork, and leadership skills place him on par with our most senior judge advocates. Promote him now and assign him to only the most challenging positions.

A colonel commented:

MAJ Mac has unlimited potential to serve in any command or staff position. The combination of MAJ Mac s technical legal acumen coupled with his sound judgment would make him a valuable addition to any Multi-Star Joint or Army Staff. MAJ Mac has been selected for Lieutenant Colonel and should be promoted immediately. Steven should be chosen for resident Senior Service College and promoted ahead of his peers.

In a Feb. 1 report, that colonel said:

MAJ Mac ranks in the top 1% of Army Judge Advocates with whom I have served in my 34 years of Army service.

One criminal defense attorney tells us: I have had a few cases against Steven Mac and have found him to be knowledgeable, amiable and trustworthy.  A judge hails his background as quite impressive and says that he appears to be sincere and genuine.


here is also the matter of Huerta’s campaign conduct in 2022.

Ideally, voters would choose judges based on their credentials. But most voters know nothing about the qualifications of judicial candidates. They go primarily by name and by ballot description. Also, results in recent years show that being a female helps, as do Hispanic surnames.

Generally, Huerta goes by her maiden name of Sullivan. Sometimes she does use her husband s surname, Huerta, so she can t really be faulted for creating the impression that she s a Latina when she s not.

She can, however, be faulted for attempting to run two years ago with the ballot designation of Deputy District Attorney, County of Los Angeles. She was not then a deputy district attorney in this county or anywhere. Huerta had left the District Attorney s Office as of March 27, 2021. At that point, she ceased practicing law, for the time being.

Huerta relied upon Elections Code 13107(b)(1)(C) which provides that a ballot designation may be comprised of [n]o more than three words designating either the current principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate, or the principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate during the calendar year immediately preceding the filing of nomination documents.

On the face of it, her chosen ballot designation was improper. It s more than three words. (A geographical designation counts as one word, under 13107(d), so it s four words.)

Anyway, in the previous calendar year, 2021, she had been a deputy district attorney. However, the provision allowing use of a previous occupation is intended to inure to the benefit of a candidate who is presently out of work, as reflected by an elaboration contained in the California Code of Regulations ( CCR ), which has the force of law. 2 CCR 20714(d) limits the use of a past undertaking to where the candidate does not have a current principal profession, vocation or occupation at the time he or she files his or her nomination documents.

Creating an illusion, she submitted to the Office of Los Angeles County Registrar of voters a ballot designation worksheet on which she indicated: I did not have a profession or occupation since 3/27/2021. That was untrue.

Though not practicing law, she remained an active member of the State Bar. 2 CCR 20714(b)(1) says: If a candidate is licensed by the State of California to engage in a profession , the candidate is entitled to consider it one of his or her principal professions if the candidate has a current license.


he Office of Registrar-Recorder allowed the designation, Deputy District Attorney. Then-Deputy District Attorney Malissa Hammond brought a writ petition challenging that decision. Although she won election to a judgeship in November, she lost her bout in court. The judge James Chalfant was confused. So muddled was he that he said:

Huerta is a retired deputy district attorney and her most accurate ballot designation may be Deputy District Attorney, Retired .

Presumably, the court could compel Huerta to use this designation if section 13107 and the evidence require it. But complete accuracy is not required. Huerta is entitled to the designation Deputy District Attorney under 13107(c).

He meant 13107(b)(1)(C). That section limits a ballot designation to three words. Deputy District Attorney, Retired, to state the obvious, more than three words. (Also, the designation was unavailable under 2 CCR 20716(h)(1) because Huerta had not permanently given up her profession as a lawyer; she remained on active bar status.)

The fact that Chalfant was bamboozled does not mitigate Huerta s misconduct.

Huerta brought her own writ petition, brazenly seeking to be listed as Deputy District Attorney, County of Los Angeles. Her stance was that if Hammond could have that description under her name, she should be able to have it, too. As Chalfant was able to grasp, a geographic qualifier must be included where an attorney for a government office uses his or her office title. It s an exception to the three-word rule. Under 13107(b)(3)(B), If the candidate is an official or employee of a county, the name of the county shall appear preceded by the words County of. Huerta was not then an employee of a county, so the exception to the rule did not apply to her and it was to her discredit that she would frivolously argue to the contrary.


ttorney Mohammad Ali Fakhreddine is also in the contest, though his campaign, if any, is not visible. He is running with the silly but legally permissible ballot designation of Father/Attorney.

Fakhreddine is a graduate of the University of Abraham Lincoln School of Law. It is an unaccredited distance-learning law school that is, its courses are online.

There appears to us to be no doubt as to which candidate in this race is the worthiest. It s Steven Yee Mac.


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