Wednesday, October 31, 2001
Deputy District Attorney Lauren Weis to Run for Superior Court Seat
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Deputy District Attorney Lauren Weis said yesterday she will run for an open seat on the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Weis, formerly her office’s top sex-crimes prosecutor, said she will file her declaration of intent today for the seat being vacated by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Kanner. Two other candidates, Santa Monica attorney Joseph Deering and former Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Richard Espinoza, are also seeking the seat.
Running for the bench, she told the MetNews, is something “I’ve always wanted to do when the time was right.” She pledged to commit “whatever it takes” to be elected, saying she was considering hiring a campaign consultant.
“I’ve done my time, I believe, at the District Attorney’s Office,” she said. “I don’t want to be an advocate for one side anymore. ….I think that I can make a difference on the bench….I think I can do a good job.”
Weis is a graduate of Inglewood High School, UCLA and Loyola Law School. She was a deputy state attorney general from 1978 to 1979, then joined the District Attorney’s Office, she said, because she wanted to do trial work.
Most of her career has been in sex-crimes prosecution, including her stint as head deputy under former District Attorney Gil Garcetti. It was in that capacity that she oversaw an investigation of child-molestation charges against musical superstar Michael Jackson.
Jackson was not charged with a crime, but the family of the alleged victim accepted a settlement that has been reported at $10 million or more.
While serving as head deputy in sex crimes, Weis made a controversial television commercial for 1994 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Kathleen Brown. The ad responded to charges by her opponent, then-Gov. Pete Wilson, that Brown opposed the “One-Strike” law that increased sex-crimes sentences.
Weis said in the ad:
“I’ve prosecuted rapists for 13 years. Wilson’s ad is an outrage to women. Kathleen Brown supports One Strike.”
Weis yesterday described herself politically as “a Democrat who strongly supports law enforcement.”
After four years heading the sex crimes unit, Weis served as head deputy in Torrance and later in the West District, encompassing the Santa Monica and Airport courthouses. She spent eight months as head of the workers’ compensation fraud unit before moving to her present assignment as head deputy in central trials.
In other election-related news, Acton attorney Larry H. Layton filed his declaration of intent to run for the seat of Judge Richard Spann. Deputy District Attorney Richard Naranjo is also running for that post.
Both candidates said they understand that Spann, who could not be reached for comment, is not running for reelection.
Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company