Tuesday, April 23, 2002
Senate Confirms Yang as U.S. Attorney for Central District of California
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Debra Yang was unanimously confirmed yesterday as the chief federal prosecutor in Los Angeles.
Yang, 42, currently a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, will become U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, a huge region that covers Los Angeles County as well as Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
She takes the reins from interim U.S. Attorney John Gordon, who has run the 240-lawyer office since April of last year, when Alejandro Mayorkas resigned at the insistence of the Bush administration.
Yang will be the first Asian American to serve as U.S. attorney in Los Angeles. She previously was a prosecutor in the office.
“The U.S. attorney in Los Angeles is responsible for a seven-county area larger than many states,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said. “It is an important post and I look forward to working with Judge Yang on the many law enforcement issues that are of great concern to Southern Californians.”
President Bush nominated Yang for the post in March. She also had been considered for a lifetime appointment as a federal judges but said she would prefer serving as U.S. attorney.
Yang had been recommended for the position by West Los Angeles attorney Gerald Parsky, who oversees nominations in California for the White House, and by a committee chaired by retired Court of Appeal Justice Elwood H. Lui.
She is a 1981 graduate of Pitzer College in Pomona, and graduated from Boston College Law School in 1985. She was an associate at two local law firms between 1985 and 1988, then clerked for District Judge Ronald S.W. Lew of the Central District for a year prior to joining Greenberg, Glusker, Fields, Claman & Macthinger.
She worked at that firm for a year before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where she worked on forfeitures and criminal prosecutions. She was appointed to the-Los Angeles Municipal Court by then-Gov. Pete Wilson in 1997 and became a Los Angeles Superior Court judge two years ago as the result of unification of the trial courts.
She has also been an adjunct professor at USC’s law school and served on the Judicial Council’s advisory committee on criminal law.
With headquarters in Los Angeles and branches in Santa Ana and Riverside, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California prosecutes federal crimes in the region.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company