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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

LA Weekly previews Lacey administration

Now that the dust has settled following Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey's historic victory as LA's next District Attorney following the November 6 runoff election, LA Weekly's Gene Maddaus takes a look at what Lacey's administration might offer.

Maddaus clearly poked around quite a lot in probing the issues that will face Lacey when she is sworn in on December 3, 2012, and it is apparent that those interviewed by him spoke candidly.

Of her executive team, Maddaus noted that  'Many prosecutors expect her to promote several women from middle management to the DA's executive suite.' An expectation bolstered by his observation that 'many men in the top management tier have reached retirement age, and several women are well positioned to move up, including Pam Booth, director of the DA's central operations bureau. She's considered a top contender for the job of Lacey's chief deputy.'

Lacey, however, 'declined to get into specifics about her leadership team ... Asked whether it was important to her to see more women in the top ranks of the office, she demurred. "I have a wide variety of choices, among people who are very talented, both men and women,"' she told Maddaus.

Maddaus reported Lacey's leadership style to be 'collaborative' something with which anyone who knows Lacey would concur. '"She's a real consensus builder," Booth says. "She listens to what people have to say and knows how to balance that with what the needs of the office are."'

Management decisions aside, Maddaus notes that Lacey's biggest challenge is likely to be the way she crafts the Office's response to the side effects of realignment. The Prop 36 alteration to three strikes cases less likely to present any concern; for the past 12 years retiring DA Steve Cooley's third strikes policy has essentially done for LA County what Prop 36 does for the State.

When Lacey is sworn in on December 3, 2012, the one thing that does seem clear is that Lacey won't shake things up too much. Cooley told the LA Weekly that 'From my standpoint, the office is in the best shape it's ever been in,' Cooley says. 'I don't think it's gonna be all that much different. When things are in awful good shape, you don't want it to be different.'

While a calm, considered and collaborative transition is likely, the other thing that Los Angelenos can breathe a hefty sigh of relief at, is that the sheer bloody mayhem that would have resulted from having a recycled political hack in the form of Carmen the Clown Trutanich as the next DA is, thankfully, a nightmare we don't have to deal with.

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