Retired District Attorney Steve Cooley Vindicated by Superior Court
LA Times reported Wednesday on a story previously covered by the Dragnet and the Los Angeles Metropolitan News-Enterprise; Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lavin has thrown out a decision of the Los Angeles County Employee Relations Commission (ERCOM) finding District Attorney Steve Cooley and the District Attorney's Office had retaliated against disgraced, fired, former Deputy DA Steve Ipsen and other members of his kangaroo court-like grip on the Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA).
Judge Lavin found that ERCOM's then Executive Director, Paul Causey had "numerous ex parte communications" with Ipsen and other ADDA members, that Causey was "heavily involved in the ERCOM decision making process," and that there was "substantial evidence in the record of actual bias by ERCOM." For those reasons, Judge Lavin found that DA Steve Cooley and the DA's Office "did not receive a fair hearing before ERCOM" and therefore ERCOM's July 25, 2011 decision was thrown out.
Although Judge Lavin ordered ERCOM to hold a new hearing "to be conducted by a neutral and unbiased hearing officer," it is unclear whether Ipsen or the ADDA will want to re-litigate the matter in the light of not only the collapse of Ipsen's Federal Lawsuit (which argued essentially the same conspiracy theory), but also in the light of Ipsen's 2012 termination from the DA's Office, the reasons for which are now coming to light (see below).
Deputy DA Max Huntsman to be Appointed Watchdog over Sheriff's Dept.
LA Times reported Tuesday that Deputy DA Max Huntsman, the longtime corruption tackling Assistant Head Deputy of the Public Integrity Division, will be the head of a new agency that will scrutinize the LA County Sheriff's Department.
Huntman's appointment as Inspector General is expected to be confirmed by the Board of Supervisors on December 3, 2013.
Rumor Mill Musings
Ipsen fired for misconduct
Pursuant to a Public Records Act request made to ERCOM, the Dragnet has obtained voluminous records pertaining to the 2012 dismissal of disgraced former Deputy DA Steve Ipsen. Documents filed by Ipsen and the District Attorney's Office regarding Ipsen's claim that his dismissal was a result of 'unfair employee relations practice' are public record, and their contents cast further doubt as to the propriety of Ipsen being given the 'President's Award' at the recent ADDA Awards Dinner.
Significantly, documents discovered pursuant to the Dragnet's PRA reveal that Ipsen apparently used, or rather, abused his position as Deputy DA to advance his campaign to become District Attorney. Ipsen apparently misled a Superior Court Judge into believing Ipsen's 'Reform First' campaign slogan was actually the policy of the District Attorney's Office. In doing so Ipsen caused numerous cases to be 'settled' by using what appear to be illegal sentences in violation of Penal Code Sections 667(c)(2) and 1170.12(a)(2). Those section prohibit the granting of probation to a defendant who admits a prior strike conviction, and makes the suspension of a doubled prison term unlawful and most likely unenforceable.
A full report is to follow.
And then there were nine?
The Dragnet's recent reportage of the number of Deputy DAs seeking election to the Los Angeles Superior Court in the June 2014 primary, indicated that eight Deputy DA's have thrown their hats in the ring. However, eight chasing two open seats may soon become nine, if rumors are correct.
More to follow.