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Monday, March 17, 2014

Endorsements boost Deputy District Attorney candidates in June Primary Election

County Assessor candidate John Morris endorsed by retired DA Steve Cooley


Hot on the heels of last week's announcement that he had secured the endorsement of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Head Deputy District Attorney John Morris' campaign to become County Assessor received a boost from his former boss; retired District Attorney Steve Cooley.

This from the Morris campaign:

John Morris for Assessor Campaign Gains Backing of Retired Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley

Los Angeles, CA  Citing the need to restore taxpayer protections against fraud in the assessment process as a key reason for taking action, retired Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley today backed Head Deputy District Attorney John Morris for Los Angeles County Assessor.

"John Morris is the right leader for the Los Angeles County Assessor's Office, a critical county agency that has been racked with fraud," said Steve Cooley.  "His experience leading county teams in eliminating fraud has saved insurance rate payers millions and he will have the same positive impact as our next County Assessor."

A 23 year veteran of the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office, John Morris currently serves as Head Deputy District Attorney.  He has served the county as a hard core gang prosecutor and later headed the countywide effort to eliminate fraud in the workers compensation and health care system.

"I am honored to have DA Cooley's endorsement.  He headed the effort to stop the fraud in the Assessor's office and once in office I will complete the investigation, refer all wrongdoing to the DA's office for prosecution and put reforms in place that safeguard against this ever happening again," said John Morris.

In October 2012, then-DA Steve Cooley filed multiple felon counts against current Assessor John Noguez, for illegally cutting the assessments on over $100 million in real estate in Los Angeles County.  At the time, District Attorney Cooley termed it the most significant level of fraud he had ever seen at the county level.

On paid leave since allegations of wrongdoing surfaced against him in 2012, Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez still collects his full salary and benefits package.

"John Noguez spent a little over eighteen months defrauding taxpayers as Assessor and  will spend almost twice that much time receiving full pay on leave," explained Morris.  "This is a travesty.  Once elected I will complete an Assessor's office policy that if charged in court with misuse of office, Assessor's must resign and then I will work to make sure the law is changed to require resignation for those who misuse their office."

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Morris would likely also have secured the endorsement of current District Attorney Jackie Lacey, however, with the DA's Office currently prosecuting Noguez, such an endorsement would be untimely. Morris is the only candidate with substantial experience in leadership and rooting out fraud and corruption. Two attributes badly needed at the County Assessors Office in the wake of the Noguez scandals.

Few doubt that Morris has the credentials and qualifications to clean house at the Assessors Office. As Head Deputy District Attorney of the Healthcare Fraud Division, Morris successfully lobbied for and received increased funding for fraud investigations and prosecutions.

October 2011, John Morris (top right) Head Deputy District Attorney of the Healthcare Fraud Division
received the LA County STARS! Award, together with his team of prosecutors and investigators.
His leadership style inspired prosecutors and investigators in his division to excel in their work, increasing the numbers of cases investigated and prosecuted to such a remarkable extent that he and all 35 members of the Healthcare Fraud Division received the prestigious LA County STARS! Award recognizing "exceptional performance by individual employees and teams of employees." Under Morris' leadership, criminal filings increased by 76% and training and outreach increased by 219%.

Morris faces eleven challengers for the Office of County Assessor. Nearly all of those challengers are people who worked for Noguez. None have the qualifications and leadership experience necessary to ensure the County Assessor's Office is run fairly, effectively and efficiently.



Morris' campaign website is: MorrisForAssessor.com

'Like' him on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/JohnMorrisAssessor


Superior Court Judge candidate Andrew Cooper picks up key endorsements




Adding to an already impressive list of endorsements, Deputy District Attorney Andrew Cooper's campaign for Judge of the Superior Court, Office No 157, announced three key endorsements in the past week. Cooper received endorsements from Senator Ted Lieu, the Mexican American Bar Association (MABA), and one of LA's largest organized labor groups, SEIU Local 721


Cooper, who was the earliest of sixteen Deputy District Attorneys running for election in the June 3, primary election, faces a challenge from Arnold W. Mednick, a former Superior Court Referee. Mednick filed papers to run with the ballot designation "Administrative Law Judge," which is believed to be based on his temporary assignment hearing social security benefits cases.

Many believe Mednick's choice of ballot designation to be misleading. Elections Code §13107, which allows the use as a ballot title 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."

According to the State Bar website, Mednick's current status appears to be a Beverly Hills Attorney. His prior temporary status as a hearing officer probably does not meet the  "the principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate during the calendar year immediately preceding the filing of nomination documents" requirement of the code, and it is understood that Cooper will challenge the designation. 

Regardless of the outcome of the challenge, Cooper appears to be well prepared to mount an effective countywide campaign. His fundraising activities will allow him to use all important print media to reach voters, and he will likely furth benefit from voter guides published by the many organizations who have endorsed him, to strengthen his chances.

Cooper's campaign website is AndrewCooperForJudge.com

'Like' him on Facebook at Facebook.com/AndrewCooperForJudge


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know this is off topic. But if you haven't read the article, you should go to lamag.com (Los Angeles Magazine) and hit the features tab for the expose' on Lee Baca. This stuff is incredible! Even more shocking is portrait of Paul Tanaka painted by Los Angeles Magazine!