Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Governor Brown Dismisses DDA Ban as "Pure Fiction"

In response to our report, Monday, that Governor Brown has issued a ban on judicial appointments of LA County Deputy District Attorneys in response to the election of 13 DDAs to the bench in the June primary elections, a spokesman for the Governor stated the claim was “pure fiction” and “factually challenged.”

In support of the Governor’s claims, the Dragnet was contacted by a DDA who also disputed the existence of any ban. “I have the utmost confidence in the appointment process, and do not believe there is any ban,” the DDA said. “It is a long selection process and there are many qualified candidates.” The DDA further referred the Dragnet to the recent appointment of deputy district attorneys in other counties.

In the light of those comments we wish to make it clear that the comments attributed to the LA County DDA cited on July 21, 2014 regarding the Governor's judicial appointment process are fully retracted. The comments were based on inaccurate and incorrect information from a third party. Attributing such comments to that DDA was a mistake and inconsistent with her/his temperament and character. This reporter apologizes for not having looked into the alleged comments more carefully.

On July 16, 2014, the Governor appointed 10 lawyers to Superior Court judgeships in Orange, San Diego, Santa Clara and Contra Costa. Of the 10 appointees, 4 were Deputy District Attorneys in those counties. 9 appointees were Democrats.

The next round of judicial appointments will give the Governor the opportunity to prove that there is no ban on appointing LA County DDAs to judgeships. Watch this space.


Monday, July 21, 2014

More Stimulating Cooley - Former DA Hosts 3 Hour Talk Show on KFI

Former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley may have retired from public service, but not from the public eye, or ear to be more precise.

On Friday night Cooley filled in for  KFI AM640 talk show host Tim Conway Jr., promising no 'ding-dongs' and no 'what the hell did Jesse Jackson say' segments. Instead, Cooley promised a 'more classy operation' including guests Madame District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Long Beach Police Chief and LA County Sheriff front runner Jim McDonnell, former Mayoral candidate, talk show host and current President of the LA City Board of Works Kevin James, and Los Angeles Police Protective League President Tyler Izen.

During the first hour of the show DA Jackie Lacey discussed the challenges facing prosecutors under AB109, the so-called 'Realignment.' Cooley was critical of the way Governor Brown's realignment has filled the already overcrowded jails with prison convicts, and Lacey confirmed that an unforeseen consequence of Brown's bill has been the exceptionally early release of those convicted misdemeanor crimes. Lacey stated that despite the problem posed by realignment, the DA's office is responding by encouraging the use of split sentences, thereby reducing the jail population and placing convicts in the community under supervision.

Next up was Jim McDonnell who won first place the primary election for LA County Sheriff, coming within six tenths of a percentage point of winning the election outright. McDonnell faces second placed Paul Tanaka in the November runoff, and given that McDonnell garnered three times as many votes as Tanaka, Cooley believes that McDonnell will win the runoff handily. McDonnell stated that, if elected, his first priority will be to rebuild the public's trust in the scandal-ridden department, and then restore moral amongst the rank and file.

KFI news reporter Steve Gregory joined Cooley to discuss the debunking of the Obama administration's claim that the recent surge of illegal immigrants was due to a flight from crime in Latin American countries. However, a recently leaked report from the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) shows that 95% of the unaccompanied minors crossing the boarder illegally have come in search of 'permisos,' a term used to describe what they believed was Obama's promise to fast-track immigration. Crime in their native countries, was not a concern.

EPIC also provided crime statistics showing that contrary to the Obama administration's claims, crime has actually fallen in Latin American countries. Cooley believed that it was just as important for the Obama administration to enforce immigration law as it was to better communicate with Latin America so as not to perpetuate the "false promise" that has caused so many young people to put their lives at risk by illegally entering America.

Gregory pointed out that it was "remarkable" that EPIC, a government agency, was contradicting the official line of the Obama administration. Gregory said that the claims of flight from rape, mayhem and torture touted by the Obama administration is not supported by the Federal agencies who interviewed the illegal immigrants. Gregory also announced that he would be hosting a three-hour show on the topic of the boarder crisis illegal immigration next Friday, July 25, from 10am to 1pm.

During the second hour of Cooley's entree to the talk show world, he was joined in studio by Kevin James. In what Cooley described as a reversal of roles, Cooley interviewed the former talk show host about his current duties as President of the Los Angeles City Board of Works, as well as the work of the Board itself. Cooley did not give James and easy time, probing James for an explanation as to why the streets of the City of Los Angeles are so bad when compared to the streets of surrounding cities such as Burbank and Beverly Hills.

The final hour of the show pitched Cooley with KFI's Aron Bender and his popular segment on controversial news stories, and gave Cooley some time to air his views on news in general and the criminal justice system.  

Interspersed between his guests, Cooley also gave his own views on the criminal justice system, top of the list was his excoriating condemnation of Proposition 47, the so-called 'Californians for Safe Neighborhoods and Schools' Act, described by Cooley as a "complete fraud" and something that "is going to endanger public safety" notwithstanding its title. Prop 47 would change the categorization of several felonies to misdemeanors, which thanks to AB109 carry no real risk of jail time. It would also allow convicted felons serving time in jail, to petition courts to re-sentence them as misdemeanor offenders, thereby releasing them into the community without any supervision.

A real stinker in Prop 47 is a presumption in favor of re-sentencing, such that it would be virtually impossible for a court to deny re-sentencing. How then, does going soft on crime benefit neighborhoods and communities? According proponents, the money saved by releasing felons into the community, would be given to schools and neighborhoods. In other words, the check's in the mail. Cooley concluded that Prop 47 is "The next great fraud to be perpetrated by the initiative process," and that "Idiotic is too nice a word to use for this initiative." Although he did not say as much, expect Cooley to be a leading light in the fight against Proposition 47.

To hear Steve Cooley standing in for Tim Conway Jr., listen to the podcasts provided by KFI:

Hour 1 - Guests Jackie Lacey, Jim McDonnel and Steve Gregory.

Hour 2 - Guest Kevin James

Hour 3 - The News Bender and surprise call-in guest Tyler Izen President of the Los Angeles Police Protective League.

Brown Bans Deputy District Attorneys from Judicial Appointments

The Dragnet has learned that California Governor Jerry Brown has banned the appointment of any Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorneys to become judges of the Superior Court.

The move from the septuagenarian Democrat is believed to be a 'tit for tat' backlash reaction to the results of the June primary election where almost all Deputy District Attorneys running for Los Angeles County Superior Court were democratically elected; 13 Deputy District Attorneys will become Judges in January as a result of the voter's choices, a 14th faces a run-off in November.

Brown, who despite appearances is only 76, was said to have descended into an apoplectic rage upon learning that judges had deliberately announced their retirements during the period when the electorate decides replacements, thus denying the aged Governor appointment power. Many judges are believed to have been not only disappointed with some of the senescent Governor's prior 'partisan' appointments, but also outraged by his callous cuts to the Superior Court budget.

Brown's ban on appointing prosecutors as judges has so far failed to attract the attention of the mainstream media. However, Governor Moonbeam's apparent disapproval of, and lack of faith in, the electoral process could upset his hopes for reelection in November. Many fear that the soon to be octogenarian is hell bent on paying back Californian voters for 1986 when voters ousted Supreme Court Justice Rose Bird - one of Brown's proudest judicial appointments. Brown, it seems, is determined to leave a legacy of liberal, light-on-crime activist judges as the light fades on the Moonbeam.