By Leon Worden / SCVNews.com
Jackie Lacey, Los Angeles County’s chief deputy district attorney, will square off against one of her office mates in the November battle to succeed her current boss, retiring District Attorney Steve Cooley.
With 99.92 percent of precincts reporting, Lacey leads with 31.95 percent of the vote.
Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson, head of Cooley’s major crimes division, took second place with 23.69 percent.
Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich finished just out of the running with 22.34 percent; three more candidates trailed.
Cooley, a Republican, crossed party lines to endorse his chief deputy, a Democrat who moved to Los Angeles County from Ventura a year ago so she could run for the nonpartisan post.
“(Lacey) is the best qualified. There is not a close second,” Cooley said in an endorsement video.
Jackson, a Republican with backing from the likes of Supervisor Mike Antonovich and Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, was considered a leading contender – not so much against Lacey but rather against Trutanich. Endorsed by Gov. Jerry Brown and former L.A. Mayor Dick Riordan, Trutanich was the favorite because he had union support, the biggest campaign war chest and the best name recognition.
As Cooley’s No. 2, Lacey is responsible for the day-to-day operations of an office whose staff includes roughly 1,000 attorneys, 300 peace officers and 800 support staffers.
The following information comes from Lacey’s campaign website:
“As a longstanding member of the District Attorney’s executive management team, Jackie has reviewed almost every major case involving public corruption, police misconduct, organized crime, complex fraud and other crimes since 2004.
“For 10 years, Jackie served on the District Attorney’s special circumstance committee, which reviews the evidence in every death penalty-eligible case in the office and makes recommendations on the appropriate penalty in these cases.
“Jackie assists the District Attorney in making high-level policy decisions affecting the pursuit of justice and management of the District Attorney’s Office. She considers federal, state and local legislation to determine their impact on the operation of Los Angeles County’s criminal justice system.
“Jackie is an innovative and respected leader who has overseen the development of several groundbreaking crime-fighting initiatives within the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. These include the nation’s first Animal Cruelty Prosecution Program, the Graffiti Prosecution Program and the Project Safe Neighborhoods Gun Prosecution Program.”
Alan Jackson’s statement:
“We see tonight as a huge victory. The Jackson campaign took on Carmen Trutanich and saved the people of Los Angeles County from a politician who was more concerned about winning the next office instead of winning the next case. We were outraised, outspent and outsized by the City Attorney, yet we prevailed because voters clearly want a modern prosecutor not a politician. We look forward to November where voters will once again have a choice to elect a modern prosecutor to lead the District Attorney’s office.
“United States Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland once said that in a criminal prosecution, the prosecutor’s role is not that he or she shall win a case, but that justice shall be done. That guiding principle, along with a commitment to the administration of justice, has shaped my approach to criminal prosecutions since the moment I swore the oath as a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney. Having tried dozens of felony cases, nearly half of which have been murders, I have earned a reputation as a firm but fair prosecutor.
“I am proud of that reputation but I see myself as more than just a litigator. I am, first and foremost, a public servant, which is a privilege that carries with it enormous responsibility. Protecting victims’ rights and helping ensure public safety are more than simply job requirements, they are obligations to the community—our community.
“For more than 17 years I have handled cases from Long Beach to Antelope Valley, from the westside to Pasadena. I spent nearly five years in Compton prosecuting the city’s most violent gang members while fighting to protect the victims of gang violence. I’ve tried cases ranging from misdemeanors to the county’s highest profile marquee celebrity cases. Each of these experiences has strengthened my commitment to help make Los Angeles a better and safer community for all of us.”