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Jackie Lacey Refutes Opponent's Attack Ad

by Tony Medley

Jackie Lacey, who is running for District Attorney to replace Steve Cooley in November's election, was born February 27, 1957 in Los Angeles. She graduated from Dorsey High School in Los Angeles and received her bachelor's degree in Psychology at UC Irvine. She received her J.D. from USC in 1982. She joined the District Attorney's office in 1986 and has been in administration for 12 years. On March 12, 2011 she was appointed to chief deputy, the number two person in the DA's office.

Tony:         Alan Jackson, your opponent, has been running a controversial advertisement against you. One of the first things he says is, "I'm modernizing the DAs office." Is Alan Jackson in administration?

Jackie:       No. He's an assistant head deputy of major crimes.

Tony:         How is he modernizing the DAs office?

Jackie:       He's not.

Tony:         So that's untrue?

Jackie:       Yes.

Tony:         Then he says he's "working to keep kids out of crime in the first place." How is he doing that?

Jackie:       We have no record of him working in any crime prevention program in the DA's office. I am currently the project lead instructor and I've been that for the last six years. It's about staying out of the criminal justice system. I have not heard of Mr. Jackson in our established crime prevention program.

Tony:         In his next paragraph he accuses you of being dishonest. Specifically, he says, "she is a political appointee who was dishonest under oath to protect her boss." What's the story on that?

Jackie:       That's an untrue statement. I corrected testimony that I gave in an administrative hearing in 2009 and Mr. Jackson has chosen to exploit that and mis-categorize it as me lying. The April 30 article in Metropolitan news enterprise that Roger Graves wrote is probably the most thorough and accurate account of what happened and why Mr. Jackson's assertions are wrong. The testimony revolves around whether Steve Cooley said to me that the union was going to be a disaster.

Tony:         Did he say that to you?

Jackie:       No, he did not say that to me. What I did was to correct the hearing officer. Originally, when the hearing officer said this I did not correct him. I corrected him later and said that Mr. Cooley did not say that.

Tony:         So, where's the lie?

Jackie:       I don't know. That's what he's alleging I lied about.

Tony:         So what is your opinion about the possibility of your opponent becoming District Attorney?

Jackie:       I think he lacks judgment. And I think that is shown by him running that negative ad as well as his accepting help from a felon as detailed in the Los Angeles Times. In Saturday's Times there's an article that states that Mr. Jackson accepted help to the tune of $115,000 from convicted felon Victor Noval.

Tony:         Did he give it back?

Jackie:       He gave some of it back.

Tony:         What would be the difference in the office between whether you were elected and whether he were elected?

Jackie:       For one thing I have 12 years of management experience helping to run the office and I have a broader range of experience. Mr. Jackson has a limited amount of experience in the office subject matter. He does not have the broad range of experience that I have. The difference is that I could start running the office from day one. Mr. Jackson would have to spend a couple of years learning everything.

Tony:         Are you going to make any changes from what Steve Cooley has been doing?

Jackie:       I will have different people in my administration because there are going to be a number of retirements and there are changes that I would like to make. I would like to build on what Steve has done and because I have realignment to worry about because we're going to have to shift prisoners from the state to the local level I will be looking for ways to ensure that LA County residents remain safe by using alternative sentencing courts for some of the lower-level offenses.

Tony:         Do you have the funds to do that?

Jackie:       Actually it is cheaper to do it that way than it is to incarcerate everybody for every crime.

Tony:         Do you have any comments on the election?

Jackie:       I think that this choice between Jackson and me comes down to do you want a person who is just a prosecutor or do you want somebody who has been a prosecutor and a leader also. I am the number two prosecutor in the District Attorney's office. I've been endorsed by Steve Cooley, Kamala Harris, by the LA County police chiefs. Law enforcement has overwhelmingly chosen me as a person they believe should be the next District Attorney.

Tony:         Have you tried any cases since you've been in administration?

Jackie:       No, but executives don't try cases.

Tony:         How many cases did you try before you became an administrator?

Jackie:       I tried 60 felony jury trials and a number of misdemeanors that I can't count before I got into this office. I did a lot of trial work.