DEEGAN ON LA—Not voting for Jeff Chemerinsky, who wants to be the District Attorney, will be the more than 30 members of the MS-13 gang, including the leader of MS-13 in Los Angeles, and the leader of the East Coast Crips that he personally prosecuted.
Other non-voters for the candidate will be the murderers, sex traffickers, firearms traffickers, corruptors, and sexual assault offenders that he won convictions of. He has never lost a case (https://www.jeffforda.com/about) as Chief of the Violent and Organized Crime section of the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles before he stepped down a few months ago to run for DA.
His success with convictions in many major organized retail theft cases should come as good news to merchants and customers rattled and fearful of being victims robbed or caught in the cross fire of the epidemic smash and grab robberies that have become so common.
City Watch caught up with the candidate a few days ago to hear about his law and order agenda for LA.
CW-What’s your law and order agenda?
JC-My top priority will be public safety, including prosecuting "smash and grab" robberies to protect the public, workers, and businesses, and prioritizing the prosecution of gun crimes and firearm trafficking to keep our neighborhoods safe.
CW-What public-facing leadership role can the DA take to instill confidence that criminals will be dealt with strictly.
JC-I will restore public confidence in the District Attorney’s office to increase public safety and enact reforms to ensure fairness and equity in the criminal justice system. I’ll do this by improving office morale by ending the infighting and dysfunction in the DA’s office and improving and diversifying hiring and retention to fill the hundreds of vacancies of prosecutors. I’ll also be implementing a comprehensive transparency program for the District Attorney's office to make the office more accessible and accountable.
CW-Are there any prosecutorial tools that can be introduced, strengthened or enhanced to send both a warning to perps and assurance to the public?
JC-Criminals who re-offend will be identified and held accountable.
Misdemeanors are crimes, and while they do not merit excessive sentencing, we will develop guidelines for appropriate consequences, such as probation and community service depending on the circumstances.
The public will know what kinds of crimes are charged, and how they are processed through the criminal justice system.
There will be cooperation between federal and local law enforcement in the county, and among all local prosecuting offices in the county, including the U.S. Attorney’s office and the LA City Attorney’s office, in order to ensure fair prosecutions and efficiency.
A comprehensive transparency program will make the DA’s office more accessible and accountable. Improving outreach across our communities to listen to residents and express our commitment to protecting their safety, rights and property.
CW-There is a job search going on right now to replace the current Chief of Police who has just retired. How will that affect the DA’s office?
JC-To be effective, the District Attorney must partner with law enforcement, and hold them accountable when there is misconduct. I will do both.
As a federal prosecutor and Chief of the Violent & Organized Crime Section for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, I have had a very productive and successful relationship with the LAPD and other law enforcement agencies throughout Southern California. Working together, we have never lost a case.
CW-If you are elected you will be working with a brand new Chief of Police. What’s your conversation with him or her on Day 1?
JC-I will reach out to establish a partnership on Day 1, and make sure we can align our priorities and resources allocation as much as possible. We can only be successful by working together, so our relationship will be very important to meeting our shared goals of improving public safety.
CW-Thank you Jeff Chemerinsky
(Tim Deegan is a civic activist whose Deegan on LA weekly column about city planning, new urbanism, the environment, and the homeless appear in CityWatch. Tim can be reached at [email protected].)