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.
Q: Alan Jackson, your opponent, has been running a controversial advertisement against you. I’d like to ask you about some of the things he says and then add. One of the first things he says is, “I’m modernizing the DA’s office.” Is Alan Jackson in administration?
A: No. He’s an assistant head deputy of major crimes.
Q: How is he modernizing the DA’s office?
A: He’s not.
Q: 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?
A: 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.
Q: Did he say that to you?
A: 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.
Q: So, where’s the lie?
A: I don’t know. That’s what he’s alleging I lied about.
Q: So what is your opinion about the possibility of your opponent becoming District Attorney?
A: 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.
Q: Did he give it back?
A: He gave some of it back.
Q: What would be the difference in the office between whether you were elected and whether he were elected?
A: 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 I could start running the office from day one. Mr. Jackson would have to spend a couple of years learning everything.
Q: Are you going to make any changes from what Steve Cooley has been doing?
A: I’m going to build on what Steve’s done. 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 he’s done and — because I have realignment to worry about as 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.
Q: Do you have any comments on the election?
A: 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.