Alan Jackson Defends TV Ad in Race for District Attorney
Alan Jackson, a candidate for Los Angeles District Attorney, was born in 1965 and was raised by a single mother in Texas. He served as a jet engine mechanic in the United States Air Force. He received his B.A. from the University of Texas and his J.D. from Pepperdine Law School. He is a seventeen year veteran of the District Attorney’s office and was twice named Prosecutor of the Year.
Q: In your TV ad you said that you are modernizing the DA’s office. What do you mean by that?
A: I take a very modern prosecutor’s approach to the District Attorney’s office. So much has changed over the last several decades in prosecuting cases. The law is very dynamic, ever-changing, and ever moving forward. I’ve been tethered to the courtroom in such a way that I’ve kept up with the changing law. I understand what a modern prosecution looks like as opposed to what a prosecution looked like maybe 15 to 20 years ago.
Q: In your ad you say, speaking of Jackie Lacey, “She is a political appointee who was dishonest under oath to protect her boss.” What’s that about?
A: She was a named defendant in a federal suit naming her and others in the office and the office itself for antiunion conduct. She testified in one hearing that she had certain conversations with subordinates dissuading them from joining the union, saying that the union would be a “disaster,” and that it would be bad for their career. That was at an ERCOM, Employee Relations COMmission hearing, and that was under oath. Several months later she went back on the witness stand and recanted the story that she told the first time. By the way that testimony obviously exposed District Attorney Steve Cooley and the office to enormous liability.
Q: Jackie Lacey also accused you of, in her words, “accepting help to the tune of $115,000 from convicted felon Victor Noval.”
A: She’s absolutely wrong that I got $115,000 from one person. She knows that that would be impossible, that we couldn’t accept that kind of money. We received the maximum donation of $3,000 from Victorino Noval and returned it all. Around 20 years ago Victorino suffered some kind of a conviction that we were completely unaware of, under a different name. He literally changed his name since then. There’s just no way for any candidate to run background checks on all of their donors. We’ve had well over 2,000 donors including former governors, former mayors, and former judges. What she said is absolutely untrue.
Q: What would be the difference between her being District Attorney and you being District Attorney?
A: I think I bring a prosecutor’s perspective to the office as opposed to that of an establishment bureaucrat. That’s the biggest difference between the two of us. The establishment, if you will, has all lined up behind Miss Lacey. I, on the other hand, don’t represent the establishment. I’m sort of the modern prosecutor coming in looking at it from an outside perspective.
Q: She claims that she is an experienced administrator and can come into the office ready to go to work on day one, whereas it would take you a couple of years to learn the job.
A: That’s absolutely incorrect. Keep in mind that not only have I been in court for the last 20 years, I’ve been supervising one of the most elite divisions in the entire District Attorney’s office, the major crimes division. I would hearken back to the year 2000 when the County of Los Angeles elected a man to office who hadn’t spent a single day in management, and that man is Steve Cooley. He considered himself, and ran on the platform, that he was a prosecutor above all else, not a bureaucrat and not an administrator. That’s the exactly the same thing with me. It certainly did not take Steve Cooley two to three years to get up to the job. I think I have the ability to deal with what’s ultimately rapidly changing the District Attorney’s office, and that is technology and law.
Q: Who is supporting you?
A: Former LA Mayor Richard Riordan, L.A. County Supervisors Mike Antonovich and Don Knabe, and Rob Bonner, a former federal judge, former head of the DEA, former head of Customs and Immigration, and former US attorney for the Central District of California. I’m also supported by more than 13 major newspapers in the County of Los Angeles and backed by thousands of police officers, by dozens of police associations in the County of Los Angeles.
Q: Are you going to make any changes from what Steve Cooley’s doing?
A: I can tell you that there will be no hard shifts one way or the other. I don’t believe that it’s a correct philosophy to walk into an office and start making broad sweeping changes on day one that upend what we’ve been doing for years. It’s been running relatively well for years, but there are things that we could be doing better. I want to focus on public integrity, violent crime, and modernizing the DA’s office from a technological standpoint as well as a prosecutorial standpoint. And something we’ve already talked about, stopping crime before it starts.