Just because I posted a buncha links to election information last Friday doesn't mean I've read all of them. I'm madly boning up on issues. But I got new stuff, too.
Hey, L.A. County—judge for yourselves! L.A. County voters, here's some info on the judge races... —Sigh. how do you vote for those folks, anyhow? Having a friend who's a former L.A. Deputy District Attorney and who ran for office as a municipal court judge (unsuccessfully, alas) means that I get some good information on these races.
The Metropolitan News-Enterprise, a publication dedicated to legal issues (and which closely follows judicial races) in LA, has information on the judicial races.
By the way, the MetNews has a list of articles relating to 2002 Judge election.
LA Met's March 4 editorial and endorsements in the Judicial races
A particular issue is the candidacy of Donald Renetzky, who has 100% disability rating. Two questions:
- Can a person who has a 100% disability rating be fit to serve as judge?
- He's an "Admin Law Judge" — a judge on worker's compensation claims. Is he working the system to get the highest disability rating?
An Aug. 16, 2001 order signed by Administrative Law Judge Charles A. Regnell states that the Renetzky and the State Compensation Insurance Fund entered into a stipulation that rated Renetzky 100 percent permanently disabled, and based on that rating, awarded him $490 a week for life.
March 1: Opponents Say Disability Claim May Make Renetzky Unfit for Bench This statement is by one of his opponents, Joe Deering, so take it with a grain of salt... But it bears considering:
Deering said he was surprised Renetzky was claiming total disability. He said he believes Renetzky is somehow taking advantage of the very system by both claiming to be 100 percent disabled and continuing to serve as an administrative law judge. “If you are claiming 100 percent disability, it seems very clear to me that you are making a claim that you are unable to work,” Deering said.
Well Qualified, Qualified, Not Qualified Here's the most salient of those articles , the L.A. County Bar Association's qualifications for various candidates. I'm emphasizing those that were rated NOT qualified, so you know not to vote for them.
- Office No. 2, eldercare attorney Joseph Deering and prosecutor Hank Goldberg drew “well qualified” ratings against Administrative Law Judge Donald Renetzky’s final “qualified” rating. The contest is for an open seat vacated by retired Judge Michael Pirosh.
- Office No. 39, law school dean Larry H. Layton was rated “qualified” and prosecutors Craig Renetzky—Donald Renetzky’s son—and Richard Naranjo were rated qualified. The seat is being vacated by Judge Richard Spann.
- Office No. 40, Stucker was rated “not qualified” and Baxter “well qualified.”
- Office No. 53, West Covina lawyer H. Don Christian and Deputy District Attorney Lauren Weis were ranked “well qualified;” Mid-Wilshire attorney Robert Harrison and former court Commissioner Richard A. Espinoza were found “qualified.” The seat is being vacated by Judge Michael Kanner.
- Office No. 67, State Bar Court Judge Paul A. Bacigalupo and Superior Court Commissioner Steven Lubell each were rated “well qualified,” and prosecutor David Gelfound and San Fernando Valley attorney David Crawford were labeled “qualified.” The seat was that of Judge David Finkel, who recently retired.
- Office No. 90, in which Glendale lawyer Kenneth Wright is challenging Judge C. Robert Simpson Jr. Simpson was rated “well qualified” to Wright’s “qualified.”
- Office No. 100, Deputy District Attorney Richard F. Walmark was rated “well qualified,” Warden was declared “not qualified,” and Administrative Law Judge John Gutierrez was deemed “qualified.”