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L.A. County prosecutor Alan Jackson to run for district attorney in 2012

December 6, 2010 |  1:58 pm

Alanjackson Just days after warning "politician-types" against running to replace him in 2012, Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley gave one of his own prosecutors his blessing.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Alan Jackson, who has handled a number of high-profile murder cases, announced his candidacy Monday, echoing his boss’ intention to keep the office "in the hands of a prosecutor, not a politician."

Cooley told reporters last week he would consider running for reelection if no qualified candidates stepped up to succeed him or if any overly partisan contenders appeared likely to win. In an interview Monday, it appeared Cooley did not consider Jackson among that group, calling him qualified.

“He probably would follow my example of being a very nonpartisan D.A.,” Cooley said.

Still, Cooley said Jackson had guaranteed him a year ago, and several times since, that if Cooley did decide to run for a fourth term, Jackson would bow out.

“He’s not challenging me,” Cooley said. “If I chose to run again, he would bow out immediately.”

Jackson could not be reached for comment. He has long been among the officials speculated to have an eye on taking the helm of the district attorney's office. Other possible candidates include City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, Assistant Dist. Atty. Jacquelyn Lacey and Deputy Dist. Attys. Bobby Grace and Steve Ipsen. Ipsen used to head the prosecutors’ union and ran unsuccessfully against Cooley in 2008.

Cooley did not endorse Jackson, saying it was too early in the race, and “I have no crystal balls on my desk right now.”

Fresh off his losing bid to become state attorney general, Cooley warned against overly partisan hopefuls. He declined to say Monday whom he was referring to but said he had some names in mind.

“A reasonable person could deduce who,” he said, calling their election the “worst thing” that could happen to the district attorney’s office.

Jackson has been a prosecutor for 16 years. He successfully prosecuted musician Phil Spector for murder and won a conviction against the man who killed teenager Lily Burk. He is currently prosecuting a woman accused of strangling Santa Monica model Juliana Redding.

Jackson’s campaign announcement called him a “cop’s prosecutor.” No other major candidates have announced their intentions to run yet.

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-- Robert Faturechi

Photo: L.A. County Deputy Dist. Atty. Alan Jackson in 2009. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

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