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Prosecutors union backs veteran deputy D.A. for district attorney

April 18, 2012 | 11:26 am

Deputy Dist. Atty. Danette Meyers and Dr. Ronald Markman

The union that represents line-level county prosecutors has thrown its weight behind veteran Deputy Dist. Atty. Danette Meyers in the race to become the county’s next top prosecutor, a union official said Tuesday.

The Assn. of Deputy District Attorneys endorsed Meyers at a board meeting Monday evening, concluding she was the most likely candidate to deal with long-standing complaints by the union about management under Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley, the association’s president said.

“She was the candidate who promised a house cleaning,” Hyatt Seligman said. “And that’s what we feel we need in the D.A.’s office after 12 years of Mr. Cooley’s mismanagement and anti-union policies.”

The association last year settled a lawsuit against the county for $125,000 after a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against Cooley and other county officials, saying evidence established retaliation against union members that "is both striking and rampant." Cooley and the county have denied mistreating the union or its members.

Seligman said that Meyers expressed concerns about the fairness of how promotions are decided in the office and would be open to revamping the process. “We want a professional who will treat us like the professionals that we are,” he said.

Meyers has tried dozens of murder cases and several death penalty cases in her 25 years with the office. Most recently, she handled the high-profile drunk driving and theft charges against actress Lindsay Lohan.

Meyers is one of six contenders running in the June 5 election to replace Cooley, who is retiring after serving three terms. The other candidates include City Atty. Carmen Trutanich; L.A. County Chief Deputy Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey; Deputy Dist. Atty. Alan Jackson; Deputy Dist. Atty. Bobby Grace; and Deputy Dist. Atty. John L. Breault III.


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Photo: Deputy Dist. Atty. Danette Meyers with Dr. Ronald Markman. Credit: Christina House / For The Times