Represent!

Politics, government and public life for Southern California

2 women to lead LA District Attorney office under DA-elect Lacey

Los Angeles District Attorney-elect Jackie Lacey takes office December 3, 2012.
Los Angeles District Attorney-elect Jackie Lacey takes office December 3, 2012. Jackie Lacey's campaign website

For the first time in history, women will hold the top two jobs at the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office.

Jackie Lacey – who was elected as the first woman and first African American DA earlier this month – has named Sharon Matsumoto as her chief deputy.  Matsumoto is a rare breed in the office: she is well liked by competing factions and served in top management positions for both the current DA Steve Cooley and former DA Gil Garcetti.

“I am proud to announce the selection of the members of our executive management staff, and look forward to working with them and all of you to fulfill the mission of our department,” Lacey said in an office memorandum.

Lacey also appointed Bill Hodgman, who led the O.J. Simpson prosecution team, as one of three assistant DAs.  He will oversee most prosecutions.  To get an idea of his demeanor, here’s an excerpt from a People Magazine article from 1995 about Hodgman at the O.J. trial:

 During the long afternoon of Jan. 25 at O.J. Simpson's murder trial, Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney William Hodgman rose to his feet a dozen times to interrupt defense counsel Johnnie Cochran's opening statement with polite, almost apologetic objections. But he grew agitated as O.J.'s lawyers revealed plans to call 14 new witnesses—a decision they had failed to share with prosecutors. As Hodgman struggled to maintain his composure, Judge Lance Ito issued a friendly admonition. "I've known William Hodgman as a colleague and a trial lawyer, and I've never seen the expressions on his face that I've seen today," he said. "Mr. Hodgman, why don't you take a deep breath?"

The other two assistant DAs will be Pamela Booth, who will oversee administration of the office, and Joseph Esposito, who will be in charge of special operations.  Esposito, 48, is the youngest member of the top management team.

The public face of the DA’s office will also change.  Longtime Director of Communications Sandi Gibbons plans to retire early next year.  Lacey has replaced her with Jean Guccione, a former Los Angeles Times reporter who is now head of Community Relations.

Lacey defeated Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson in the November 6th election.  She’ll be sworn into her new job December 3.

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