When LA City Attorney Carmen Trutanich came in third in the primary, it appeared the race for District Attorney of LA County had lost the possibility of fireworks. Last night, LACOPS, an organization of police and sheriffs, held the first debate between the winners, who will compete in November’s runoff election. Jackie Lacey and Alan Jackson are both lawyers in the biggest office of its kind in the country. Lacey is the top assistant to Steve Cooley, who’s stepping down. Jackson heads the major crimes division. The debate, which Warren Olney moderated, had substance—but it was also full of nasty exchanges.
Both candidates support the death penalty and oppose Proposition 34 on the November ballot, which would capital punishment in California. They took different positions on Prop 36, which would change the law called “three strikes and you’re out”—which provides life imprisonment for a third felony conviction.
Lacey has been criticized for changing her testimony in a lawsuit claiming that her boss, current DA Steve Cooley, blocked efforts to unionize the deputies in his office. That could be illegal union busting on Cooley’s part. At first Lacey said Cooley did not like the union—but she later reversed that, saying she was subject to high blood sugar in the afternoons and hadn’t thought clearly. Jackson went on the attack.