Want to be DA? Deadline is near

By Anthony Skeens, The Triplicate November 06, 2013 05:34 pm

The application window for attorneys vying to finish suspended Del Norte District Attorney Jon Alexander’s term will close at the end of this week.

Interviews will then be conducted by the county Board of Supervisors, which will the appoint someone to fill the position they declared vacant Sept. 24, said County Administrative Officer Jay Sarina.

“I’d anticipate those will be closed sessions,” said Sarina of the interviews.

Sarina declined to say how many attorneys have submitted applications so far, but stated he anticipates several more before the deadline.

“We tend to see that whenever there’s one of the higher-level positions open,” said Sarina. “They tend to come in right at the last minute.”

There’s not a set date at this point as to when an interim DA will be appointed, Sarina said.

“It’s usually dictated by how quickly we can get the board members and the applicants together and we’ll try to do that as soon as possible,” said Sarina.

Assistant DA Katherine Micks has been heading the office since Alexander was suspended last April following a State Bar judge’s recommendation that he be disbarred.

Whoever is appointed will be considered DA until the end of 2014.

Alexander was elected in 2010, beating out attorney Robert Drossell in the general election after they both out-polled incumbent Mike Riese in the primary. 

Alexander’s tenure was cut short after the State Bar court found him in violation of Bar rules against communicating with a represented party, moral turpitude and suppressing evidence.  His law license was rendered inactive.

The violations stemmed from a conversation he had with a woman facing drug-related charges after she went into his office with a voice recorder in her pocket, which was later used to prove Alexander talked to her.

Alexander has since filed an appeal of the judge’s recommendation, and oral arguments will be heard Feb. 12 by the State Bar’s Review Department. The department will then have 90 days to decide whether the judge’s recommendations will be forwarded to the California Supreme Court.

Last Friday, a visiting judge ruled in favor of the county supervisors’ decision to suspend Alexander. The judge decided it was appropriate for the board to suspend him to protect the county from liabilities that may have been raised by having Alexander in office while he did not have an active Bar license.

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