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  Cooley, Steve
NameSteve Cooley
Los Angeles, California , United States
Website [Link]
Born May 01, 1947 (75 years)
ContributorSummer Intern
Last ModifedPaul πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦
Dec 26, 2012 09:24pm
InfoVeteran prosecutor Steve Cooley was elected Los Angeles County's 36th District Attorney on November 7, 2000. In a hard fought campaign, which featured a record-breaking 15 debates, Cooley captured nearly two-thirds of the vote. He was the first trial-tested attorney to be elected D.A. in almost 30 years.

A former reserve Los Angeles Police Officer, Cooley has reshaped and revitalized the District Attorney's Office with the most sweeping reorganization that has occurred in the last 40 years. Central to this reorganization was the creation of new units to prosecute crimes committed by members of the justice system and public corruption.

For the first time in the 151-year history of the county, as a result of the D.A.'s efforts, protocols were signed with the sheriff and police chiefs throughout the county establishing procedures for referring allegations of law enforcement criminality directly to the D.A.'s new Justice System Integrity Division.

With the establishment of the Public Integrity Division, a new emphasis has been placed on enforcement of election and campaign laws, conflict of interest prohibitions, and the open government meetings law, the Brown Act.

Cooley also changed the office's policy on California's three-strikes law to assure proportionality in sentencing and even-handed application countywide.

Cooley's creation of a Forensic Science Section recognizes the scientific advances that have occurred in the investigation and prosecution of crimes. As part of this effort, the use of DNA and other new techniques in solving so-called "cold cases" (unsolved homicides and sexual assaults) have been given priority.

A new Victim Impact Program (VIP) assures special protection and assistance for the most vulnerable crime victims - the elderly, victims of child abuse and sexual abuse, targets of hate crimes, victims of stalking and domestic violence.

The creation of the Los Angeles County Prosecutors Association, inspired by the District Attorney, has brought a new level of cooperation among city prosecutors within the county.

The District Attorney has taken the lead in demanding that the federal government take steps to reverse Mexico's refusal to extradite accused criminals who face life sentences in the United States. He has also been a leader in sponsoring anti-terrorist legislation in Sacramento. Cooley obtained the passage of three bills to protect against terrorist acts and weapons of mass destruction.

Among the major criminal convictions during Cooley's term have been those of former Symbionese Liberation Army "soldier" Kathleen Soliah (Sara Jane Olson) and the so-called "Angel of Death," Efrem Saldivar. The Soliah case led to the convictions of Soliah and other SLA members for a murder committed during a Sacramento bank robbery.

Cooley has received recognition from a variety of diverse organizations: Justice for Homicide Victims (Crime Victims Star of the Year), National Black Prosecutors Association (Champion of The People), Encino Chamber of Commerce (Leaders in Public Service Award), California NAACP (Community Justice Award), Century City Bar Association (Prosecutor of the Year -- 2001).

Cooley joined the District Attorney's Office in 1973. He was born in Los Angeles on May 1, 1947 at St. Vincent's Hospital. The second of five children, his father was an FBI agent and his mother a homemaker. Cooley attended schools in the Silverlake area. At California State University at Los Angeles, Cooley served two terms as Student Body President and was selected for membership in Phi Kappa Phi Academic Honor Society. In May 1999, he was honored as Cal State L.A.'s "1998 Alumnus of the Year."

After serving as CSULA's June 1970 commencement speaker for his graduating class, Cooley entered USC Law Center. He graduated in 1973, receiving the Am Jur Award for Criminal Law. That same year he joined the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Steve Cooley and his wife Jana have lived in Toluca Lake for over 28 years and have two grown children.


Title Purchase Contributor

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor
May 17, 2011 11:00pm Announcement D.A. Steve Cooley won't run for 4th term; he endorses deputy district attorney Jacquelyn Lacey   Article COSDem 
Jun 09, 2010 05:00am Statement Cooley says online pot sales, deliveries illegal  Article Jason 
Mar 24, 2005 04:00pm News Blake Jurors 'Stupid,' D.A. Says  Article Summer Intern 

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