Working to protect Orange County

Re: “Spitzer emails show he lacks temperament to be district attorney” [Opinion, July 9]: Steven Greenhut recently gave readers an individualized assessment of my temperament and suitability as the next district attorney of Orange County: “Spitzer is smart, savvy and energetic, but it wouldn’t be wise to trust him with subpoena power.” This raises a pertinent question: How should voters decide who to trust as the county’s top prosecutor? Greenhut’s article steers the reader into making a verdict on my candidacy without understanding my lifelong motivation as a public servant or providing my accomplishments or résumé for the position. In my 20s, I worked as a high school English teacher in the inner city, working to give young people a fighting chance to be a first-generation college enrolee. After law school, my first job and passion was as an Orange County deputy district attorney, where I handled thousands of cases and oversaw nearly 100 jury trials to verdict as the lead prosecutor. Even my own peers — other line prosecutors and courtroom warriors — chose me as their Orange County Prosecutor of the Year. During 10 years of being a prosecutor and a county supervisor, I volunteered as a line reserve police officer in the toughest beat in the nation, the streets of Los Angeles, for the LAPD. There I founded the DUI enforcement team for the Hollenbeck Division, which continues today, and I serve as an advisory board member for MADD Southern California. As your state assemblyman, I fought for the vulnerable — always advocating for victims and keeping criminals behind bars. I stopped any and all attempts to release prisoners early, and when they shoved me into one of the smallest offices in the Capitol as punishment, I fought even harder to protect you — and all Californians. I co-authored the law that listed sex offenders on the internet to keep families safe from predators. As a public servant and a prosecutor, I have always done what’s right — even if it wasn’t popular with politicians or insiders — because I am beholden to no one. My passion for service as an elected official has always been to serve and protect the people and to fight for justice.

I’m standing up against corruption to run for district attorney because I refuse to lie down and let the abuse of power continue, while victims and our safety suffer. Just several columns ago, Greenhut attacked DA Tony Rackauckas for hiding evidence in a murder case, in which the CHP fabricated police reports. That conviction has been overturned. CHP Chief Steve Beeuwsaert, who turned over the reports that the district attorney hid, has endorsed me because he knows of my integrity and honesty.

The politicians that put forward these attacks don’t want me to run because I will hold them accountable. While the politicians don’t want me to be district attorney, the people who matter do. That’s why my candidacy is supported by so many prominent crime victim advocates, such as Harriett and Nina Salarno, founders of Crime Victims United of California; Patricia Wenskunas, CEO and founder of Crime Survivors and Orange County’s Crime Stoppers; retired police chiefs in Costa Mesa and Anaheim; and Steve Simonian, former chief of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Investigation Bureau. Rosario Marin, former U.S. treasurer, is one of my campaign co-chairs.

Steve Greenhut doesn’t know me, but these crime victims and law enforcement leaders do know me and the work I have performed for the last two decades to protect Orange County.

— Todd Spitzer, Orange County Board of Supervisors, Third District, and candidate for district attorney.

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