Former Brea mayor Brett Murdock has the endorsement of the Democratic Party of Orange County (not the CDP endorsement), but Lenore Albert-Sheridan, the co-chair of the State Democratic Party’s Credentials Committee, will be on the ballot for DA sans a ballot designation. An appeal filed on behalf of Anaheim’s Mark Daniels by Murdock ally Greg Diamond was rejected by a court clerk due to several errors.
First things first. Albert-Sheridan is suspended from practicing law by the California State Bar. She still has not been formally informed of this fact by the State Bar, and three calls by me to the State Bar for clarity on the process for informing lawyers their law license is suspended have yielded no call backs to this site. Albert-Sheridan learned of her suspension last month when Diamond wrote a blog post abut it with a link to the State Bar website. The last communication Albert-Sheridan received from the California State Bar was a mis-addressed letter to her about another attorney’s law license suspension. As of today, the State Bar has failed to notify Albert-Sheridan of her suspension, so new cases she’s taken on after the date of the suspension have been dropped or moved to other attorneys until this is all sorted out.
I am reminded of a blog post written on OJ about my failure to pay a city business tax to Santa Ana about eight years ago when I had an office there. I never got a phone call, a letter or an invoice from the city, and my understanding was my lease paid all licensing and taxes. I was able to straighten this out with the city of Santa Ana (and discovered that the then OJ blog owner hadn’t paid his business taxes either) but most people aren’t paying a bill unless they get an invoice — the exception being income taxes.
In the case of Albert-Sheridan, she is appealing her suspension and when filing documents for District Attorney, answered the questions to the best of her knowledge about her status as a lawyer. But the suspension and the desire to protect Brett Murdock as the only Democratic candidate for District Attorney led this challenge to remove her from the ballot altogether. The courts decided she could stay on the ballot, but without a ballot designation. And she’s the first candidate listed in two key Assembly Districts.
Here’s the court’s decision from last Friday:
Respondent filed a declaration in connection with this petition expressing no position on the substantive matters here involved, but requesting that any decision made in this matter be final no later than April 13, 2018, to ensure the election is not delayed, Based on this declaration, the Court finds that the issuance of the requested writ will not substantially interfere with the conduct of the election.
The Petition is GRANTED IN PART, AND DENIED IN PART.
Respondent is ORDERED to strike the ballot designation of “Civil Rights Attorney” of Real Party in Interest Lenore Albert.
Real Party’s name shall remain on the ballot for the office of District Attorney,
Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 1110b any notice of appeal filed in this matter shall not operate as a stay of execution of this Order,
This Minute Order shall constitute as the formal order and Writ of Mandate.
Diamond reported this on OJ last weekend; he filed an appeal to the judge’s decision and his appeal documents were rejected by the court clerk for basic errors in the filing process on several pages (you have to wonder who the better lawyer is here cause it’s doesn’t seem like it’s Greg).
Documents are returned for generally sloppy work, inaccurate dates and designations. Maybe Diamond needs more time off to recover from that stroke he had last year before lawyering again. I’m not a lawyer and I’m not getting into the weeds on this, but people have a right to run for office.
Meanwhile, Albert-Sheridan is being sued by Democrats and Republican opponent Todd Spitzer, who filed a suit in response to a defamation lawsuit against a former employee of his at the county (note to Todd, I’ve seen the documents you claim don’t exist and you have defamed this employee — just apologize and correct the record and it all goes away.)
Murdock, in his branding, is playing off a Marvel superhero — Daredevil. A blind lawyer with heightened senses who is the subject of two Netflix series and Daredevil is “the man without fear.” But Murdock as a DA candidate seems to be the man no one fears. Two lawsuits against a fellow Democratic opponent by members of both parties with warnings of how dangerous Albert-Sheridan is strikes me as she is the Democratic candidate the establishment fears because she’s going to get a lot of votes from women this cycle.
Diamond likes to mention how I was admonished at the last DPOC meeting when Murdock was speaking. I wanted to hear him make the case for why the party should endorse him. He spent about 20 seconds of his experience in office on the Brea City Council, about 20 seconds on his goals if elected DA and the remainder of his time criticizing the two Republicans and Albert-Sheridan. My comment was “talk about yourself not her.” There were others shouting “liar” and that wasn’t me; I cleared it up with Fran Sdao at the end of the meeting, but in my opinion Murdock didn’t make the case for the endorsement the party gave. His application was also — terrible. And the handwriting was nearly illegible.
Had Albert-Sheridan used Murdock’s tactic, she would have brought up his FPPC fine. The BreaMatters blog reported: “Brett Murdock tacitly appointed to lead opposition to The Brea Open Governance Act and The Brea Accountability Act. Murdock failed to disclose his leadership of the Breans Against Measures T & U PAC and was fined $2,000 by the FPPC.”
And there’s a matter of a civil lawsuit Murdock is part of with a neighbor over a fence and a property line. You can read the complaint here.
But here’s a summary:
Murdock’s next door neighbor has lived in his house since 1989. Murdock moves in 2015 (a 26 year gap). Murdock hires a surveyor who provides him with a new property line in which a chain link fence belonging to his neighbor has long been in place that appears to be in compliance with the neighbor’s title documents. Murdock has the fence torn down; takes neighbor’s property. Neighbor sues. Wouldn’t a knock on the door and a conversation to resolve a disputed property line have been a better, smarter approach?
Murdock has the endorsement of the DPOC, party chair Fran Sdao remains his biggest single contributor with a $5K loan and his fundraising is way behind the Republicans on the ballot. Albert-Sheridan hasn’t started fundraising yet until her spot on the ballot was secure.
This will be a fun race to watch.