It's not often when Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas conducts a press conference. It's exceptionally rare when Rackauckas calls the media to his office to announce he's filing an appeal. But the DA has suffered huge public relations setbacks this year involving alarming prosecutorial team incompetence and cheating in death penalty cases.
So, this morning, Rackauckas issued his third "media advisory" in two weeks to draw attention away from the messes and to a no-lose PR stunt: Attacking Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly's decision to go relatively soft on 19-year-old Kevin Jonas Rojano-Nieto, a pedophile who sodomized a three-year-old female relative and received a 10-year prison sentence instead of a 25 years to life term sought by prosecutors.
Or, more accurately: Renewing his re-attacks on Kelly, who–by the way–is, like the DA, an ultra-conservative Republican.
The DA's office alerted reporters to the case on April 3, April 10 and today. Rackauckas has also gone on Fox News and KFI-AM to yap about his feelings. At noon, he will repeat his outrage, err, gather the media to advise them that he's filing an appeal of Kelly's sentencing order. It's a move that isn't really news given that he's been saying the same thing all month. But merely sending copies of the appeal to news outlets wouldn't guarantee his mug on the 4, 5, 6, 10 and 11 o'clock news.
In a week, will he issue yet another press advisory to announce he's waiting on the Court of Appeal to rule?*****
Reporting brethren: Hurry over to the DA's office at 401 Civic Center in Santa Ana!
******No joke, UPDATE, 4:30 p.m.: Hours after posting that line and Erwin Chemerinsky, UC Irvine School of Law dean, writing an OC Register guest column, "Big Problems at OCDA's Office," Rackauckas announced he will hold another press conference tomorrow–not to discuss the big problems, but to hail his opposition to the parole of a man convicted in a 1977 murder case.