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DA candidate admits video was mistake

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 at 5:32 pm in 2010 election, Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics.

UPDATE: See the link below to the O’Malley video that he removed from his campaign website. LAV

Contra Costa District Attorney candidate Dan O’Malley’s fledgling campaign is off to a rough start.

He told Contra Costa Times reporter Malaika Fraley today that it was a mistake to post on his website (it has now been taken down) a video testimonial from his wife, Contra Costa County Presiding Judge Mary Ann O’Malley.

No kidding.

The California Code of Judicial Ethics states that judges cannot “publicly endorse or publicly oppose candidates a candidate for nonjudicial office.”

That includes wives who happen to be judges. O’Malley told Fraley it was intended to be a video about the family and contained no mention of his wife’s job.

With all due respect to spousal admiration, the O’Malleys should have known better. Dan was a judge. His father was a judge. She is a judge.

Here’s what O’Malley’s two declared challengers had to say to Fraley about the incident:

“It is very troubling that the first act of this candidate who wants to be the chief law enforcement of the county is to violate the judicial cannons of ethics,” said deputy district attorney Mark Peterson, a Concord city councilman who is running against O’Malley and Danville attorney Elle Falahat for the office.

“It’s a clear violation of the rules,” Falahat said. “They’ve been in politics so long, they should have known better.”

The Times also received a copy of a letter signed by an anonymous “concerned attorney” on Sept. 4 that complains about the video testimonial and further states that Mary O’Malley was present at a campaign event thrown by her husband and attended by “a majority of younger deputy district attorneys.”

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