DA: Peterson replies to O’Malley ‘judge’ issue





Contra Costa District Attorney candidate Mark Peterson responded today to an earlier post on this blog about the dispute between him and his opponent, Dan O’Malley, over the use of “judge” as a title.

Peterson has filed a lawsuit asking the courts to bar O’Malley’s use of the title. O’Malley was a judge for almost six years before he resigned his position, and maintains that he is eligible to call himself judge or retired judge because he qualifies for a limited retirement and could serve in the retired judges’ pool. ”

Peterson disagrees and says his opponent is illegally implying that he is an incumbent of an office that he does not hold. Here is a portion of what Peterson had to say about the case:

I take issue with Dan O’Malley’s assertion, printed in your Monday posting, that my petition for an injunction is nothing but a tactic designed solely to take up his time and money. That is not true. The request for an injunction has come about because of Dan’s repeated refusal to follow the law.

Because of Dan’s poor showing at the polls in June, rather than simply continue to describe himself as an attorney, he evidently decided that he should portray himself as a judge, or as a retired judge, for some perceived electoral advantage.

Unfortunately for Dan, he is neither a judge, nor a retired judge. Additionally, Election Code section 18350(a) prohibits a candidate from implying, by statements or conduct, that he’s the incumbent of a public office, when that’s not the case.

Ever since Dan’s primary defeat, he repeatedly has plastered his official campaign websites with the false and deceptive title, “Judge Dan O’Malley.” Signs were printed up that read, “Elect JUDGE Dan O’Malley for District Attorney,” also in clear violation of section 18350.

Because of those actions, I sent Dan a letter on September 4th, asking him to stop his deceptive and illegal conduct. (Copy attached). I asked him to just follow the law, so each of us could avoid legal action and the attendant costs and distractions. Dan made some cosmetic changes to his websites, but he continues to display dozens of webpages, identifying himself as “Judge Dan O’Malley,” and he sends correspondence listing himself as “Judge Dan O’Malley.”

Furthermore, on some of the other pages of his website, even after receiving my letter, Dan deliberately chooses to list himself as “JUDGE DAN O’MALLEY (ret.).” Dan’s attempt to portray himself as a “JUDGE” with his intentionally minimized disclaimer of “(ret.),” is a fairly transparent attempt to deceive the voters and to skirt the law. After over two weeks of continued violations, it was clear there was to be no voluntary compliance with the law, therefore, I took legal action.

Even during the week that has transpired since I had to take legal action, Dan continues to display multiple webpages, where he continues to identify himself as “Judge Dan O’Malley,” with no disclaimer whatsoever on those particular webpages. Dan also employs his eVoter profile to imply that he’s a sitting judge, with a picture of himself in judicial robes, with no mention whatsoever of his current profession, and with no suggestion that he’s a former judge, not a sitting one.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen

  • REW

    Mark Peterson has got it plastered on his campaign web-site that he’s being backed by police, even though
    he’s being opposed by the following police agencies and police officials.

    Warren Rupf, Contra Costa County Sheriff
    Bill Granados, Fire Commissioner
    Lionel Chatman, Contra Costa County Chief Probation Officer
    Chris Martinez, Deputy Sheriff
    California Asian Peace Officers PAC
    California District Attorney Investigators’ Association
    California Narcotics Officers Association
    Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorneys’ Association
    Contra Costa Police Chiefs Association
    Contra Costa County District Attorney Inspectors
    Contra Costa Probation Officers Association
    East Bay Regional Parks Police Officers Association
    CNOA Region One
    Antioch Police Officers Association
    Brentwood Police Officers Association
    El Cerrito Police Officers Association
    Kensington Police Department
    Martinez Police Officers Association
    Moraga Police Officers Association
    Richmond Police Officers Association
    Pittsburg Police Officers Association
    Pleasant Hill Police Officers Association
    Walnut Creek Police Officers Association
    Community College Police Department.

    If Peterson is being supported by police it must be in another county, because orginized law enforcement in this county is opposed to career politician Mark Peterson’s campaign for District Attorney. We don’t need a wheeler dealer career politican running the DA’s office, one that spends all his time politicking and running for other offices, a likely occurence if Peterson is elected. We need a DA who will be a hands on manager who will focus on prosecuting criminals, not a political gadfly like Peterson. This, unquestionably, is the reason police POA’s all over the county are backing Dan O’malley for District Attorney. This law suit he filed is a cheap theatrical tactic – befitting a career politican like Peterson. Peterson is trying to divert attention away from the fact he has zero law enforcement support, and the fact that most responsible politicians, like Miller, Torlakson, DeSaulnier, and Garamendi are backing Dan O’Malley’s candidacy.

  • Elwood

    Ooh, I wouldn’t slam an outhouse door that hard!

    Poor Peterson. The truth must really hurt!

  • RF

    Someones internal polling suggests he isn’t as far ahead as the primary would make one believe.


    This sophomoric Willie Horton commercial is just plain desperate.

    I was going to vote for Peterson, “was” being the main point.

  • John W

    Re: #3

    I’m leaning toward voting for Peterson, but have to agree the Roy Gordon ad is pretty sleezy. Defense attorneys are integral to the justice system, and it’s the nature of the beast that the people they defend often are not candidates for sainthood. That said, calling Peterson a “career politician” is equally a cheap shot. I mean, what’s the monthly pay for a Concord city councilman — about $900 or so?

  • Djundrcover


    I agree, society does need defense attorney’s. The 30 second ad doesn’t really paint the whole picture. Head on over to eastbayexpress.com for a pretty in depth story on O’malley connection to the plea agreement. There are some interesting fasts that didn’t come out in the commercial.

  • Needs A Honest DA

    Get really people, take a look at the article, for your convenience, here is the link to the rape case article:


    Peterson is trying playing by the “LAW” while Danny boy is playing along his daddy’s connection.

    Please read the article!!!

  • Needs A Honest DA


    Daddy’s boy trying to follow daddy’s footsteps or daddy wants Danny boy to follow dada’s footsteps…either way p, the should obey the law…after all, it is the DAs office!!!

  • RF

    If Peterson is what you call “Honest”, we are in trouble in Contra Costa County.

  • John W

    I don’t know who’s honest or not, and presume that neither candidate is either a saint or a crook. But I have seen Peterson on the job, from the perspective of a jury pool member in one of his murder trials. The guy is good. He has, by far, more experience as a career prosecutor and, by far, a better legal education. Besides, family dynasties annoy me — whether it’s two Clintons or two Bushes in the White House; the Piepho/Nejedly’s; or the prospect of one family simultaneously controlling the District Attorney’s offices in both major East Bay counties plus the Superior Court chief judge position in one of those counties. Others may disagree. That’s life.

  • Oscar F

    If the (ret.) after the name and salutation is alright for the military, then it’s alright with me! Everyone know what it means.

  • Elwood

    Is it just me, or does Peterson look like a weasel?

  • Jason

    Funny, doesn’t Judge Judy still hold onto her title even though she’s technically no judge via her show? What about previous Presidents still known by their respective titles? On another final note about Peterson’s bickering…who cares?