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D.A. Debate: Three Prosecutors Duke, As Carmen Trutanich Ducks

Lacey has Cooley's endorsement, and were she to win it appears her administration would be tantamount to a fourth Cooley term. Asked what she would change about Cooley's office, she mentioned "transparency" and identity theft -- not major items.

Jackson, meanwhile, said he would repair the "broken relationship" with the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, which has been a major source of conflict within the office under Cooley. He also mentioned juvenile justice reform, saying that he -- like Meyers -- would like to see fewer juveniles prosecuted as adults.

Meyers said she would end the practice of punishing prosecutors by sending them to the juvenile division. Instead, she said she would stock the division with deputies who actually want to serve there.

Unlike the other two, she also took direct aim at Cooley, alleging that he has promoted people because they "went out drinking" with him. She also alleged that Cooley has gone easy on some of the scandals within the Sheriff's Department because Cooley is friends with Sheriff Lee Baca.

This being Los Angeles, the candidates were also asked how they would handle celebrity cases. Each said they would eliminate any appearance of preferential treatment for celebrities. The question gave Jackson the opportunity to mention his handling of the Phil Spector case, which he trumpeted as the first successful prosecution of a celebrity on a major case in Los Angeles in 40 years. Meyers touted her efforts to throw the book at Lindsay Lohan.

"There was no celebrity justice going on there," Meyers said.

The debate was hosted by the Peace Officers Research Association of California, and moderated by Dave Bryan of CBS Los Angeles. Two other candidates, Bobby Grace and John Breault, were excluded because PORAC deemed them not to be viable, based on lackluster fundraising.

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