Recent testimony by the president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, the union entangled in a battle with D.A. Steve Cooley, indicates that the onetime challenger for Cooley's job once maintained a friendship with a sex offender, possibly let him stay at his home briefly, and let him drive his car — with his very official, cop-like “ID badge” inside, according to the Metropolitan News-Enterprise.
In fact, Steven J. Ipsen admitted the man had possession of his car when he committed an act of lewd behavior by exposing himself to a woman in an elevator in 2000. At sentencing for the crime, Ipsen testified in his friend's favor, but he now says they are no longer acquainted. The three-time sex offender was not identified.
Ipsen was grilled by an attorney for Cooley's office before the county Employee Relations Commission last month. Subsequently, he dropped his claim before the commission, which was related to the union's complaints that Cooley has been retaliating against union members who work at the D.A.'s office.
The union president told the MetNews that he dropped his claim not because of the intense questioning over his friendship with a sex offender, but because a recent preliminary injunction issued by a U.S. District Court judge bars anti-union moves on Cooley's part — making his case moot.
“There's issues of judgment,” stated the county's lawyer, L. Trevor Grimm.
“He's a prosecutor,” he said, referring to Ipsen. “He's entrusted with enforcing the laws of the State of California on behalf of the people and on behalf of the District Attorney's Office. And this goes to his abilities and it gives an alternative, viable reason for people to start questioning whether perhaps he was doing the best job he could … “
Ipsen ran unsuccessfully against Cooley in 2008.