Of course. A lot of times when I'm looking for someone for a new position, I see a woman's name on the list, I think, I'll check her out. It provides hope; it reaffirms that if you are qualified, what you look like does not prevent you from getting the job. And it inspires. And I'm so pleased by that because certainly I was inspired by so many people.
Cooley's public integrity division acted against civic corruption, but critics said it just went after low-hanging fruit in small towns.
The P.I.D. is very much complaint-driven, and that's where the complaints come in, from the small towns. We have the L.A. County assessor [prosecution] coming up. We have Bell. For every Dr. [Conrad] Murray, there's what Johnnie Cochran used to call the no-Js: people nobody knows about. We get a tip, we investigate.
What's the personal impact of winning the election? Are you being recognized by the public?
I'm still coming to grips with that. My security team is trying to get me used to the idea of always having somebody with me, but I'm a bit of a loner. I like walking alone around my neighborhood. I can work out almost any problem in my head [that way]. I was in Toys R Us one night before Christmas, and I thought, nobody's going to know me — and I got recognized.
You would win unanimous reelection if you promised to fix the courthouse elevators, which must be the slowest in LA. So much for speedy trials.
But I don't like to promise things that are not in my control!
We're all moving across the street to the Hall of Justice [now under restoration]; I'd say in 2014. We are promised that the elevators will work.
Follow Patt Morrison on Twitter @pattmlatimes
This interview was edited and excerpted from a taped transcript. An archive of Morrison's interviews can be found at latimes.com/pattasks.