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DISTRICT ATTORNEY CANDIDATES

Compiled by Jerry Hicks

Michael R. Capizzi

Home: Fountain Valley

Age: 50

Occupation: District attorney. He was appointed to the post by the Board of Supervisors on Jan. 2, to fill out the last year of Cecil Hicks’ term. Hicks resigned to accept a judgeship.

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Background: Capizzi joined the district attorney’s office in 1965 and became an assistant district attorney in 1971, in charge of special operations. In 1986, he was appointed chief assistant to Dist. Atty. Cecil Hicks, generally considered the No. 2 position in the office. Hicks then supported Capizzi as his successor.

Issues: Capizzi says he is running on the record he created as the chief administrator in the office under Hicks. “I’m proud of this office. We have a reputation as the best in the state, and I’m proud of what I have contributed to that,” he said.

James G. Enright

Home: Orange

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Age: 63

Occupation: Chief deputy district attorney. Enright was chief deputy under Hicks for more than 20 years. He was a prosecutor for 10 years before that. He has specialized in homicide cases, leaving most of the administrative duties in the office to others. Enright throughout his career has insisted on remaining in the courtroom, despite his position as a supervisor, and now does at least one trial a year himself.

Issues: Enright claims that while Capizzi may be Hicks’ handpicked successor, the office’s high reputation in the state has been because of his own leadership in homicide and major felony cases. He criticizes Capizzi as “the politicians’ candidate.”

Edgar A. Freeman

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Home: Huntington Beach

Age: 63

Occupation: Assistant district attorney. Freeman has held that job for more than 20 years. Before that he spent four years as a deputy public defender.

Issues: Freeman has specialized in drug cases and during the campaign has cited awards he has won for his drug prosecutions. Freeman also notes in his speeches that he has handled more than 250 felony trials himself, even though his primary duties in the office have been as a supervisor.

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Thomas Avdeef

Home: Mission Viejo

Age: 49

Occupation: Deputy district attorney. He was a police officer and a district attorney investigator for almost 20 years but eventually went to night school to get his law degree. He has been a prosecutor for nearly 11 years. His most noted case was prosecution of Charles Rothenberg, who was convicted and sentenced to 13 years for setting fire to his son, David, in a Buena Park motel room, leaving David with permanent major injuries.

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Issues: Avdeef has been the most critical of Capizzi’s leadership. He claims that low morale in the office is responsible for a high turnover rate in the office and that Capizzi has clouded his career by cozying up to too many politicians. “There should be no sacred cows,” Avdeef said. “You never know what you will end up being faced with investigating a politician who has done you a favor.”


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