Potential Candidate Professor Mario Mainero Will Not Run and Endorses Todd Spitzer

Mainero Joins Distinguished List of Advisors With More Than 100 Years of Prosecutorial Experience Both in the Courtroom and Training Prosecutors


I am proud to share with you the endorsement from Chapman University law professor Mario Mainero. Professor Mainero's endorsement quashes any thought of him running for the same seat.


"From my observation, and from having worked with him on a variety of matters, it is my judgment that Mr. Spitzer will not permit anyone to politically influence his decisions. He has shown support and respect to victims both for the tragedy of their loss and for their proper role in the prosecution of a case. I expect Mr. Spitzer to restore the integrity and professionalism to the District Attorney's office that it so badly deserves. I therefore unreservedly give him my endorsement."


-Professor Mario Mainero, Chapman University


Please see the full letter below.


Mainero joins a distinguished list of practitioners with over 100 years of prosecutorial experience both in the courtroom and training and managing prosecutors.


Spitzer's Management, Policy and Reform Team includes:


Devallis Rutledge

Deputy District Attorney


Patrick Dixon

Los Angeles County Assistant District Attorney, retired


Richard Chrystie

Publisher of a legal publication training bulletin for police officers


I welcome Professor Mainero to my advisory team and I look forward to working with all of them to restore the integrity of our justice system in Orange County.


Todd Spitzer




For a number of months, I have considered running for District Attorney. I considered doing so because the state of the District Attorney’s office is terrible: it is under investigation by the Department of Justice; it has been implicated in widespread violations of the Sixth Amendment Right Counsel and Confrontation Clauses and the guarantee of the right to a fair trial; it has failed, repeatedly, to turn over exculpatory evidence to the defense; it has admittedly failed to properly train its employees in current constitutional doctrine in significant areas of criminal procedure; it has, by its failures, allowed hardened criminals, including accused killers, to receive reduced sentences and even dismissals of their cases; and in a capstone moment, it has both managed to be disqualified—as an entire office—from a case and has laid the groundwork that allowed the biggest mass murderer in County history to avoid the death penalty.


In considering a run, I believed that a new way was possible—one that respects the constitutional values of the Founding Fathers and the jurisprudence that has developed over the centuries and that allows the prosecution arm of the government to respect the rights of victims of crimes and those accused of crimes alike. I believed that a new way that depoliticized the office of District Attorney was not only preferable but was possible—one that no longer charged or failed to charge based on political decisions; one that stopped grandstanding prosecutions with unnecessary press conferences that stepped to the water’s edge of unethical tainting of the jury pool; and one that ultimately turned to professionals to decide whether and how to prosecute cases and how to train new attorneys and current attorneys in the most current and best practices of prosecutorial science.


I still believe that these changes must come to the District Attorney’s office. And I want to express my appreciation to the many people who expressed their support for me—particularly family members, current and former students, and particularly many millennials who have often been so disappointed by the empty promises of politicians. But after prayerful consideration, and discussions with my wife, family, friends and colleagues, I realized that my place was with my faculty and students at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law. I compared the joy I get from teaching, and working with students, with running a political campaign, and realized the Law School is where I need, and want, to be right now. And so I decided not to run.


But I also thought about whether I could still contribute to the process, and still help make the District Attorney’s office a better place. One way to do that, of course, is to continue to publicly comment on issues surrounding the office. But another way is to make a choice among the candidates, and to support the best candidate remaining—even if that person, like any human being, is flawed—and seek to counsel and advise that candidate where I can.


I have decided, therefore, to advise and counsel County Supervisor Todd Spitzer in his campaign. He is certainly not perfect, and he needs to thread the needle between having been a politician for so long, running for another political office, and still making good on a pledge to then depoliticize that political office.


From my observation, and from having worked with him on a variety of matters, it is my judgment that Mr. Spitzer will not permit anyone to politically influence his decisions. He has shown support and respect to victims both for the tragedy of their loss and for their proper role in the prosecution of a case. I expect Mr. Spitzer to restore the integrity and professionalism to the District Attorney's office that it so badly deserves. I therefore unreservedly give him my endorsement.


Mr. Spitzer and I do have our disagreements, which I will not hide or paper over. But unlike the current District Attorney, whose mismanagement of the office and lack of proper ethics have, in my view, disqualified him from keeping that office, Mr. Spitzer agrees with large swaths of what I had developed as a campaign platform (exclusive of my opposition to the death penalty), and has incorporated a number of my suggestions and proposals into his platform. He has asked me to be part of a group to whom he can go for advice and counsel both in the campaign and in managing the office of District Attorney. If he wins, and then changes his tune, then he—and you—will hear from me, loudly. But in the end, it is better—if you believe you can make a difference with advice and counsel—to participate by reasoned advice and counsel than by carping, anonymously or otherwise, on blogs, or only by writing reasoned op-ed pieces. And that is the choice that my prayer, reflection, and consideration have led me to.


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