MADERA COUNTY – After serving as District Attorney for over five years, Michael Keitz is running for reelection and says there are clear and convincing reasons why he remains the man for the job.
Citing his years of experience in law enforcement, and his decades of experience working within the structure of civil service rules, Keitz says challenger David Linn is not qualified for the job.
“My opponent has no law enforcement experience whatsoever,” says Keitz. “I’ve got 34 years of experience starting with my time as a reserve deputy sheriff. I’ve been a prosecutor for 22 years. You name it, any type of crime, I’ve prosecuted it. My opponent has never done any of that.”
In fact, says Keitz, “While I’ve been putting criminals in jail, he has been working to keep them out.”
Keitz also says his opponent has no experience as an administrator.
“He says he had administrative experience in the Navy, but there’s a big difference between his military experience 40 years ago when Nixon was president, and running such a large office.
“He’s running an office with two or three staff members. I’m running an office of over 40-plus staff members,” says Keitz. “He’s working in the private sector; I’m working under the civil service rules, which is entirely different and a much more difficult environment in which to operate.”
Keitz argues that anybody can say what they would do in this position, and talking about something and actually doing it are two different things.
“I have done this job. I know what it’s like, know what the pitfalls are, know what things you can and can’t do. If you haven’t been there, it’s easy to just ride the coattails of some other malcontents.”
Keitz also stresses his experience managing a budget through what he calls “the absolute worst economic times, while David Linn had to financially manage a checkbook. No grant programs, no programs where you’ve got to hire somebody, but you have to somehow find it in your budget. Financial management is totally different here than in the private world.”
As to his opponent’s assertions that he doesn’t spend any time in the courtroom, Keitz says that’s another example of his challenger not understanding the job.
“I oversee the operations within the District Attorney’s Office. We review cases, we have staff meetings and go over the cases with the prosecutors and law enforcement, and determine whether or not we have enough evidence to go forward. It’s an integral part of the job.
“What my opponent doesn’t recognize is the fact that there are administrative duties that must be done. It’s the same reason why Sheriff John Anderson doesn’t take a patrol beat, or Supervisors don’t go out and fill potholes in the road. It’s because they have administrative duties. That’s the reason why you don’t see me in the courtroom every day, but I do go to the courtroom, and I’m in there on important cases for our office.”
One major issue that Keitz’s challenger brings up is the Rowley Report, and the lawsuits against the D.A and his office.
“If getting sued was a disqualifier for public office, my predecessor would have been disqualified; the Sheriff would have been disqualified many times over; the Board of Supervisor; each one of them would be disqualified,” says Keitz. “This is a litigious society; you can be sued for anything. It doesn’t mean you did anything wrong.”
Keitz says the reason he sued to stop the release of the Rowley Report was because those who participated in it were assured that it would remain confidential as a personnel matter.
“To reveal personnel matters would cause an even greater problem for Madera County,” he says. “The court ruled in my favor, and decreed that the County could not release the report because of the law that was cited within briefs of the parties.”
He also says accusations that these lawsuits cost the County $1.4 million are completely inaccurate, because those expenses were covered by insurance.
Keitz says the allegations leveled at him by his opponent are nothing more than a smoke screen to divert attention away from the fact that his challenger has no experience prosecuting crimes.
“I’ve had great success in taking this office down the right road. I’ve cleaned up a whole lot of things to make it operate more efficiently, increased the number of jury trials, and raised our conviction rate by 17 percent. Those are huge successes.
“My highest priority as your District Attorney is the safety of those who live in our county. It is my mission to promote justice and protect the people of Madera County by aggressively and fairly prosecuting those who violate the law.”
Michael Keitz graduated from Palma High School in Salinas, Calif., and from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science. He worked for Bank of America for thirteen years in various assignments related to agricultural lending and management.
Keitz served 19 years as a reserve deputy, attending law school in the evening at the San Joaquin College of Law in Fresno, and received his Juris Doctorate degree in 1991. He entered the Madera County District Attorney’s Office in 1992, and took the oath of office as Madera County’s District Attorney on January 5, 2009.
To learn more about Michael Keitz, visit his website at http://www.keitzforda.com.
Endorsements for Michael Keitz include –
Crime Victims United California –state wide organization comprised of victims of crime, law enforcement officials, legal professionals and others (CVUC Endorsement Letter)
Rick Fainelli – District 3 Supervisor
Ed Bates – former Madera County Sheriff
Ovonual Berkley – former Madera County Sheriff
Michael Kime – former Chief of Police, City of Madera (Interview with Madera Tribune)
Birgit Fladager – Stanislaus County District Attorney
Thomas K. Cooke – Mariposa County District Attorney
Robert H. Brown – Retired Mariposa County District Attorney
Lisa Green – Kern County District Attorney
Mike Reynolds – father of “Three Strikes and You’re Out”
Bill Jones – former California Secretary of State and co-author of “Three Strikes and You’re Out”
Tom Berryhill – California State Senator, 14th Senate District
Anthony Cannella – California State Senator, 12th Senate District
Robert Poythress – Mayor, City of Madera
Andy Medellin – Madera City Council member
Derek O. Robinson – Sr., Madera City Council member
Gary L. Svanda – Madera City Council member
Donald E. Holley – Madera City Council member
Vern D. Moss – former Madera County Supervisor, District 2
Gary Gilbert – former Madera County Supervisor, District 5
Patricia D. Manfredi – former Madera County Supervisor, District 1
Jess Lopez – former Madera County Supervisor, District 4
John Silva – former Madera County Supervisor, District 4
Stell Manfredi – retired Chief Administrative Officer, Madera County
Steven D. Rodriguez – former Chief Administrative Officer, Madera County
Ray Seibert – Madera Unified School District Board
Robert Garibay – Madera Unified School District Board
Rick Cosyns – Madera Irrigation District Board of Directors
Jim Cavallero – Madera Irrigation District Board of Directors
J. Gary Adams – former Madera Unified School District Board member