I am Paul Hornick, 40 years old, and am running for Madera County District Attorney.
I was raised in Central New York. My father is a retired electrician; my mother is a retired lunch-lady who began her career only after my younger brother and I started school. I am the first member of my family to obtain a bachelor’s degree, and the first to attend law school.
My lovely wife, Amber, and I have been married for eight years. In order to be together, she resigned her job in San Jose, so we could purchase our home here in Madera County and begin to build our family. Our intention is to grow old together in this wonderful community.
Prosecutor Experience/ Service in the United States Army
I am licensed to practice law in both Florida and California. I am also qualified to practice before any authorized military court-martial. I was first admitted to practice law in 2005 in Florida, where I worked as a prosecutor for the Broward County State Attorney’s Office. During my time in Florida, I handled cases which ranged from traffic infractions up to first-degree felonies.
In 2009, I felt a personal calling to join the United States Army, and I did. At the age of 31, I attended basic training and went on to attend Officer Candidate School. In 2010, I was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and assigned to the Transportation Corps. During my time in the Army, I served in various leadership positions, including those of Platoon Leader, Battalion Maintenance Control Officer, and Battalion Adjutant.
I credit my active duty experience with significantly preparing me to serve as District Attorney. As an Officer, I was directly responsible for the health, safety, welfare, and morale of my Soldiers, as well as equipment valued at more than $10 million. I also received experience in budgeting, resource allocation, and personnel matters.
In 2010, I discharged from active duty, but continued to serve in the Army Reserve as a JAG Officer, drilling monthly. I currently hold the rank of Captain.
Senior Deputy District Attorney/ Madera County District Attorney’s Office
I was admitted to practice law in California in 2013. I have been blessed in that I successfully completed both of my Bar Exams on my first effort. I presently serve Madera County as a Senior Deputy District Attorney, and I maintained full-time employment throughout this campaign. As a Senior Deputy D.A., I appear in court daily, and handle everything from traffic infractions to murder. I am presently responsible for one attempted-murder and three murder cases.
Madera County Prosecutors’ Association Endorsement
I am distinguished from my opponents because I am endorsed by the Madera County Prosecutors’ Association, an organization that is composed of my peers. These folks opted to endorse me over both Mr. David Linn and Ms. Sally Moreno. Notably, these people are the only people who have worked with all three candidates from within the DA’s office, and, as such, they are in the best position to weigh our strengths and weaknesses and opine on who should hold this critically important office. Again, they chose me over the others.
Second, it is worth noting that Ms. Moreno’s endorsement from the Deputy Sheriff’s Association was issued well before my entrance into this race and was not the result of a vote by the membership at large. Whereas my endorsements were issued following meetings, question/answer interviews, and a vote by all members.
In addition to the Madera County Prosecutor’s Association, I am also endorsed by the Madera Police Officers’ Association and the Madera County Correction Officers’ Association. I am honored to have the support of police officers and correction officers from agencies with which I work every day. It should also be noted that several individual D.A. Investigators and Deputy Sheriffs also support me.
Third, the role and function of the District Attorney is as much, if not more, one of an administrator. Of the three of us, I submit that I am the best suited for this role as well. Mr. Linn is simply not present for duty. And, in Ms. Moreno’s career, she has established a historical record of failing to pay attention to important details.
Sally Moreno – The Wrong Type of Experience for D.A.
The Jackson/Waterman arsonist case which Ms. Moreno completed in 2014 is currently pending direct appeal for prosecutorial misconduct. The alleged misconduct involved Ms. Moreno failing to turn over evidence to the Defense. Notably, this evidence was known to her and in her possession. Because of her inattention to detail, we may be forced to re-do a six-month trial that should have been done correctly the first time.
The murder case of Frank William Hogan, which Ms. Moreno completed in 2013, was returned from the Appellate Courts for a re-do because of cumulative error, and only recently resolved for a reduced sentence. This was a horrific murder, where the victim was also sodomized by the Defendant. In sum, the case was returned because the Defendant did not receive a fair trial because of cumulative errors committed during the trial. Prosecutors share in the responsibility for ensuring that those who are accused of crimes receive a fair trial. Here again, Sally Moreno has demonstrated an inattention to detail therefore causing additional time, taxpayer expense, and delay to justice.
Ms. Moreno has also twice lost her eligibility to practice law. As lawyers, we have very few obligations imposed upon us to maintain eligibility to practice law. In sum, we are required to pay an annual fee, and we are required to complete continuing legal education and timely submit records of attendance/completion of that education. Ms. Moreno has failed to complete each of these requirements on two separate occasions. This is public record and can be verified by visiting her profile on the California Bar website. Plainly, Ms. Moreno is hardly someone who should be controlling the office’s $4.2 million budget.
Even her candidate statement, a statement which Ms. Moreno authored knowing that it would be sent to all 53,000 registered voters, contains an error. The last line of her statement reads, “I would appreciate your vote, please visit Sally4DA@gmail.com.” It is clear that Ms. Moreno was attempting to direct folks to her website, but inadvertently listed her email address. Again, we see a real lack of attention to detail.
Hornick – Experience That You Can Count On
I am running for District Attorney because the office is broken, and the people of Madera County deserve better. I will run a normal, professional office, and I will treat all people with dignity and respect. I ask that you consider three qualities when choosing your candidate: character, competence, and chemistry. Applying these qualities, I am the best choice for the job.
Character. As a career prosecutor, I have demonstrated a lifetime of character. I have served our nation through its military, and continue to serve in the Army JAG Corps Reserve. In fact, of the three options, I am the only candidate who is actively serving our military in any capacity.
Competence. As a current Madera County Deputy District Attorney, I have demonstrated competence, as I am the only candidate who is currently handling local homicides and violent felonies to keep the people of this county safe. I am the only candidate who is licensed to practice law in two States. I am the only candidate who has taken and passed two State Bar Exams on the first attempt, and I am the only candidate who is authorized to represent the U.S. Government in court-martial proceedings. Throughout my career, I have literally handled thousands of cases, and not one has ever been returned for prosecutorial misconduct, failing to turn over evidence, or cumulative error. I maintain two separate law licenses; never once have I failed to pay my annual membership fees or failed to complete my required legal education.
Chemistry. As a candidate, I have demonstrated chemistry. Again, I am endorsed internally by my peers and co-workers. Beyond this, I continued to serve as a Senior Madera County Deputy District Attorney throughout the campaign period. In truth, leaving the office would have been easier for me personally; however, I chose to stay while running my campaign against Mr. Linn. I stayed because Madera County is my home, and I could not walkout on my home. Further, from a leadership perspective, I could not abandon those who I am seeking to lead. When faced with adversity, leaders are people who rise to the occasion and face down challenges. I demonstrated this type of leadership during this campaign, and I will continue to do so if elected.
I have also demonstrated chemistry through the manner in which I have run my campaign. Since entering this race in January, I have visited over 3,000 homes across the county; I did this because I wanted to meet and speak directly with the people I hope to serve.
Very simply, the people of Madera County deserve a District Attorney with a demonstrated record of honesty and integrity; this person also needs to be detail orientated, organized, and hard working. I am this person. I will make the changes necessary to move the office forward, and I will continue to work closely with law enforcement. Thank you for reading my submission; I respectfully ask for your vote in the June 5th Primary Election.
Paul J. Hornick
Candidate for Madera County District Attorney