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Prosecutor, private attorney running for DA

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POSTED May 5, 2014 1:03 a.m.

Private attorney Gary Hickey and Deputy District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar are vying to fill the shoes of longtime San Joaquin County DA James Willett who is not running for reelection.

Hickey who is a one-time deputy district attorney said he hopes to improve the efficiency of the district attorney’s office. Hickey is a resident of Lodi and Verber Salazar resides in Woodbridge.

Verber Salazar is planning a meet-and-greet coffee next Wednesday at 7 a.m. in Ripon at the Corner Stop Eatery on West Main Street. 

Hickey hopes to energize county prosecutors should he become the next district attorney. He hopes to upgrade the process of releasing non-violent inmates as they are awaiting trial in the county jail while paralleling some of the protocol developed by Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff. 

The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors as individuals have unanimously endorsed Verber Salazar to be their next district attorney. 

The candidate said she hopes to make San Joaquin County “miserable” for its criminal element. Police associations from Stockton to Manteca and Ripon have also endorsed her candidacy along with the Stockton Fire Department’s association.

Hickey’s resolution to the growing property crimes is to have more officers on the street at night – when, he said, most crimes occur.  He added that having black and white patrol cars on the street at the appropriate times will lower those crime statistics.

Verber Salazar said the tough economic times force even law enforcement to do more with less and curtail crimes before they happen within San Joaquin County’s cities and rural areas.  The DA candidate plans to work with law enforcement to check the criminal trends with a better focus on the lesser budgetary resources – noting that budget resource are improving.

It was the summer of 1987 when Verber Salazar joined the district attorney’s office as an intern, continuing her association as a law clerk while attending a Sacramento law school. She joined the DA’s team of prosecutors in 2001 taking on the challenge of gang homicides.

“I pledge to continue to protect the residents of our county by working closely with law enforcement and aggressively prosecuting criminals,” she emphasized.

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