District Attorney Race: Spielman says he’s more ‘prosecutor than politician’


“I’m definitely more of a prosecutor than a politician,” Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman told 17 News with a smile.

ADA Spielman joined the Kern County DA’s office 24 years ago right after graduating McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.

“This is my only legal job, and it’s the only one I intend to have other than district attorney,” said Spielman, citing his experience as a former military police officer and close to a decade in special prosecutions handling murder and sexual assault cases.

“I have the best qualifications, I have the law enforcement experience, I have more trial experience on a number of more serious cases than anybody else,” said the ADA.

Spielman was the lead prosecutor in a 2006 murder case of South High grad and football player Jesse Harkleroad, in which he put two men away for life.

“It was either the verdict or the sentencing was being read, they were laughing. And it just showed how callous that they were,” recalled Spielman.

Spielman has District Attorney Lisa Green’s endorsement, and said he has made key decisions in the DA’s office as ADA for the past seven years. 

“We have a Victims Services Unit that I helped develop. We do officer involved shooting reviews now–we’re not second guessing the police officers–but we’re reviewing the shootings where people are injured or killed to make sure that based on the information that was available to the officer, cause they’re making a split second decision we know that, but we’re looking to see if what they did was reasonable.” explained Spielman.

Spielman says he developed the officer involved shooting review procedure used in over 30 investigations. 

He said he believes the DA’s Office has gotten every one of those reviews right. 

But there are still changes he hopes to bring to the office. 

“I want to more aggressively deal with theft cases. I recognize the need, that we have a need for having computer specialists that we’re not getting from the agencies and the best example I can give is we had a murder case that it took a year to analyze a computer that was necessary and we shouldn’t tolerate that,” said the DA hopeful.

Spielman weighed in on the high profile Giumarra DUI case.

“We didn’t agree with the judge reducing the case from a felony to a misdemeanor but the judge has that discretion,” explained the ADA. 

Spielman is proud of the work the district attorney’s office has done with him as number two.

“If that’s the status quo, that’s the status quo i’m gonna continue,” said Spielman.

Remember barring something unexpected this race will be over in June, if one candidate gets more than 50% of the vote.

We’ll have Supervising District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer’s profile Friday.

And of course you can watch both candidates square off in our Kern County in Depth Debate with Jim Scott this Saturday at four.

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