District Attorney’s race turns personal
In 1994, Erik Schlueter worked on Gary Lacy’s campaign for El Dorado County district attorney. Now, Schlueter is running against Lacy with endorsements from law enforcement groups.
“He’s not doing anything he said he would do,” Schlueter said of Lacy. “He’s not a people person, he’s into ultimate control. He doesn’t know how to delegate. I thought he would grow into the job and he hasn’t.”
Schlueter, a deputy district attorney for the county since 1987, has been endorsed by the South Lake Tahoe Police Officers’ Association and the El Dorado County Deputy Sheriff’s Association. He said that’s an indicator that law enforcement has lost confidence in Lacy.
“There is a lack of communication going on between the DA and law enforcement,” Schlueter said. “They see me as a better candidate because of my ability to prosecute cases and get justice to the people.”
Lacy was endorsed by the two groups when he was elected in 1994 and 1998. While “surprised and disappointed” by the loss of the endorsements, Lacy said they shouldn’t carry much weight because the filing deadline hasn’t passed for the March 5 election.
“How meaningful can it be when they don’t know who will be running?” Lacy said. “I’ve already shown and proven myself. I’m not an unknown entity. They’ve had almost seven years to know what I’m about and what I’m doing. If there’s this call for a new DA I’m trying to determine where it’s coming from and what it’s based on.”
Lacy, 47, said he has begun collecting signatures from officers who support him.
“I have been besieged by calls from officers who support me. The numbers will tell,” he said. “I have the highest standard of ethics and integrity. I work very hard. I don’t side always with law enforcement and that has ruffled some feathers.”
South Lake Tahoe police Detective Martin Hale is a member of the POA. He said he was impressed with Schlueter because he seemed to really care about the issues, in particular prosecution of drug cases and asset forfeiture for convicted drug dealers.
“His presentation overall was better, along with his demeanor,” Hale said.
Sgt. Doug Pullen, president of the El Dorado County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, said he thinks Schlueter got their endorsement because he showed a personal interest in each deputy.
“The biggest thing that Mr. Schlueter did that made a difference was call all 153 members before the vote,” Pullen said. “That was very unique. Schlueter appears to want job more than Lacy, he’s hungrier.”
Schlueter, 46, met Lacy in the mid-’80s when they were both working as deputy district attorneys in Modesto. Lacy got a job with the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office several months before Schlueter did.
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