Filed earlier this month, the suit claimed Missakian had violated the
state Elections Code by identifying himself as a criminal prosecutor on
A Sacramento Superior Court judge decided Tuesday that Missakian could
not use the title on his ballot description.
The code permits candidates no more than three words with which to
identify themselves on the ballot. The description must designate the
candidate's current occupations or those held within the year prior to
filing for a nomination.
Missakian had ended his work as a criminal prosecutor for the Los
Angeles County district attorney's office more than a year before he
filed his nomination papers in 1999. "I certainly was not lying," he
said. "It was a mistake and we attempted to correct it."
A news release sent out by the Frommer campaign Tuesday afternoon said
the "ruling prevents Missakian from misleading voters with the
These kinds of cases are common during an election, said Beth Miller,
a spokeswoman for the Secretary of State, who oversees ballot
Rather than a question of truth, these cases are "probably more a
matter of opinion," she said.
Missakian said he did not know his days as a "criminal prosecutor"
were too far gone to include the title on the ballot.
Missakian agreed to exchange "criminal prosecutor" for "businessman"
on the November ballot.
The response from his opponent's side "tells me Frommer intends to run
a dirty campaign," Missakian said.
Gale Kaufman, a political consultant for the Frommer campaign, said,
"As a prosecutor, Missakian should know what the Election Code rules are.
"We gave him the opportunity to change his ballot designation after
the primary," she said. "Since he took no action to change what he
clearly had to know was an attempt to mislead voters ... we filed suit."
Chuck Bell, the Sacramento attorney who represented Missakian, sent
out a statement Wednesday saying the Frommer campaign's news release on
the issue was "blatantly misrepresents the court's order."
Should Frommer continue producing "such misrepresentations," Bell
threatened to raise the mater in court and before the State Bar Assn.