~Fladager kicks off DA campaign ~
Laci Peterson family
endorses veteran prosecutor
By CHRIS TOGNERI ~ BEE STAFF WRITER
August 2, 2005

Flanked by members of Laci Peterson's family, Birgit Fladager formally announced her candidacy
for Stanislaus County district attorney Monday on the courthouse steps in downtown Modesto.


About 125 people attended the noon press conference, including Sheriff Les
Weidman and dozens of Fladager's co-workers from the district attorney's office.


Fladager said she decided to run after being encouraged by family and supporters.

She was one of three chief deputy district attorneys under Jim Brazelton, who
retired Friday to work for a company that runs bad-check collection programs.
Fladager said she would not take a leave of absence to campaign.


"I am not a politician," she said. "I am not seeking this office as
a stepping stone to some other position. I am a prosecutor."


Fladager joins Superior Court Judge Michael Cummins in the
race to succeed Brazelton. The election is in June 2006.


Weidman, who said he "personally knows both candidates," endorsed Fladager.

"There is no better person for this job than Birgit Fladager," he said.
"A lot of people say she's nice. But don't confuse nice with soft on crime."


Many inmates now serving in state prisons were sent there, Weidman said, "by this 'very nice' lady."

Brazelton endorsed Fladager last week.

Fladager was a key member of the winning prosecution team in Scott Peterson's murder
trial.
Peterson is now on death row for killing his wife, Laci, and unborn son, Conner.

On Monday, Laci Peterson's mother, Sharon Rocha, and Ron Grantski, who raised
Peterson as his own daughter, said Fladager impressed them throughout the trial.


"Over the past two and a half years, she has been a major force in
seeking and getting justice for our family and for Laci," Grantski said.


"Not only is she compassionate about her work, she has great
compassion for victims and their families," Rocha said.


Fladager began working at the district attorney's office in 1990 after serving as a
Judge Advocate General officer in the Navy. She was promoted to chief deputy in 1999.
Since then, she has trained and supervised prosecutors in misdemeanors and felonies.


The winner of the election will take office in January 2007. It will be the first
contested election for district attorney without an incumbent running in 50 years.


If elected, Fladager would become the first female district attorney in county history,
though Assistant District Attorney Carol Shipley is running the office in the interim.



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LACI & CONNER
"I am so glad that are system didnt fail
Laci and her family.  Although it doesn't
bring them back,now they can rest."

Roni Davis ~  Indiana ~ Guestbook
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