||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2012)|
Garcetti in 2010
|40th District Attorney of Los Angeles County|
|Preceded by||Ira Reiner|
|Succeeded by||Steve Cooley|
|Born||Gilbert Salvadore Iberri Garcetti
August 5, 1941
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Children||Eric Garcetti (son)
Gilbert Salvadore Iberri Garcetti (born August 5, 1941), best known as Gil Garcetti, is an American politician. He served as Los Angeles County's 40th District Attorney for two terms, from 1992 until November 7, 2000. He is the father of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Garcetti is the son of Salvador Garcetti and Juanita Iberri. Salvador Garcetti was born in Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico and brought to the United States as a child after his father, Massimo Garcetti, a judge and emigrant to Mexico from Italy, was hanged during the Mexican Revolution. Garcetti's mother, Juanita Iberri, was born in Arizona, one of nineteen children born to emigrant parents from Sonora, Mexico.
Garcetti received a bachelor's degree in Management from the University of Southern California and a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before becoming District Attorney, Garcetti served within the office for over twenty years, from trial prosecutor to managerial positions and eventually becoming chief deputy district attorney for his predecessor, Ira Reiner (District Attorney from 1984 to 1992). Reiner declined to run for a third term, and Garcetti won the 1992 election.
Terms as District Attorney
Entering the 1992 elections, LA County was still recovering from the aftermath of the highly publicized 1991 Rodney King beating at the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the massive unrest of the 1992 LA Riots. His first term was dominated by his office's prosecution of the O.J. Simpson double-murder trial. The long, costly criminal trial ended with a "not guilty" verdict on October 3, 1995. Despite the setback, Garcetti won re-election in 1996, narrowly defeating challenger John Lynch.
Garcetti focused both his terms working to solve a number of issues including domestic violence, hate crimes, welfare fraud and combating LA's street gangs. He refused to rescind judgments against men who later proved through DNA evidence that they were not the fathers in question, in the best interests of the child. By 2000, 79% of paternity judgements in Los Angeles County were assigned by default. For this he appeared in Bernard Goldberg's book Bias, wherein the scandal was described as a story "that would have sent shivers down Kafka's spine." A few of the men wrongly assigned judgement and mentioned in Goldberg's book were John Johnson, Walter Vollmer, and Tony Jackson. All Los Angeles residents. "Had he ever gone after a mother who falsely named an old boyfriend just to qualify for welfare?" Goldberg reportedly asked of Garcettti for a CBS News story, "Had he ever filed charges against even one? No, he said. Not even one. It would be too difficult to prove she was lying, he said. Maybe she had just made an honest mistake." It was the fight against gangs that became his undoing in late 1999, when the LAPD's Rampart scandal erupted with allegations of extreme police misconduct from the city's Rampart Division. Garcetti was drawn into a public dispute with LAPD Chief Bernard Parks over access to records on the charged officers.
The resulting squabbling and negative press reminded citizens of LA County of the troubles associated with the Rodney King riots, and the resulting sentiment led to Garcetti's defeat in the 2000 election. He was succeeded by one of his deputies, Steve Cooley, then serving as head of the city's Welfare Fraud Division, a division created by Garcetti.
The 2000 election ended Garcetti's 32-year career with the LA County District Attorney's office. In 2002, Los Angeles City Council President Alex Padilla appointed Garcetti to the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission for a five-year term. In the fall of 2002, Garcetti was a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has been developing a foundation to help Latino and African-American students complete their high school education. He is currently a strong proponent of Proposition 34, an initiative that will replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole. Garcetti believes that the death penalty is broken beyond repair, that it is "horrendously expensive" and that it carries the risk of executing an innocent person.
Garcetti has always been an avid urban photographer. During his time as District Attorney he would carry a small camera with him at all times. After leaving the DA's office, Garcetti focused on art photography, initially producing two collections on the Walt Disney Concert Hall: Iron: Erecting the Walt Disney Concert Hall (Balcony Press 2002), focusing on the ironworkers who constructed the landmark, and Frozen Music (Balcony Press 2003), focusing on the finished building itself. Photos from these works were featured in an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution's National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. and at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. His most recent exhibition, Dance in Cuba: Photographs by Gil Garcetti (Balcony Press 2005), was featured at the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History in Spring 2006. Water is Key: A Better Future for Africa (Balcony Press 2007) was published via a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to the Pacific Institute as a benefit to NGOs supporting clean water projects in Africa.
Garcetti made a presentation of his photographs of West Africa to an L.A. women's group, and the group's leader, Barbara Goldberg, was so moved by the images and Garcetti's impassioned description of the water crisis that she formed a nonprofit organization dedicated to drilling wells to bring safe water to West Africa. Garcetti's involvement with bringing safe water to the people of West Africa began in January 2001, when he visited West Africa as the guest of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. He made four subsequent trips to West Africa and from the photographs he took, a book was born: "Water Is Key". Since 2006, he has worked tirelessly and successfully to raise awareness and funds to drill wells in West Africa. His life goal is to continue to fund wells to save lives with safe water. Garcetti is Special Advisor to the Wells Bring Hope Board of Directors.  Garcetti was also an award presenter during a fundraiser held on September 27, 2015 at the estate of businessman Stanley Black.
His son, Eric, made an appearance as the Mayor Ramon Quintero of Los Angeles on two episodes, and is in real life the current mayor of Los Angeles.
Garcetti is married to Sukey Roth, who is of Russian-Jewish descent. Gil and Sukey Garcetti have one son, Eric, who was elected to the LA City Council three times (2001, 2005, 2009), and is the current mayor of Los Angeles, and one daughter, Dana Garcetti-Boldt, a former deputy district attorney in Garcetti's office who is now an acupuncturist.
- Finnegan, Michael (January 2, 2013). "Eric Garcetti invokes Latino-Jewish ancestry in mayor's race". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- "Prosecutor Garcetti Apparently Re-elected". Chicago Tribune. November 21, 1996.
- Abrahamson, Alan (November 22, 1996). "Garcetti Is Named Winner Over Lynch". Los Angeles Times.
- SafeCalifornia website
- Abarbanel, Stacey (March 2, 2006). "‘Dance in Cuba: Photographs by Gil Garcetti’ Opens at the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History April 22" (Press release). University of California, Los Angeles. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- Gleick, Peter (October 7, 2011). "Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Water for Africa, and the Nobel Peace Prize". Forbes. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- IMDb profile of Eric Garcetti
- Jewish Daily Forward: "Jews and Latinos Seek Common Ground In Los Angeles, It's a Hunt for Political 'Kosher Burrito'" by Rex Weiner. October 7, 2011
- Nottingham, William (30 June 2013). "Eric Garcetti is sworn in as 42nd mayor of Los Angeles". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- Belgum, Deborah (February 11, 1997). "D.A.'s Daughter Makes Own Way". Los Angeles Times.
- Robert Greene, Former District Attorney Gil Garcetti Nominated to City Ethics Commission, Metropolitan News-Enterprise, August 15, 2002; accessed May 19, 2006
- Benjamin Parke, D.A. Gil Garcetti criticized for Belmont school failure, Rampart scandal, Daily Bruin, February 10, 2000; accessed May 19, 2006
- Scott Simon, The Legacy of the O.J. Simpson Case, Weekend Edition (NPR), June 12, 2004; accessed May 19, 2006
- Scott Simon, Garcetti Photos Capture Disney Hall, Ironworkers, Weekend Edition (NPR), September 11, 2004; accessed May 19, 2006
- L.A. County District Attorney profile
- Wells Bring Hope: Gil's Story
- Sacks, Glenn (December 18, 2008). "Ex-LA County DA Gil Garcetti's Child Support Enforcement Victimized Thousands of Innocent Men" Fathers and Families.org
|Los Angeles County District Attorney