Lacey Sworn in as District Attorney

She became the first African-American and first woman to hold the post

By Sharon Bernstein
|  Monday, Dec 3, 2012  |  Updated 8:38 PM PDT
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Jackie Lacey was sworn in Monday as the new Los Angeles County District Attorney. She's the first new top prosecutor in 12 years, as well as the first woman and first African American to hold the position.

Conan Nolan

Jackie Lacey was sworn in Monday as the new Los Angeles County District Attorney. She's the first new top prosecutor in 12 years, as well as the first woman and first African American to hold the position. "I am honored to be your District Attorney," Lacey said at Monday's ceremony. Conan Nolan reports from Exposition Park for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Dec. 3, 2012.

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Jackie Lacey was sworn in Monday as the county’s first African-American and first woman District Attorney.

In an afternoon ceremony, Lacey took the mantle from her longtime boss and mentor, outgoing D.A. Steve Cooley.

"I am committed to making the best decisions possible, putting the best people in place to carry on our mission and never ever ever forgetting that I work for you," she said. "I am honored to be your District Attorney."

In a department whose top ranks have been near-uniformly white and male, Lacey was one of the few women to rise to a top position. She was elevated to the post of Chief Deputy last year, as Cooley prepared to endorse her bid to succeed him.

"She's probably the most experienced, qualified person to be DA maybe in my lifetime," Cooley said.

Now 55, Lacey grew up in Los Angeles, and earned her law degree from the University of Southern California law school in 1982.

For the past four years, she has gone once a week to a Boyle Heights elementary school to teach fifth graders about the criminal justice system, Lacey said in her campaign biography.

"That a girl from a working class neighborhood like the Crenshaw District, who was educated in a public school like Dorsey High School, who worked her way up from the bottom can become the District Attorney of the largest prosecutorial office in the nation," Lacey said. "How cool is that?"

She is married to David Lacey, an investigative auditor with the D.A.’s office. They live in the San Fernando Valley. 

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