Incredibly, Someone Out There (In A Position Of Influence) Still Likes Jay Mariotti…..that someone being attorney Debra Wong Yang, who not only represented former Fanhouse/Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti (above) following charges of domestic violence against a female companion, but also serves on a civilian commission that keeps a watchful eye on the Los Angeles Police Dept. The LA Times’ Joel Rubin considers the ethical complications (link courtesy Baseball Think Factory)
Other attorneys from Yang’s firm, Gibson Dunn, accompanied Mariotti at his court appearances. Yang, however, spoke to The Times for an article about the case and was identified as Mariotti’s attorney. In those comments, Yang called the girlfriend’s allegations “inaccurate and sensationalized.”
That, said Paul M. Weber, president of the Police Protective League, was enough to create the appearance of a conflict, if not an actual one, for Yang. The five-member Police Commission sets LAPD policies and serves as a watchdog over the department.
“She made statements defending him,” Weber said. “Just the appearance of conflict is troubling. She needs to set an example for the rank-and-file officers.”
Yang defended her decision.
She said Mariotti never received special treatment because of her position, and her comments did not call into question work done by LAPD officers. Citing attorney-client privacy rights, Yang declined to provide details of what work she performed for Mariotti, but downplayed her role and said she would not have been involved with the case if it had proceeded toward trial.