Owens ‘humbled’ by support for DA campaign

Fenocchio calls deputy prosecutor ‘natural leader’

Last spring two Placer County deputy district attorneys approached one of their own and asked him one important question.

The answer? An emphatic, “yes.”

That was the story county deputy district attorney Doug Van Breemen recounted for a packed-in crowd of community leaders and elected officials at a Roseville restaurant Thursday morning. All were in support of senior deputy district attorney Ronald “Scott” Owens, who answered yes to the question of whether or not he would want to be Placer County’s next district attorney.

Owens, who has worked in the criminal justice system since the age of 20, said he was humbled at the amount of support he has received early in his campaign. He will run for the lead county prosecutor seat in 2010.

The breakfast, hosted by county supervisor Kirk Uhler and his wife, Tami, included speeches from current District Attorney Brad Fenocchio, Placer County Sheriff Ed Bonner and Van Breemen.

Fenocchio, who said he will finish his fourth, four-year term as district attorney, described Owens as someone with vitality, commitment and a natural ability to lead.

“Scott Owens will be the right person at the right time to do the job right,” Fenocchio said.

During Bonner’s remarks, he said it was an “honor” to work with Fenocchio and he was looking forward to partnering with Owens to strengthen the county’s criminal justice system.

“The fact that Brad is here cheering Scott on is a sign of a healthy organization and a healthy transition,” Bonner said.

Owens’ support comes not only from Bonner and Fenocchio, but from the 30-plus attorneys he works alongside in the county prosecutor’s office.

Van Breemen, who is the vice president of the Placer County Deputy District Attorney’s Association, said the group voted unanimously in May 2007 to support Owens’ campaign.

“I will tell you that Mr. Fenocchio has set a very high standard in the office, and I can assure you that Mr. Owens is just the right man to pick up the mantle Mr. Fenocchio has set,” Van Breemen said.

When Owens had a chance to speak, he thanked the crowd for their support. He said his experience starting in the juvenile probation department and then in the District Attorney’s Office has helped prepare him to take the next step as lead county prosecutor.

He said in the last 14 years the office has become more efficient by specializing in certain areas by creating a sexual assault unit, a driving under the influence unit and more.

He said he would like to continue that trend by adding a homicide unit and enhancing the elder abuse unit so it becomes a blueprint for the state.

Other members of law enforcement were there to show their personal support for Owens as well.

Lt. Jeff Ausnow of the Placer County Sheriff’s Department has known Owens since they were friends attending Colfax High School together.

“He’s always been an honorable and honest guy,” Ausnow said. “Everybody’s respected him for that since high school.”

Owens’ parents Lorraine and Ron said they were “excited” for their son.

“He’s always been for the people,” Lorraine Owens said.

His wife, Laura, added that Scott Owens’ integrity is one of the key traits that make him a qualified candidate for the job.

“We’re ready,” Laura Owens said. “I think he has a unique combination of qualities to make a fantastic district attorney.”

At the conclusion of his address, Scott Owens said he is looking forward at the chance to help protect county residents.

“People have asked me why I want this job,” Owens said. “I say, ‘why wouldn’t I want this job?’ when my career is committed to public safety.”

Name: Ronald “Scott” Owens

Profession: Senior Deputy District Attorney for Placer County

History: In 1983, started work for the Placer County Probation Department. In 1990, joined the Placer County District Attorney’s Office

Education: Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from California State University, Sacramento. Juris Doctorate from McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

Career highlights: Tried People v. Kidwell, first three strikes case in Placer County; 1998 “Prosecutor of the Year”

Source: Auburn Journal

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