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June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
County

Stanislaus CountyCandidate for District Attorney

Photo of Patrick Kolasinski

Patrick Kolasinski

Immigration and Criminal Defense Attorney
12,782 votes (15.93%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Reduce turnover
  • Improve efficiency
  • Provide transparency and accountability

Experience

Experience

Profession:Immigration and Criminal Defense Attorney
Owner and Principal Attorney, The Law Offices of Patrick Kolasinski (2010–current)

Education

McGeorge School of Law Juris Doctor, Law (2008)
UC Santa Barbara B.A., Dramatic Arts, with a focus on theatrical lighting and set design (2001)
Modesto Junior College A.A., Theatre (1998)

Community Activities

Board Member, Lightbox Theatre for youth (2016–current)
Board Member, Stanislaus Latino PAC (2016–current)
Member, Tuolumne River Woodworkers' Association (2014–current)
Associate Member, Stanislaus Farm Bureau (2018–current)
Member, Wray Ladine American Inn of Court (2010–current)

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Thank you for your interest in my campaign to be Stanislaus County’s next District Attorney. I am honored by the support and encouragement that I have received, and look forward to serving our community.

I was raised on a peach orchard on Gratton Road, and am a proud graduate of Gratton Elementary, Hughson High, and Modesto Junior College, where I met my wife, Vallerie. I left the area for college and law school, but when the time came to open my own law practice in 2010, I was happy to come back home, and to serve the community that had given me so much.

As a local criminal defense attorney and, recently, the Vice President of the Stanislaus County Court Criminal Bar Association, I have seen first-hand the ongoing problems across our criminal justice system, including the incredible delays in resolving cases and achieving justice. I have had to learn new Deputy District Attorneys’ names over and over, as the office of 48 attorneys saw 54 lawyers leave since 2009.

In speaking with those who have left (and those who still remain), one common theme has arisen: the District Attorney’s office is suffering from a crisis of poor management. In retrospect, this makes sense. As is all too common, we (the voters) focused on choosing a strong, experienced prosecutor for the job of managing one of our county’s most important agencies, without any regard for the candidate’s management experience.

This year, we can change that. I am the only candidate in this race with a strong background in management. I learned from a young age that running a farming operation is far more about managing than it is about farming. Like most farm kids, I was tasked from childhood with ever-increasing levels of responsibility in managing the family business. At 17, while still in high school, I started my first business, Accordian Computing to provide computer tech support to the Hughson Police Department.

Since then, I have started multiple businesses, worked as a marketing director for a global agricultural trade company in India, and even spent two-and-a-half years during law school at the General Counsel’s office for California State Parks, learning how to manage a large public agency. Along the way, I have developed the management skills and experience that our county District Attorney’s office needs to turn things around.

If elected, I will focus on four primary issues. First, I will improve employee morale and stop the revolving door of departures that has sapped our District Attorney’s office of many of the most experienced and talented attorneys. Second, I will thoroughly modernize the office, primarily using grant funds and in-budget savings, so that our existing staff can work more efficiently on the cases before them. Third, I will tackle the largest per-capita backlog of criminal cases in California, ensuring swift and fair justice for both defendants and victims. Finally, with the resources and energy saved through the first three goals, I will embrace smart, creative solutions to our endemic criminal problems, partnering with CSU Stanislaus, Modesto Junior College, and the rest of our community (including the Farm Bureau) to identify, study, and implement the most effective ways to reduce recidivism and crime in our community. It’s clear that what we’ve been doing so far isn’t working, but there’s no reason that we can’t solve these problems by working together.

Our county deserves a modern, efficient, and fair criminal justice system that reflects our roots and values, and I am honored to have the opportunity to do my part to make it happen. With your support, I truly believe that we can make Stanislaus County a better, safer, and more prosperous place to live and grow. Let’s make our county safer, together.

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