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June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election

Los Angeles County Superior CourtCandidate for Judge, Seat 158

Photo of Onica Valle Cole

Onica Valle Cole

118,619 votes (7.88%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Increase Diversity of Bench
  • Ensure Fairness for all litigants
  • Improving Judicial Efficiency



Deputy City Attorney, Los Angeles City Attorney's Office (2002–current)
Temporary Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court — Elected position (2016–current)


Loyola Law School J.D. (1998)
Yale University B.A., Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry (1993)

Community Activities

Board of Directors, American Youth Soccer Organization/214 (2015–current)
Outings Leader, Sierra Club (2005–current)
Director of Curiculum, Holy Family Parish Sunday School (2014–2014)


  • Career Prosecutor with an Ivy League Education 
  • Significant Jury Trial  and Courtroom Experience
  • Married to a Veteran Law Enforcement Officer
  • Selected as a Temporary Judge for Los Angeles County Superior Court
  • Committed to Diversity and Transparency Through Justice

Onica Valle Cole, is a fourteen-year criminal prosecutor with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, and is the candidate with the most relevant experience for the Office of Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 158. 


Onica volunteers as a Temporary Judge for the Los Angeles Superior Court and is regularly called upon to fulfill the duties of a judge. She is supported in her run by bench officers familiar with her trial skills and reputation.


As a criminal prosecutor she walks the halls of the county courthouses on a regular basis and has negotiated hundreds of cases with bench officers and defense counsel.  Onica’s trial experience as a criminal prosecutor has included cases that involved domestic violence, animal cruelty, assault with a deadly weapon, battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, possession of a concealed weapon, brandishing a deadly weapon, prostitution, narcotic, hit and run and other serious criminal offenses. 


Since February of 2009, Onica has been assigned to a vertical prosecution unit which focuses on Consumer crimes.  In this assignment, she protects the public by prosecuting dangerous medical doctors, sales of untested and unapproved food and drugs, auto repair thefts, marijuana clinics, incompetent and/or unlicensed immigration consultants, unlicensed real estate brokers, illegal loan modification consultants, grand thefts, and most recently the unlicensed and unscrupulous practice of law by those who take advantage of low-income immigrants seeking residency in the United States. 


Highlighting her expertise in the crime of immigration fraud, Onica has vigorously prosecuted a number of immigration consultants including Gloria Saucedo, Eblin Balver and Jesus Lozano.  Onica is scheduled to lecture at the May conference of the California Association of District Attorneys on the topic of Immigration Fraud .


“Language and cultural barriers make immigrants susceptible to scams…. Those who are in the country illegally are especially vulnerable because they may be afraid to report wrongdoing... [making it] in some ways the perfect crime.”  Onica Cole 

Linthicum, K. (2015, June 2). K. (2015, June 2). Man posing as attorney lied to immigrants seeking legal help. The Los Angeles Times.


Onica has a unique compassion for understanding the experiences of others. Born in San Diego, California to an African American father and a Mexican mother, Onica is sensitive to the needs of the diverse population of Los Angeles county.  Onica is one of four children from the marital union of  Adolphus Cole Jr. and Jovita Valle Felix.  Onica has spent the majority of her formative years being raised in Tijuana, Mexico.  Onica's mother, Jovita, would wake her children up as early as Four in the morning to commute across the border daily to attend school in San Diego, CA.  Onica’s father operated his medical clinic in a low-income area of San Diego and the family lived in Tijuana to save money.  Each of the children had a job within their father's medical practive, and Onica's was the bookkeeper for Dr. Cole’s Medical Office.  Onica assumed that role when she was just seven years old. 


After graduating from Clairemont High School in San Diego, as the Class Valedictorian and “Person Most Likely to Succeed”, Onica pursued her education at Yale University in New Haven, CT.  In 1993, she graduated with a degree in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry.  Onica always had a passion for the law and continued on to Loyola Law School on a full scholarship.  Since her graduation and passing the Bar in 1998, Onica has never stopped giving to residents of Los Angeles County.


Onica has volunteered with Mentoring Our Student Through Experience (MOSTE), a mentoring organization for young girls in the South Los Angeles Area, both as a mentor and board member.  Onica has also served the Criminal Director of the Los Angeles City Attorneys Association and Treasurer for the Black City Attorneys Association.  Onica has received the Black Women Lawyers Association Community Service Award and sat on their board as the Co-Chair of the Community Action Community, Co-Chair of the Parent Committee and Recording Secretary.  Onica enjoys hiking with the Sierra Club where she is active as a hike leader and is the Director of Curriculum for the Sunday School program at Holy Family Catholic Church in South Pasadena.  Onica participates as a board member of the local chapter of American Youth Soccer Organization and chaired the Opening Ceremonies in 2015.

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (5)

  • Los Angeles Police Protective League
  • Los Angeles County Police Chiefs' Association
  • Los Angeles African American Women Political Action Committee
  • National Women's Political Caucus, Countywide
  • New Frontier Democratic Club

Elected Officials (14)

  • Yvonne Brathwaite Burke
  • Diane Watson
  • Nate Holden
  • Melanie Chavira
  • Robert Pullen-Miles
  • Emma Scharif
  • Aja Brown
  • Albert Robles
  • Paul Krekorian
  • Mitchell Englander
  • Patty Lopez
  • Victor Gordo
  • Carmen Trutanich
  • Rockard Delgadillo

Individuals (7)

  • Cindy Brown, Member of 1988 Olympic Gold Medal Basketball Team
  • Gail Pincus, Director of Domestic Violence Abuse Center
  • Daniel Sharp, Legal Director of Carecen
  • Jana Valenzuela, Executive Dire tor of Moste
  • Kimberly Suarez, Holy Family Catholic Church Catechist
  • Amy Brothers, Sierra Club Hike Leader
  • Muliple Judges of the Los Angeles Superior Court, for a complete list see

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County ILO (1)

Do you favor alternative, non-jail sentences for non-violent offenders and what options should be available?
Answer from Onica Valle Cole:
Yes, we have started to address the large number of mentally ill individuals who cycle in and out of the criminal justice system so that jail space is available for the most deserving criminals.

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