Rod Pacheco

By My Nguyen, Student Intern of Chass Computing

Rod PachecoRod Pacheco, a CHASS graduate alumnus (’80 B.A. Political Science), was sworn in as Distinct Attorney of Riverside County on Tuesday, January 2.  He will be heading the state’s fourth-largest district attorney’s office.

Pacheco, the first Latino Republican elected as the California State Assembly in close to a century, authored and co-authored as many as 50 legislative bills.  He also served as leader of the Republican Party in California in 1998.  He went on to represent the 64th District for six years.

He began his career as a deputy district attorney in Riverside County in 1984. 

In his acceptance speech of the ceremony on the steps of the Riverside County Courthouse, Pacheco said he will be focusing on prosecuting gang members and sexual predators, two groups he considers the county’s greatest threats.

“These folks are extremely dangerous…They will never be cured,” Pacheco said.  “The bottom line is they should live somewhere else.  If they’re violating the law in any way, we’re going to prosecute them.”

In 1997, The Alumni Associations of the University of California (AAUC) and the California School Boards Association recognized his commitment to improving education at all levels.  Both, as well as the Riverside County Sheriffs Association, California Law Enforcement Records Supervisors, California Building Officials Association, and Hispanic Lifestyle Magazine, have all named him Legislator of the Year.

Although his primary focus is on crime, Pacheco was successful at pushing for an expansion of the Cal Grant system, the state’s main financial aid program for needy and middle-income students; school accountability measures; and state testing standards, as well.

Pacheco earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1980 at UCR and in 1983 earned his Law Degree at the University of San Diego Law School.

He currently resides in Riverside with his wife and four children. 

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