MAPA Chief Nativo Lopez Again Threatened with Jail

| by Denise A Justin

The stress of repeated pre-trial, mental-competency hearings and courtroom histrionics appears to finally be getting to usually cool and unruffled MAPA President Nativo Lopez.  ( 

At the January 12, 2011, hearing in LA Superior Court, Dept. 123--the latest in a series prolonged by Lopez’ refusal to identify himself other than as the “authorized representative for the defendant”-- Nativo advised Judge George Lomeli, “If you would…not just rush through this, pause a bit, listen a bit, perhaps you’ll learn something.” 

But it was Lopez who quickly learned that might not be the best manner of introducing himself to the magistrate who will decide—based on an awaited psychiatrist’s report—whether Lopez will be committed to a mental-health facility or stand trial on eight felony counts related to voter fraud.  (

Judge Lomeli responded sharply, “Mr. Lopez. You don’t direct what this court does…I am responsible for the decorum of this court. You don’t advise this court whether or not it can learn something. That is contemptible and I will remand you into custody. I will not tolerate it.”

Lopez had already told Judge Lomeli that he is not represented by an attorney and doesn’t understand, “… why the court continues to insist on accepting Mr. [John] Powers as the public defender for the defendant.” Judge Lomeli advised him, “The judge…previous to me appointed Mr. Powers to represent Mr. Lopez. That representation will continue.”

The Judge set February 10, 2011, for the next hearing, since the court is still awaiting the report from the doctor regarding the appointment Nativo was previously order to attend.

In an OC Weekly article (11/24/10), R. Scott Moxley described Nativo Lopez’ style as, “…punch first—repeatedly—ask questions after your opponent requires an ambulance.” If his blustering combativeness with Judge Lomeli was intended as a demonstration of his sparring power, it definitely seems Nativo Lopez has met his match. (

The judge advised the court, “We'll see everybody back here on February 10.” Lopez meekly accepted the judge’s offer to return to court only because it is being imposed “…by the force and threat of the court to have the defendant remanded into custody.” Judge Lomeli calmly thanked him and called his next case.