Local attorney Sally Moreno preps for 2018 DA run

(Photo courtesy of San Joaquin College of Law)

By Alexandria T. Montes | Reporter

Fresno Sr. Deputy District Attorney Sally Moreno, one of seven attorneys on the homicide team, will be running for Madera County District Attorney in the 2018 election.

A San Joaquin Valley native, Moreno is a veteran who served in the Army Reserves as an O-3 Captain and O-4 Major. In 1998, as an undergrad in the ROTC program at University of California, Santa Barbara, she was commissioned as a second lieutenant and went to work as an officer for Los Angeles Police Department.

In February of 1990, three months into her job with LAPD, she was activated in support of Desert Storm. She then returned to the San Joaquin Valley where she graduated from San Joaquin College of Law in 1995. Moreno credits SJCL Dean Jan Pearson, who streamlined her path into getting into law school.

Moreno shared that since the fifth grade she always knew she wanted to be a prosecutor.

“I think there is something in me that has always been protected. I was very protective of my sisters and then my nieces and nephews,” she said. “I remember my mother from a very young age telling me that I need to become a lawyer and who knows you better than your mother?”

Growing up, Moreno and her four siblings attended Catholic schools where their faith was reinforced. She notes her parents, who have now been married for nearly 60 years, as the figures in her life that have inspired her the most.

“My mother had three daughters and we are all so very different. I think it is a testament to her that she encouraged each of us to become the person that we were supposed to be. She didn’t try to make us be like her, she didn’t try to live her own life through us – she just encouraged us to be the best person we can be,” she said. “My father always set an example of working hard. I don’t think he called in sick a day in his life.”

Most recently, Moreno has had the opportunity to work with the office of Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp.

“The way she blends who she is and with what she does without compromising either of them is really-really amazing,” Moreno said of Smittcamp.

In the homicide unit, Moreno deals with some of the most serious cases so she felt very honored when Smittcamp and the rest of her administrative team asked her to function on their homicide team alongside other top lawyers.

“When I see other women being threatened by successful women instead of inspired by a successful women, it breaks my heart. We should look at other women and we should trust that they’ve made the best choice for them and their family,” Moreno said. “When I look at another woman my first response is, ‘You’ve got this! What can I do to support you? Not why did you do it different than me?’ I think it is the last step of feminism for us to support each other even when our decisions are different.”

“I couldn’t do this 100 years ago,” said Moreno. “As women these days we can do anything we want to.”

Sgt. Zack Zamudio of Madera County Sheriff’s Office described Moreno to be open-minded, dedicated and relentless.

“I know for the citizens of Madera County she would go above and beyond from what they would expect her to do,” Zamudio said. “She would be very helpful to the DA and law enforcement community.”

Moreno will go up against incumbent David Linn for the Madera County DA seat. The primary election will be held June 5, 2018.

“I am looking forward to this election. I think it is going to be spirited,” Moreno said. “I think I can do great things for Madera County and the leadership that is there.”

Moreno will be one of five alumni speaking at a Career Panel at San Joaquin College of Law on April 4 from 7-9 p.m. Each panelist will share personal experiences and insights on how to prepare for law school.