For Immediate Publication


The California Federation of Interpreters, Local 39000 condemns the public statements made yesterday by Los Angeles Court CEO Sheri R. Carter at a Town Hall meeting.

Presented in the wake of the COVID-19 deaths of several court workers – two court interpreters and a Twin Towers bailiff – Ms. Carter's statements clearly had the intention of shifting blame for their deaths onto the court employees themselves. 

The statements were baseless and slanderous; additionally, they underscore the court's failure to seriously address the public health crisis still taking place in the county's courthouses. 

Local 39000 has documented a systemic failure by the court to implement policies to adequately safeguard language interpreters, court bailiffs, and other courthouse workers from contracting COVID-19. A particular failure being the lack of creating and adequately expanding remote court hearings and services, such as video remote interpreting for its language access to the courts, to keep to keep staff, public, and justice partners safe from infection during the pandemic.

The two interpreters, Sergio Cafaro and Daniel Felix, died of COVID-19 after infectious outbreaks in courthouses.  Court administrators neither recommended nor instructed interpreters to quarantine when the outbreaks first became known and denied requests for emergency paid leave when interpreters sought to self-quarantine. 

In the wake of these tragic deaths, Ms. Carter should have led a serious and sober discussion of this health and safety issue which is still ongoing and becoming even more acute with newer more virulent strains of COVID. It is unfortunate that court’s CEO instead degraded the Town Hall by launching spiteful personal attacks on court employees.

Local 39000 seeks a constructive dialogue with Ms. Carter and other court administrators, so that proper policies and work accommodations can be set in place, ensuring that court employees are provided a safe and healthy work environment during this pandemic.  

Begonya De Salvo
Local 39000 Steward
(323) 708-9902