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



In Memoriam Daniel Felix

Interpreter Daniel Felix, loving husband and father of two children, dies in isolation at age 66

Born on January 28, 1954 in Brawley, California. Daniel’s life was cut short after he lost his battle to COVID-19 this past Sunday, January 17, 2021. 

Daniel married his High-School sweetheart, María Elena, and together they raised their daughter, Massiel, and son Daniel. He had a passion for life. He was always smiling, invariably ready to dance, laugh and live life to the fullest. He would never miss a concert on Friday nights at the Music Center, and California Plaza where he would dance the night away with his wife and friends. He was a family man. His wife and children were the main purpose of his life and he was successful in having a strong and joyful family.



In California there has been an addition of medical interpreters as the list of people who are in the first group to sign up for vaccines. There was a notion that this was only for independent contractors and specifically for those who work only, or mostly as medical interpreters … not employees of the courts. 

The reality is that court interpreters, even as employees of the courts are also included in the medical group. If you look at the back of your certification/registration cards from the Judicial Council, you will see that the bearer of that card is considered a medical interpreter as well. All interpreters registered and certified with the Judicial Council are qualified to sign up for vaccinations in Phase 1A Priority Populations: 

  • Healthcare workers: Persons at high and moderate risk of exposure to SARS CoV-2 through their work in any role in direct health care or long-term care settings. This population includes persons at direct risk of exposure in their non-clinical roles, such as, but not limited to, environmental services, patient transport, or language interpretation.

In Memoriam Felix Tobin

 It is with great sadness we inform you that Felix Tobin, Spanish interpreter since 1983, passed away on January 7th, 2021, in the comfort of his sister’s home in Calabasas. He had been suffering a long illness not related to COVID-19.


Letter to LASC President Judge Taylor

January 19, 2021

Honorable Judge Eric C. Taylor
Presiding Judge's Office, Room 222

111 North Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dear Judge Taylor:

The California Federation of Interpreters (CFI) in representation of the interpreter employees of Los Angeles Superior Court would like to bring to your attention that on Tuesday, January 12th, one of our interpreter colleagues died after contracting COVID on the job in the courts. He was among a group of approximately seventeen interpreter employees who were exposed because management had denied paid release to quarantine to an interpreter who had self-identified as having been exposed to a COVID-positive individual at work.
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