The California Bail Agents Association (CBAA) kicked off its 2008 Annual Convention last night in South Lake Tahoe at Harrah’s Casino Resort with an opening reception. The opening address was given by Curt Hagman, bondsman and Assemblyman-elect from the 60th District. Curt not only talked about introducing legislation necessary to protect the California consumers as related to bail, but implored bondsman to get involved in the political process. Mr. Hagman talked about bondsmen getting organized and united to make important donations to candidates and, importantly in my opinion, to educate legislators and other elected officials about the importance of the bail system in California and in the nation. Without bail, the important American tenant of innocence until guilt is proved simply does not exist.
Bail agents heard more along these lines on today when they heard from Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich, candidate for Los Angeles City Attorney who told bondsman that when he is in office, he will make it a priority to educate all attorneys on staff about the benefit of bail and the fact that bail agents provide an important service to the criminal justice system. Not only are bondsmen agents of the court, but quite literally Los Angeles cannot afford to house people during the pre-trial process. The cost, Trutanich indicated, to house an inmate in LA County jail is $200,000 a year.
Day 1 of the convention featured a State of the Association and a brief national update. Mike Rayfield of the FBI reviewed the Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution process. Adam Cole of the Department of Insurance, the bail industry’s state regulator, provided the lunch address.
Bocce Team: Tonya Rynerson, Tom Anderson (AIA), Clint Pringle (AIA) and Greg Rynerson