Friday, December 31, 2010 – 11:45 a.m.

It looks like a Superior Court judgeship may not be in the cards for Deputy District Attorney Lewis Cope.

Cope, the lead prosecutor in District Attorney Mike Ramos’ public integrity unit, had been hoping for a judicial appointment from outgoing Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger before he leaves office next week.

At this point it’s unlikely.

Sources tell InlandPolitics.com that Cope made it into the final interview round with other Inland candidates but didn’t make the final cut.

Cope lost out to colleagues Dan Detienne, 46, of Murrieta, and Richard Peel, 44, of Upland.

Both men replace recently retired judges Michael Smith and Barry Plotkin.

The twist on this story is Cope allegedly made it to the final round with the full backing of Ramos, until that support evaporated in the home stretch.

Sources also say Ramos has told Cope he did his best to get him to a final interview.

The question being whispered within the legal community is did Ramos tube Cope’s possible appointment because of his needed role in the pending Colonies conspiracy case or was he just being strung along?

Ramos has routinely touted his closeness with Schwarzenegger.

Both Detienne and Peel have great reputations as bright lawyers, but possess vastly lesser experience than Cope.

So why did they get the nod instead?

Schwarzenegger reportedly wants a legacy on the bench and is focused on youth and long-term service.

If true, then why mislead Cope?