Saturday, March 23, 2013 – 09:00 a.m.

A little more than two-years ago it was then-Superior Court Judge Paul Zellerbach who ousted Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco in a very public and heated battle.

Now it’s Zellerbach’s star that may be falling.

The next contest for District Attorney is expected to be a contentious race, according to a well-placed source familiar with the situation.

This week Senior Deputy District Attorney Michael Hestrin announced he will challenge his boss, Zellerbach, in 2014.

Hestrin, who also holds a leadership position within the Riverside County Deputy District Attorneys Association, will reportedly have the backing of the group. I’ve been told to expect a no-confidence vote, on Zellerbach, from the unions membership shortly.

The term “Highly-Respected” is used to describe Hestrin, a fifteen-year veteran, who has handled several high-profile criminal cases over his still-young career.

At this point, the Riverside County legal community is described as being torn between the two gentlemen.

Many local attorneys feel Zellerbach has been a disappointment. One source says Zellerbach seems to have not gotten off on the right foot, and has struggled during his first two years in office.

One key factor here? Prosecutor morale is said to be poor.

Out-raising Zellerbach will be a must for Hestrin, if he’s to succeed.

Stay tuned……