Recalls, emails, and leaks: Inside the scorched-earth battle to be San Francisco’s district attorney

Pelosi Husband Attacked
San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins speaks with reporters following a court hearing for David DePape, the man accused of attacking the husband of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in San Francisco, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. A San Francisco judge disclosed Friday that she had worked with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s daughter in the 1990s, giving prosecutors and the public defender’s office the opportunity to object to her role in the case. Jenkins said the case might be heard by another judge regardless of the disclosure. (AP Photo/Olga Rodriguez) Olga Rodriguez/AP

Recalls, emails, and leaks: Inside the scorched-earth battle to be San Francisco’s district attorney

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The battle to be San Francisco’s district attorney has gotten ugly since the recall of soft-on-crime predecessor Chesa Boudin — and voters will now have their say to cap off a bitter campaign waged by four main candidates.

A series of issues plagued Brooke Jenkins, who was appointed by Mayor London Breed to clean up the city’s crime-ridden streets after Boudin’s exit. Jenkins has cracked down on crime, specifically drug dealers and felons, but several slip-ups have also dogged her campaign for reelection.


However, some say her biggest problem in deep-blue San Francisco could be that she is actually enforcing the law rather than looking the other way.

“Brooke’s crime is that she is enforcing crime,” Heritage Foundation legal fellow Cully Stimson told the Washington Examiner. “The Left leadership doesn’t like that. The people suffering the brunt of those pro-criminal policies wake up every day in their cities worried that their car is going to get broken into, that they will get assaulted or Walgreens will close in their neighborhood.”

The race took an ugly turn last week when allegations surfaced that Jenkins emailed police reports to a colleague before both of them quit the District Attorney’s Office in 2021 to work on the recall of Boudin. The reports, which are not deemed a public record in California, were sent from Jenkins’s work email to colleague Don du Bain’s personal account, according to media reports.

The subject involved a high-profile manslaughter case in which defendant Troy McAllister was not immediately charged with running over two people in a crosswalk despite being on parole and driving a stolen car.

Jenkins did not respond to requests for comment. She told SFGate that the records were not used in the recall and should’ve been sent to du Bain’s work email.

However, opponent Joe Alioto Veronese said the incident was part of the campaign, citing other incidents as well. These include a state ethics complaint lodged against Jenkins for working as a paid campaign consultant against Boudin but not reporting this to the city and a breach of ethics regarding her handling of several felony cases, according to a second complaint filed with the State Bar of California.

In one of the instances, Jenkins coached a child witness testifying in a case by stating, “Say that — that’s what you need to say,” according to the complaint.

Alioto Veronese, an attorney and former commissioner with the California Council on Criminal Justice, admitted that San Francisco needs a more centrist prosecutor who has ethics even though he has been endorsed by the Democratic Party along with another candidate, John Hamasaki.

He said the far Left is not a player in the election.

“Citizens have Boudin fatigue,” Alioto Veronese said. “When he was thrown out of office, they wanted law enforcement, and what they have is a bad cop who has no problem violating the office and using confidential files and emailing them to a colleague to use in the recall. That is purely illegal.”

Hamasaki has advocated policies similar to Boudin, which involve community service and counseling in lieu of jail or prison. Alioto Veronese says he is a centrist, as does Jenkins.


Jenkins had commissioned a poll that showed her leading the pack. No independent polling was available.

“She is clearly not a Republican or a right-winger, but she is a law-and-order prosecutor, which is what the public needs in the role of a prosecutor,” Stimson said of Jenkins.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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