East County NAACP Branch to hold public interviews of applicants for Interim DA, Saturday Sept. 9

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DA Interview


One Comment to “East County NAACP Branch to hold public interviews of applicants for Interim DA, Saturday Sept. 9”

  1. Swen Oleson says:

    I am pleased to see the NAACP and these interfaith groups sponsoring this meeting so we residents can get a chance to see and hear the five applicants for the DA’s job. I feel real strongly we citizens should be vetting the candidates, the next DA should not be picked by the Board of Supes only, or special interest groups, in some sort of back room deal. The DA’s job belongs to the people, not to any “in group” of attorneys or any powerful special interest group.
    As many now know, the Deputy District Attorneys Association and various police officers associations, along with the deputy sheriffs are backing Deputy District Attorney Paul Graves, an applicant who has, in my view, one of the weakest resumes in the field. They are asking the board to ignore the candidacies of two highly regarded women Superior Court Judges – Danielle Douglas and Diana Becton, and instead appoint a junior level DA manager to the top job.
    I think it important to point out we have never had an elected women DA in the history of our county, the job has been held by men for generations, dating back 80 years. Even though we have two women candidates, women of color, women with far better resumes than Paul Graves, we are supposed to not question the logic of these police groups.
    As many may recall, these very same police associations backed this lawyer Dan O’Malley back in 2010 for the DA’s job, a candidate who was a nice guy but a notorious bumbler. He was crushed by Mark Peterson, he was only able to carry his own city – Lafayette. In fact, this candidate – O’Malley – was the son of a former DA, it was just another example of an outgoing DA – Bob Kochly – trying to pass the job to a family fiend.
    Historically that’s the way you got the DA’s job. The outgoing DA would anoint a successor, always one of his top managers, also usually a family friend. These guys, of course, were always white guys, no DA from the past, not John Nejedly, or Gary Yancey, or Bob Kochly had a women or person of color in a senior management position, they also made no effort to mentor a successor that was a women or a person of color. You had this “old boy network” going on, and it went on for 40 years.
    As many may recall, this former DA – Mark Peterson – ran against this in group of well connected lawyers, he campaigned all over the county against this old boy network, yet after he won the job he turns around and installs all white guys in senior management, including Paul Graves. So his campaign rhetoric was just a lot of hot air, when he got in office he keeps the old boy network going. Later, of course, he gets caught embezzling campaign funds and he’s carted off to jail.
    While Peterson turned out to be a fraud, I do think the fact that he beat the old boy network in 2010 was an indicator voters were not happy with the DA’s job beiinhg passed on to the outgoing DA’s pal, Peterson tapped into a yearning voters have that our DA job ought to open to everybody, women, people of color, and so forth. The job of DA belongs to the people, not to any in group of well connected attorneys.
    Given this, I do believe the Board of Supervisors should consider what’s happening here. We now have this same in group of well connected attorneys, along with these law enforcement groups, telling us the perfect candidate for the DA’s job is a low level DA manager, a guy that doesn’t seen quite qualified – Paul Graves. They are telling the board to pick Graves, even though these two women Judges appear to be way more qualified.
    Didn’t they tell us in 2010 O’Malley, the son of a former DA, was the perfect candidate for the DA job? Yes, they did tell us that but he ended up getting crushed at the polls and we end up with this DA who has sticky fingers with his campaign funds, Mark Peterson.
    I feel real strongly the Board of Supervisors should ignore these law enforcement groups. They don’t have a good track record when endorsing DA candidates, they have always endorsed old boy network candidates for the job. I should mention after Peterson won in 2010 these law enforcement groups flipped immediately and became big pals of Peterson’s, to the point they were going to endorse him for re-election, which didn’t happen due to Peterson getting arrested and prosecuted for embezzlement.
    Fact is these law enforcement groups will back any candidate the board picks, as you saw when Peterson won the DA’s job in 2010 unexpectedly. Frankly I don’t believe these law enforcement groups are really paying much attention to the prospective candidates for the DA’s job. Some campaign consultant is telling these police officer groups Graves has got a lock on the job, that his appointment is a foregone conclusion.
    I am skeptical of that. This Board of Supervisors, Supervisors like John Gioa and Federal Glover, are plenty sharp, they are not going to let these law enforcement groups railroad them into appointing a junior member of the DA’s management team into the DA’s job, not with all these other highly qualified candidates, which includes these two highly regarded women Judges, Diana Becton and Danielle Douglas.
    I feel real strongly, as do many others, the time has come to appoint a women to the DA’s job. We must put an end to this old boy network running the DA’s office, it’s not 1950 anymore, it’s the year 2017. We have great women attorneys, our county now is this fabulous mosaic of communities too, we have a vibrant African American community, Latino community, Asian community, South East Asian community, we need our DA’s office to reflect this diversity. No more old boy network of rich white guys running the DA’s office, it’s time to open the office up to everybody, we need to tap all the communities for input, make the office work for everybody.

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