DA Candidates Not Playing Well With Others

Categories: Politics


David Onek's ballot designation challenged by two fellow DA candidates


Is the world growing more like a reality gameshow or are reality gameshows merely reflecting the state of the world today? The answer, of course, is yes.

Ranked-choice voting, for whatever benefits it delivers, also enables candidates to form alliances not unlike those on, say Survivor. So, following District Attorney George Gascón's hasty decision not to investigate his associates Rose Pak and Willie Brown's alleged ethical compromises in the Run, Ed, Run saga, the DA's political opponents banded together to denounce his action. This had all the makings of an Anybody-But-George alliance. But reality TV teaches us that alliances can be tricky.

While candidate Sharmin Bock was happy to join with David Onek to denounce Gascón's purported favoritism, she was setting her sights on Onek as well. Bock's lawyers on Monday wrote the department of elections to complain that Onek's ballot designation -- "criminal justice attorney" -- is "profoundly misleading." Tag-teaming with Bock, Gascón's attorney made similar complaints.

onek.jpg
David Onek
Onek's own website lists his bona fides as a "criminal justice expert and former Police Commissioner" as well as "Senior Fellow and founding Executive Director at the Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice."

The term "criminal justice attorney," claims Bock's attorney, Margaret Prinzing, is ill-fitting for "someone who is not employed as an attorney. According to his ballot designation worksheet, Mr. Onek is currently employed by the University of California Berkeley School of Law to host a criminal justice podcast."

Adds Gascón's lawyer, Jim Sutton -- the representative of choice for San Francisco's moderate establishment -- "criminal justice" is not one of the "11 areas of legal specialization recognized by the state bar," making the designation meaningless.

The Department of Elections has declined to force Onek to change his designation. Should his opponents wish to continue this effort, they'll have to file suit.

Finally, Bock was keeping her lawyers busy. In addition to objecting to Onek's designation, she also found fault with Gascón's. Rather than listing himself as "District Attorney, appointed," she felt he should be "appointed District Attorney."

The Department of Elections, astoundingly, has also passed on forcing that momentous change.

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly.

My Voice Nation Help
7 comments
marcdp
marcdp

I am a prosecutor with decent experience with nothing close to Fazio's or Bock's.  But compared to the the comments here, I think I can share some insight readers will want to know.  First, Bock's campaign is right out of Kamala Harris' playbook.  I do not know why because Harris endorsed Gascon.  Who said politics is not weird?  Moreover, and I want every person who cares about prosecution and justice in SF to read this VERY CAREFULLY: all candidates except for Fazio and Trinh stated they will only hire attorneys from the so called elite law schools. The big hint: they want to imitate "Alameda and Manhattan".  Duh...most lawyers they hire are from top schools that cost $50k a year to attend.  You think real Americans can afford that kind of tuition?  The rich rarely prosecute each other, right?  There is no secret that such attorneys are generally BAD TRIAL ATTORNEYS.  I concede Bock may be an exception. Fazio is a very good trial attorney.  As an experienced prosecutor from a lower tiered law school, I resent it when someone brags that they should be DA because they graduated from a top law school and never worked a month in their life in the SFDA's offfce as a law intern, as hundreds of us in SF have done for more than that.  So when voting, consider whether someone is going to serve SF or themselves and their friends who can afford to make large contributions to their campaigns!  YOU THE VOTERS HAVE A LOT OF CONTROL HERE.  PLEASE USE IT WISELY. 

Rew
Rew

 In the DA's race you've got a college professor running, two defense lawyers, a retired police chief, and a 22 year veteran prosecutor, Sharmin Bock. Bock is by far the most qualified candidate in the race, by a country mile. She has a outstanding record as a prosecutor, developing a national reputation for her work on complicated human trafficking cases. It's no accident Emily's list is endorsing her candidacy, this is the kind of race Emily's list was created for. Bock is totally qualified for this job, and the other candidates aren't. The incumbent has never even tried a case. The appointed incumbent got the job because he was pals with former Mayor, he is product of old boy network. Hey, the old boy network is over - at least it ought to be over, especially in SF.  

marcdp
marcdp

Bock is highly qualified. But where has she been in SF for 22 years?  Why was she in Alameda all that time?  Why do I care if she went to Georgetown Law school?  Why would I want her to rectuit attorneys like "in Alameda and Manhattan's DA Offices"?  These offices are well known for hired spoiled kids from elite schools.  As if graduated of USF, Golden Gate, SFLS are not good enough?  Are you kidding me?  I am a trial attorney and know that where you went to law school MEANS NOTHING.  Fazio was  decent manager and can lead.  He is invested in San Francisco.  Bock has lived here for 22 years. But she has not worked in SF because Alameda offers civil service protection.  The public needs to know her campaign is right out of the playbook from Kamala Harris who also came from Alameda.  Kamala was a VERY BAD DA.  Hallinan prosecuted the tough cases and was far from perfect.  Kamala simply refused to file the tough cases and when she lost she never discussed how to improve her office.  The brain drain on her office was worse than hunder Hallinan.

Ingen22
Ingen22

Rew- whatever drugs you are on that make you think that the old boys network (and girls like Dianne Feinstein) in SF is over or or should or ever will be over, are hopefully legal because I want some.   You are dreaming if you think that will ever end.  You are further dreaming if you think changing the fundamental nature of an office works by electing someone who has worked in the office for 22 years in charge.  Want to clean up a cesspool?  Find someone with NO connection to it at all and with as little support from  big names as possible,  Unfortunately, those people don't get elected.   Don't buy into the BS of office experience.....these are the same people working with the horrible narcatic and DNA people and not reporting them.  (See this edition of SF Weekly)

Yvonnetienvo
Yvonnetienvo

Vu Trinh has no connection or support from the big names, read about what he thinks on his website vutrinh.com

Adelaide
Adelaide

It is interesting that Gascon's lawyer uses the State Bar of California's Specialization criteria to judge Onek's ballot designation. The ONLY certified criminal law specialist on the ballot for DA this Fall is Vu Trinh. In 2009, due to his vast experience in the criminal justice system, the State Bar of California Board of Governors appointed Vu as a commissioner for the Criminal Law Advisory Commission (CLAC) to the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. His term ends in 2012. Vu is committed to fighting for truth, equality, and fairness in the criminal justice system. Find out more here: www.vutrinh.com 

njudah
njudah

I think this is good. The candidates are drawing sharp distinctions between each other, and are not afraid of an appointed incumbent. A pity the Mayor's race is such a lump of dull paste, with lots of saccharin "nicey nicey" BS, all the while serious questions about all the candidates are not being raised by anyone. IRV sucks!

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...