San Francisco, CA – The woman whom San Francisco Mayor London Breed appointed to replace now-former District Attorney Chesa Boudin after voters recalled him has cleaned house, firing 15 people and putting an all-woman leadership team at the helm in her office.
San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins announced the terminations on July 15, SFGate reported.
“Today, I made difficult, but important changes to my management team and staff that will help advance my vision to restore a sense of safety in San Francisco by holding serious and repeat offenders accountable and implementing smart criminal justice reforms,” Jenkins said in a statement.
Most of the prosecutors that the new district attorney fired had been installed by Boudin, the progressive, anti-police, anti-incarceration former district attorney who was recalled by voters in June.
The recall measure – known officially as Proposition H – garnered the support of more than 60 percent of the city’s voters during the June 7 primary, CBS News reported.
The recall effort was spearheaded by Safer SF Without Boudin, a local group that gathered over 83,000 signatures to put the recall election on the ballot, KGO reported.
“San Franciscans are fed up and tired,” Safer SF Without Boudin spokesperson Andrea Shorter said when the measure made the ballot.
“It is about San Franciscans not feeling safe under this district attorney when he does not hold to account and act responsibly when it comes to repeat offenders,” Shorter explained.
The group claimed Boudin was too lenient when it comes to repeat offenders and had placed citizens at risk as a result, KGO reported.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed appointed Jenkins to replace Boudin, and she will run on the ballot in November to finish out the former prosecutor’s term, CBS News reported.
In addition to the slew of prosecutors she axed, Jenkins also fired Boudin’s spokesperson and his chief of staff and announced that she was doing away with that position altogether, KTVU reported.
Boudin’s chief of staff had headed up legislative and public affairs efforts for his office.
The San Francisco Standard reported that the overhaul dramatically restaffed the divisions that were important to the former prosecutor’s mission of reforming the criminal justice system.
The new district attorney explained what she had planned.
“I want to bring in a new management team that is full of prosecution experience,” Jenkins told KQED.
Jenkins announced an all-female upper management team would be finding a balance between holding criminals accountable and implementing reforms.
“I promised the public that I would restore accountability and consequences to the criminal justice system while advancing smart reforms responsibly,” she said in a statement. “My new management team, which will include the addition of three women of color, with decades of prosecutorial experience at the highest levels, will help our office deliver on that promise. I have full faith and confidence that these women will promote and protect public safety while delivering justice in all of its various forms.”
“Just as everyone blamed Boudin for all of the problems… she now, and the mayor who appointed her, will have to answer for whatever crime happens in San Francisco.” @scottshafer on what new San Francisco DA Brooke Jenkins now faces, to @NikkiLaurenzo on #InsideCAPolitics pic.twitter.com/YCBs5NflKc
— Inside California Politics (@CAinsider) July 17, 2022
Jenkins has promised to help restore public safety in the city.
“I think we have to go back to holding repeat offenders and repeat violent offenders accountable,” the district attorney told KQED. “I think that has been lost in this system and that cost us many lives over the past two years, having repeat offenders go out and reoffend in lethal ways.”
“And so I am committed to making sure that those who decide to live a life of crime and chronically commit crime in this city [are held] accountable. As well as, as I said, balancing that need for reform,” she added.
Jenkins said prosecutors had a job to do regardless of whether they agreed with certain laws, KQED reported.
“That was a part of my complaint about the previous administration, is the selectivity of which laws they chose to enforce. And so, no, as law enforcement agencies, we need to simply just do the function of our job, which is to enforce the laws of the state of California,” the prosecutor said.