Newly-installed San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin summarily fired seven key felony prosecutors on Friday, despite campaign promises to clean up violent crime in the city.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported the firings, which were the most dramatic since a new DA fired 10% of the staff in 1995:
Some firings, the Chronicle noted, were not quite a surprise, as Boudin had run specifically against adding “gang enhancements” to prosecutions, arguing that such prosecutions were aimed disproportionately at minority defendants.
But others were a surprise. The Chronicle cited sources who said the effect on morale among the 135 prosecutors was “devastating.”
Though Boudin promised to stop violent crime in the city, he also campaigned against prosecuting what he called “quality-of-life” crimes in San Francisco, such as public urination, and said he would “decriminalize” homelessness.
Boudin has responded to public criticism of the firings, telling NBC Bay Area: “”It should not come as a surprise to anybody that a newly-elected official would want to make staff changes.”
However, critics contend that some of the prosecutors he fired would have followed his orders regardless of their past records.
One of the fired attorneys reiterated to Bay Area public radio station KQED: “I think the impact on morale is going to be devastating.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.