This past Friday, Brooke Jenkins, the new extremely progressive District Attorney of San Francisco, terminated the employment of a group of 15 staffers within just a week of taking over from the city’s former DA Chesa Boudin due to a recall.
“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,” expressed Jenkins to SFGATE.com
Jenkins, who was key in leading the campaign to kick out the former office holder, held a “horrible,” “uncomfortable,” “insane,” and “icy” 20-minute meeting with most of the staff working for Boudin as soon as the city’s Mayor London Breed swore in Jenkins this month. During that meeting, Jenkins told the gathered 25 employees that she would not be firing anyone that exact day but planned on meeting with staffers for a probable “reshuffling” of the office, SFGATE.com reported.
Due to the reshuffling from Jenkins, reportedly Managing Attorney Arcelia Hurtado lost her job first.
Hurtado was known to be a representative for The Innocence Commission, which Boudin established in 2020 to go over cases of anyone who were wrongfully convicted. As part of a recent interview with KQED, Jenkins stated she would support the commission.
Lara Bazelon, the chair of the commission and a known law professor for the University of San Francisco, stated to SFGATE.com that Jenkin’s choice to dismiss Hurtafo is “deeply concerning,” due to the brother of Mayor Breed possibly getting leniency or release from prison in the wake of his conviction for manslaughter and carjackiing.
Another staffer dismissed by Jenkins was Kate Chatfield, the former DA’s chief of staff, who tweeted this past Friday that the reformations from Boudin would disappear.
“The resentencing/innocence commission unit: gone,” stated Chatfield. “Police accountability: gone. Data and transparency: gone. Political corruption investigation: gone. Champion for victims and children: demoted.”
She went on to add, “Champion for humane, hugely-popular, and successful treatment programs: gone. Latino/a outreach: gone. Support for trafficked children: gone.”
The reshuffling from Jenkins also impacted assistant chief of general crimes, Tal Klement, who stated via a tweet that he would never stop fighting for real criminal justice reform in the wake of his termination.
Jenkins also chose to dismiss Rachel Marshall, Boudin’s communication director and policy advisor, along with Mikaela Rabinowitz, the former director of data, analytics, and research, and the managing attorney of the bureau for independent investigations, Lateef Gray.
In a recent release, Jenkins claimed that she would be doing everything in her power to reinstate accountability and consequences to the city’s criminal justice system while still trying to carry out more progressive reforms.
“I have seen firsthand the imbalances and disproportionate impacts of our criminal justice system,” she exclaimed.
As part of a press conference, she called labeled San Francisco “a city of second chances.”
“But the truth is we have to draw a line with people who choose hate, violence, and a life of crime,” stated Jenkins, as reported by The Grio. “I want to make clear: holding offenders accountable does not preclude us from moving forward with vital and important reforms to our criminal justice system.”
Previously, she served as an assistant DA in the city’s DA office for roughly seven years until officially resigning during Boudin’s reign, highlighting extreme dissatisfaction with the direction of the office.