By Bob Brewer
I’m the right choice for San Diego District Attorney because I have the overwhelming support of local law enforcement; I have decades of experience as a former prosecutor and one of San Diego’s top trial attorneys; and I’ve held leadership positions throughout my career, from the military to several top national law firms.
I also believe we need a change of leadership in the DA’s office. Time and again, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has placed politics above everything else. As a result, not only has she tarnished the office’s credibility – KPBS’s recent series of stories is just one example – but she has cost the public enormous sums of money. One of her most misguided prosecutions has now cost taxpayers at least $7 million and rising, with all charges thrown out of court or dismissed.
First, more details about my career and background. I’ve been endorsed by four former U.S. Attorneys, two former California Attorneys General, Father Joe Carroll and 98% of the law-enforcement associations in San Diego County. I’ve been trying cases for four decades, served as both a state and federal prosecutor in Los Angeles and have been continuously recognized in several categories by Best Lawyers in America.
I am comfortable in positions of leadership and have been since my time serving in combat in the Vietnam War, during which I was awarded the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, two Air Medals (one for valor), the Joint Service Commendation Medal and various Vietnamese medals for valor. In my legal career, I was managing partner of the San Diego office of McKenna & Cuneo and most recently was the partner in charge of the San Diego office of the international law firm Jones Day.
If elected, I pledge to take politics out of the DA’s office. I won’t over-charge and over-hype cases for the sake of advancing my political career. Unlike the incumbent, I will never run for another office. Also unlike the incumbent, I will never endorse other political candidates, which creates a web of conflicts of interest.
The public must have confidence that its district attorney is charging people with crimes for the right reasons. Unfortunately, Bonnie Dumanis has undermined this confidence beyond repair.
Consider her decision to run for San Diego Mayor only 70 days after being sworn in for her third term as District Attorney. Almost immediately, her campaign ads began featuring a high-profile South Bay pay-for-play prosecution. Defense lawyers accused her of overcharging the case for the sake of getting attention-grabbing headlines. The judge in the case admonished her. As of today, more than 80 felony charges in the case have been dismissed, lending credence to what the critics were saying at the time.
Of course, by now, most people also have heard the allegations that her campaign was the beneficiary of hundreds of thousands of dollars illegal donations orchestrated by a Mexican national Jose Susumo Azano. This scandal hardly inspires confidence in the county’s top law-enforcement official.
Most recently, KPBS has reported on allegations that Dumanis secretly worked behind the scenes to get a friend appointed to the Chula Vista City Council, a fact that she failed to disclose while later prosecuting another member of the same city council. If these allegations are true, not only did she act unethically but she cast doubt on the credibility of the prosecution’s entire case. At best, her lobbying efforts were a serious lapse in judgment; at worst, they are evidence of a political vendetta.
In addition, she clearly had political motives when filing charges against six San Diego pension board members in 2005. She wanted headlines and she got them. But the state Supreme Court eventually determined that five of the six never should have been charged with crimes and Dumanis wound up dropping all charges against the sixth. Now San Diego taxpayers must cover all six defendants’ legal fees – at least $7 million. What’s more, all six had their careers and reputations ruined as a result of Dumanis’ reckless, politically motivated decision.
For all these reasons, I ask San Diegans to give me their vote on June 3. We need a change in leadership and I’m the right choice for public safety without politics.
Bob Brewer is a former federal prosecutor, trial lawyer and candidate for San Diego District Attorney in the upcoming general election.