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Retired Judge Tells State Bar San Francisco District Attorney’s Claims of No Misconduct Are Misconduct


San Francisco District DA Brooke Jenkins (screenshot from KQED News YouTube)

A retired judge has accused San Francisco’s new interim district attorney of lying when she said in a recent public forums that she’s never engaged in misconduct as a prosecutor, filing a complaint with the California State Bar that outlines several alleged acts of past misconduct.

Brooke Jenkins “publicly and falsely claiming that she has never been fond to have committed misconduct, is deceitful and dishonest conduct,” according to the nine-page complaint signed by Martha Goldin, a retired Los Angeles County Superior Court judge who now lives in San Francisco.

The State Bar does not publicize complaints or comment on ongoing investigations, but Goldin’s complaint against Jenkins was publicized by the criminal justice reform advocacy group The Wren Collective. The group’s employees include the former chief of staff for Jenkins’ predecessor, recalled District Attorney Chesa Boudin.

Goldin included with her complaint documents from a case in which appellate judges overturned a jury’s conviction of a criminal defendant because Jenkins had commented to the jury about the defendant not testifying. The San Francisco County Superior Court’s appellate division ruled Jenkins’ actions amounted to prosecutorial misconduct.

The complaint also takes issue with Jenkins claiming to have volunteered for recall efforts against Boudin, who she was appointed by San Francisco Mayor London Breed to replace after voters removed him from office in June. The complaint says Jenkins claimed to be a volunteer when she actually was paid “in excess of $173,000.”

“Jenkins’ portrayal of her employment by 501(c)(3)s with substantial links to her claimed ‘volunteer’ position with the recall are so tangled that it is difficult to pigeonhole them into one violation,” the complaint reads. “It is clear that her statements surrounding those relationships have been dishonest, deceitful and either reckless or intentional misrepresentations.”

Jenkins released a statement calling the complaint a political stunt, according to KTVU 2  in San Francisco.

“This is a completely baseless complaint, filed by a well-documented supporter of a political opponent who is a retired Los Angeles-based judge that I never appeared before,” she said. “In addition, these complaints are supposed to remain confidential, which is another sign that this is politically motivated. Let me be clear, I hold myself to the highest possible ethical standards and I have never been found by a judge or otherwise of any wrongdoing.”

Read the full complaint here.

(Image: screenshot from KQED News YouTube)

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A graduate of the University of Oregon, Meghann worked at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, and the Idaho Statesman in Boise, Idaho, before moving to California in 2013 to work at the Orange County Register. She spent four years as a litigation reporter for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and one year as a California-based editor and reporter for and associated publications such as The National Law Journal and New York Law Journal before joining Law & Crime News. Meghann has written for The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Los Angeles Magazine, Bloomberg Law, ABA Journal, The Forward, Los Angeles Business Journal and the Laguna Beach Independent. Her Twitter coverage of federal court hearings in a lawsuit over homelessness in Los Angeles placed 1st in the Los Angeles Press Club's Southern California Journalism Awards for Best Use of Social Media by an Independent Journalist in 2021. An article she freelanced for Los Angeles Times Community News about a debate among federal judges regarding the safety of jury trials during COVID also placed 1st in the Orange County Press Club Awards for Best Pandemic News Story in 2021.