Ahead of the November election in which mayoral appointee to the SF DA's office Brooke Jenkins is hoping to be elected by the people, there appears to be at least one October surprise.
As KTVU first reported, retired Superior Court Judge Martha Goldin filed a complaint with the State Bar of California this week alleging that Jenkins lied during a debate last month when she claimed to never have been the subject of a complaint of prosecutorial misconduct. Goldin is asking for the State Bar to open an investigation into Jenkins, citing multiple instances of public dishonesty — including the July revelations about Jenkins paid work on the campaign to recall her predecessor, Chesa Boudin.
"One of the most fundamental duties of attorneys, enshrined in various statutes and California State Bar Rules, is to be honest," Goldin says in a statement. "This duty is particularly essential for a District Attorney, who represents ‘The People’ in Court."
Judge Goldin served as Los Angeles Superior Court Judge for fourteen years, and was also a Supervising Judge of the Superior Court probate departments. Goldin previously spoke out in support of former DA Chesa Boudin back in December, after it was made public that another judge had chastised the DA's office in open court and accused Boudin of mismanagement — something that the judge, Bruce Chan, later apologized for.
In the complaint about Jenkins, per KTVU, Goldin suggests that Jenkins lied during a September debate between district attorney candidates when she stated, "I want to make clear first and foremost never have I ever been found to have committed misconduct in a case."
Working as an assistant district attorney and prosecutor in the homicide department in 2014 — Jenkins' first year in the DA's office — Goldin notes that Jenkins was found to be "guilty of a form of misconduct known as Griffin error, when a prosecutor violates constitutional protections by improperly commenting to the jury on a defendant’s failure to testify." A San Francisco appellate court found Jenkins guilty of the error in 2016, and consequently reversed the convictions in the case she prosecuted two years earlier.
Judge Goldin's harsh complaint further contends that Jenkins is guilty of other false and misleading representations, criminal conduct, and deceptive claims of attorney-client privilege.
Referring specifically to Jenkins's role as a paid consultant to a non-profit that donated the lion's share of the funds behind the campaign to recall Boudin, and her statements about only "volunteering" on the campaign, Goldin accuses Jenkins of "dishonest, deceitful, and either reckless or intentional misrepresentations."
The criminal conduct referred to in the complaint appears to relate to this as well, because Jenkins failed to register as a volunteer on the campaign, which Judge Goldin says would be a misdemeanor violation of San Francisco's Campaign and Conduct Code.
"Instead of the honesty required of her as a member of the State Bar of California, Brooke Jenkins has engaged in numerous dishonest and deceitful acts over the several months preceding and during her tenure as interim San Francisco District Attorney," Judge Goldin writes.
It remains to be seen if the State Bar will take up this complaint and open an investigation, and Jenkins's office has yet to comment.