A new report alleges DA Jenkins shared a suspect’s information for use in the recall campaign with another colleague who was also quitting on Boudin, and Jenkins is responding by launching an investigation into the leak.
Is it possible to have a “November Surprise” in a San Francisco election? It seems unlikely; once we’re five days out from the election, many people have already sent in their mail-in ballots, and I can’t imagine too many people are undecided at this point on whether they’re voting for interim District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, or one of her opponents, former police commissioners John Hamasaki or Joe Aliote Veronese.
Last year, then-Assistant DA Brooke Jenkins sent police reports and a rap sheet to her colleague's personal email.— Mission Local (@MLNow) November 2, 2022
Neither had a professional connection to the case.
Sending a rap sheet to a person not authorized to receive it is a misdemeanor. https://t.co/PDIMWxea42
So it may or may not tip the scales that Mission Local reported Tuesday that Jenkins sent sensitive case files to a colleague’s personal email last October, when both she and that colleague had already resigned from Boudin’s office and had one foot out the door. Both Jenkins and that colleague, Don du Bain, would work on the recall Boudin campaign, and both appeared in recall TV commercials. Neither was affiliated with the case of the defendant whose rap sheet and criminal record Jenkins shared, New Year’s Eve 2020 hit-and-run suspect Troy McAlister.
Mission Local describes the sharing of documents as “a potential violation of state law,” and adds that “The California penal code states that the furnishing of such a record to a person who is not authorized to receive it is a misdemeanor.”
JUST IN: Before leaving the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office last year, now-interim D.A. Brooke Jenkins took sensitive documents to be used in the campaign to recall her predecessor, Chesa Boudin, according to a report. https://t.co/XJwZwcRDUS— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) November 2, 2022
The normal political playbook for a candidate here would be to ignore the news story, stay above the fray, and allow your surrogates and spokespeople to discredit the report as a partisan political hit job. That is not what Brooke Jenkins is doing. The Chronicle reports that Jenkins has “launched an investigation into the release of her email,” along with her defense that “she accidentally used du Bain’s personal email address.”
“These files were never used on the recall campaign, or for any political purposes, and were never disclosed to the public,” Jenkins told the Chronicle “What we do know is that my email from when I was an assistant district attorney and these files were inappropriately, and potentially illegally, obtained and shared by someone.”
As a reminder, the suspect McAlister was out on a parole deal Boudin’s office brokered when he was allegedly driving a (stolen) car that struck two pedestrians, 27-year-old Hanako Abe and 60-year-old Elizabeth Platt, on December 31, 2020.
With regards to Jenkins’s email to du Bain’s personal email account, Mission Local reports that “The subject line of Jenkins’ email was ‘Troy McAllister Police reports.’ It contained three police reports regarding the serial offender who, while allegedly driving intoxicated on Dec. 31, 2020, struck and killed two pedestrians. All three police reports were unredacted and, significantly, one contained a lengthy, unredacted rap sheet for McAlister, dating back to 1993.”
The email was dated October 9, 2021. Both Jenkins and du Bain quit Boudin’s office a week later, October 16, having already announced their departures. As the SF Standard points out, Jenkins and du Bain then did a joint interview with NBC Bay Area on October 24, 2021 where they extensively discussed details of McAlister’s prior charges.
And in a little irony on top of all this, literally just two weeks ago, Jenkins accused one prosecutor she fired, Lateef Gray, of improperly transporting department records on his way out the door.
Whether it’s politically motivated or not, Jenkins has racked up potential ethical improprieties in her brief, four-month tenure in a way we have not seen since Ed Jew was District 4 supervisor for just 10 months. To wit; we have the secretive $158,000 payment from the recall campaign, last month’s state bar complaint over alleged dishonest conduct, and now this. Who knows if this will affect the election. But even if she serves another term, it seems this is one prosecutor who may always be on the defensive.
Related: Retired Judge Files State Bar Complaint Against SF District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, Citing Dishonest Conduct [SFist]
Image: @BrookeJenkinsSF via Twitter