Harris begs supes for $40.7M to fight crime in S.F.

District Attorney Kamala Harris said Wednesday that her office is struggling to keep up with the high number of misdemeanor cases — such as illegal gun possession, graffiti and prostitution — as she pleaded for money to hire more prosecutors.

Harris came before the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee to discuss her office’s proposed $40.7 million budget for fiscal year 2007-08 and spoke of the needto hire a total of five misdemeanor attorneys, despite a recommendation by Budget Analyst Harvey Rose not to approve two of the attorney positions.

“Not only merchants and neighborhood organizations and neighbors complain and are concerned about the incidents of these crimes going without a response,” Harris said. “The police officers on the street are concerned about whether we are appropriately prosecuting cases at the volume they are occurring and are citing the offenders.”

She said her office has nine attorneys handling misdemeanor cases, and each one has a daily caseload of 333 cases.

The misdemeanor cases include prostitution, crime, graffiti, driving under the influence, illegal gun possession and quality-of-life crimes.

The committee agreed to allow Harris to hire four additional misdemeanor attorneys, rather than the five she asked for. Supervisor Sean Elsbernd said he “reluctantly” supported the decision, saying he’d rather “give her a few more” misdemeanor attorneys.

“When I am out in the district, I hear a great deal about why aren’t these smaller cases prosecuted, and I always have to say, ‘Well the Police Department does their thing, but the district attorney can only do so much,’” Elsbernd said. “I would really like to stop giving the district attorney that excuse.”

jsabatini@examiner.com


Do you think the D.A.’s Office needs more resources?

Share your comments below.

Bay Area NewsGovernment & PoliticsLocalPolitics

Just Posted

Epic Cleantec uses soil mixed with treated wastewater solids to plants at the company’s demonstration garden in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of Epic Cleantec)
This startup watches what SF flushes – and grows food with it

Epic Cleantec saves millions of gallons of water a year, and helps companies adhere to drought regulations

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler congratulates San Francisco Giants first baseman Darin Ruf (33) in the dug out after hitting a home-run in the 5th inning against the Washington Nationals at Oracle Park on July 9, 2021. (Christopher Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
How Gabe Kapler sets the tone for Giants success with strategy, mindset

‘There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the hands-down manager of the year’

The Kimpton Buchanan Hotel in Japantown could become permanent supportive housing if The City can overcome neighborhood pushback. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
San Francisco leaders must reject NIMBY discrimination against homeless housing

By San Francisco Examiner Editorial Board “We support supportive housing. But just… Continue reading

“Ticket to Ride,” on view at RVCA’s Haight-Ashbury store, is made up of artistic renderings of Muni tickets. (Courtesy Optimist Williams)
Celebrating pre-tech SF through Muni transfer tickets

‘Ticket to Ride’ exhibit presents public transit as art and equalizer

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for adolescents in the U.S. (Shutterstock)
Why California teens need mental illness education

SB 224 calls for in-school mental health instruction as depression and suicide rates rise

Most Read