Prosecutor accused of misconduct no longer employed by SF DA

A San Francisco prosecutor who was accused by the Public Defender’s Office of prosecutorial misconduct earlier this year is no longer employed by the district attorney’s office, a spokesman confirmed Thursday.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi filed a complaint with the California State Bar in June against Assistant District Attorney Benjamin Mains, alleging misconduct in five different cases between January of 2014 and this year.

Adachi alleged that Mains withheld DNA evidence and information about witness statements that could have helped clear some defendants and in some cases abused prosecutorial discretion by reviving charges against defendants that had already been dropped for lack of evidence.

Adachi also filed a complaint with the state Attorney General’s Office in August, asking for an investigation on possible criminal charges.

Alex Bastian, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office, confirmed Thursday that Mains is no longer employed there, but could not comment on when he left or whether he was fired or left voluntarily.

The bar complaint against Mains is still pending, according to the public defender’s office.

“While I don’t find any joy in someone losing a job, we must take prosecutorial misconduct seriously,” Adachi said in a statement. “When DAs hide evidence, innocent people lose their freedom, their families, their lives.”

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