Jan 17, 2016 (San Diego) District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis revealed she will not seek reelection in 2018. In her interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune, Dumanis also revealed that she is not sure if she will complete the current term.
If she decides to step down before the election comes, the County Board of Supervisors will have to appoint a temporary replacement until a special election is held.
Her office was rocked by allegations that Jose Susumo Azano gave money to her campaign, and that of now former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner in 2012. The case involved the development of real estate in San Diego, and the alleged ties between the two powerful politicians to cut down the red tape for the Mexican national.
While Dumanis was never charged, a letter of recommendation written by her in County letterhead, and its public release, became a fight with local media who had to sue to obtain it. She was never charged by the Federal Government, however.
It is illegal for foreign nationals to contribute any funds to U.S. political campaigns.
Her office was also behind the use of CALGang and criminal code 182.5 to try to use this against communities of color. The pre-trial hearings and 7 months in county jail for Brandon Duncan “Tiny Doo” and Aaron Harvey are now leading to a civil lawsuit against the City of San Diego.
That case involved over 30 defendants, and in the case of Duncan, it including criminalizing speech, by making the dubious claim that he was benefiting from murders that had not been solved. Or for that matter, were not yet committed when he released his songs.
The case was not a just high profile in San Diego but gained national attention. The judge in the case dismissed it after stating in open court:
This was the test. In all counts, the Judge asked for the actual substantial crime. He told the prosecution, “this requires a felonious act. You have to convict them of a substantive offense, without it you cannot charge them.” Later the Judge asked if the Prosecution had “a specific person to charge?”
The case of Robert Branch, which goes to court next week, will test civil rights standards as well.
Her office has been instrumental in improving communications between victims and her office, however. There have also been improvements in the prosecutions of certain types of fraud. She has also led the office into a period of both modernization and recruitment people of multiple communities. Her office has also been instrumental in the pursuit of cyber criminals and reducing elder abuse.