San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis To Step Down In July
San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced Thursday she is resigning in July. The district attorney said she is being encouraged to run for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.
Dumanis said she has not yet decided whether to pursue a candidacy. But in a letter to her staff sent Thursday morning, she said she believes her experience coupled with the role the board plays in public safety and policy issues would make her an effective supervisor.
Carl Luna, Mesa College political science professor, said the transition could be an easy one.
“The only downside is you may not have the experience as a district attorney that you have as an administrative supervisor, it’s a much more political role than the district attorney’s role.”
Dumanis said serving as district attorney has been an “absolute privilege and one of the highest honors” of her professional life.
The Chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party, Jessica Hayes, released the following statement:
“Just two days prior to the District Attorney’s resignation announcement, press reports revealed that the DA was a ‘subject of the investigation’ in the Azano corruption saga and had improper contacts regarding the case with the then-U.S. Attorney.
“The public deserves to know the extent of the District Attorney’s involvement in the Azano corruption scandal, and whether any other personnel in the DA’s office acted improperly.
“I’m calling on the County Board of Supervisors to launch an independent investigation headed by a special prosecutor into the Office of the District Attorney’s connection with this far-reaching case – the largest political corruption scandal in San Diego history.
“Adding to a story already steeped in backroom politics and insider dealing, Dumanis’ early resignation now paves the way for the Board of Supervisors to appoint her replacement before the voters have a say. Anyone seeking to become San Diego’s next District Attorney should pledge to support an independent investigation into the DA’s role in this political corruption case.
“Because San Diego’s chief law enforcement officer is implicated, an independent investigation is the only way for justice to be served. This is no time for business-as-usual politics.
“It would be a grievous breach of the public’s trust to appoint a new DA until the independent investigation is concluded. The public has the right to know the full extent of the involvement of personnel in the DA’s office with this scandal.”
Read Dumanis' letter below:
Ladies and gentlemen:
As you know, I am not seeking re-election and therefore, my time as
San Diego County District Attorney is coming to an end. Since I first
announced my intentions to you in January, many of you have been
asking about my future plans. As I have weighed that future, among the
many things I have been encouraged to consider is a run for San Diego
County Board of Supervisors.
To be clear, I have not decided if I will be a candidate or not. I
believe my experience, and the critical role that the Board plays in
public safety and policy issues, would make me an effective member.
However, I do not want to create any conflict with, or distraction
from the important work of the District Attorney’s Office. Therefore,
I feel it’s appropriate for me to resign at this time as I explore my
As you can imagine, having spent 30 years of my life in this office,
this has been a difficult decision. I’ve spent 43 years in public
life and it has been my honor to work on behalf of San Diegans rising
from an entry-level Clerk Typist, to Investigative Assistant, Deputy
District Attorney, Juvenile Court Referee, Municipal Court Judge,
Superior Court Judge and elected District Attorney.
As I have considered the choices before me, I have decided my last day
on the job will be Friday, July 7, 2017.
As you have heard me say many times before, serving as District
Attorney has been an absolute privilege and one of the highest honors
of my professional life. Working as DA alongside an incredibly
talented group of professionals for nearly 15 years to deliver justice
to the people of San Diego has been a richly rewarding experience.
Each and every one of you has contributed to public safety in our
County and collectively, your dedication continues to make this office
among the best in the nation. Together, we have been leaders in change
and a voice of justice for so many. I’m very proud of the
unparalleled crime prevention and public outreach programs we’ve put
in place and your unwavering commitment to supporting victims of
It has not been an easy decision to close this chapter of my career as
District Attorney. But knowing I have served with some of the most
skilled professionals in the country makes me proud of what we've
accomplished together. I believe the office is stronger than it was 14
years ago, that together we've made a difference in the lives of
countless crime victims, and that you will no doubt continue to
accomplish great things in the years to come.
When District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced that she was not seeking and reelection there was speculation that she would step down before her term expired. She announced her resignation effective in July. She also confirmed rumors that she may run for a seat on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. Joining me is our investigative reporter. Thank you for joining me. We spoke about the decision not to run for reelection back in January. What reasons did she give at that time for not running. She said she was content with the way the office was running. She said that it was stable that she had talented staff and that she believed that she personally had other things to do. Today the DA issued a letter announcing her resignation. The she give any further information about why she's being stuck -- why she is stepping down. She said she is -- it is interesting the Lincoln club conducted a poll and that showed that in that upcoming race to man is pulled ahead of other prospective candidates. That included Nathan Fletcher Lori Saldana and San Diego city councilmember Lori sass. Suggests yesterday he reported a story about Bonnie and an exchange of messages. Remind us about that and do you have any indication that your story has anything to do with today's announcement. Some believe that the timing of the announcement is very curious. It comes to days after KPBS did a story on her and a former US attorney Laura Duffy exchanging text and speaking on the phone during the campaign corruption case of the Mexican billionaire who was convicted of illegally contributing money to San Diego candidates including Bonnie demand is -- Bonnie Dumanis who got about $200,000. I spoke to several former prosecutors. They said that communication like that is highly inappropriate because at that time Laura Duffy had been recused from the case and she was a witness in the case. Our other stories coming about that. There are several questions that remain about that communication that have not yet been answered. Some long-term officeholders resigned before the term expires so they can hand off her dogs to their successor. Do we know who that might be in this case. It is believed to be the assistant District Attorney. It's up to the Board of Supervisors to appoint an interim replacement. It is believed again that it will be summer staff in. She has already announced her candidacy for the race next year. There is a contingent to people who believe her selection is antidemocratic because it would give her an unfairly got in the actual political election. Are there any other advantages to resigning early. That is if she has the supervisors race in mind. She could focus efforts on fundraising for the race. It may be difficult for her to be a sitting DA and run for the Board of Supervisors. There is precedent for she remained in her position when she ran for mayor back in 2012. She says it has been an honor and district -- to service District Attorney. What are some of the high-profile pros and cons her time in office. The DA got high marks for the way her office handled the murder cases of two teenage girls several years ago in view of pursuing the death penalty against the killing her office cut a deal with John Gardner for him to plead guilty to both murders and be sentenced to two life terms. She has also come under fire a few years ago after dozens of people were charged under gang conspiracy law. What that did is it held individuals responsible for game -- gang crimes if they benefited or promoted the crime and did not actually participate. I've been speaking with investigative reporter Ami said. Thank you.