SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — Just two days after San Francisco’s new district attorney Chesa Boudin was sworn in, the S.F. Chronicle is reporting that at least six prosecutors have been fired as Boudin reshapes the office.
Boudin has said he’s been ready to transform the district attorney’s office, since he narrowly won the race in November.
The former San Francisco deputy public defender ran a progressive campaign that included working to end mass incarcerations and racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
“I had to make difficult staffing decisions today in order to put in place a management team that will help me accomplish the work I committed to do for San Francisco,” Boudin said in a statement to KPIX.
“In the long term, anytime you treat employees like they’re fungible, like they can be fired, like they don’t have value, it is in the long term a real morale breaker for an agency like that,” said Tony Brass, a former San Francisco assistant DA.
The Chronicle reports that prosecutors in the homicide, felony and gang units were let go. Brass said he was surprised to hear that experienced attorneys were fired even as Boudin promised to focus on violent crime.
“What’s strange is that these people aren’t being moved, they’re not being demoted, they’re being fired and they’re being told that essentially their services have no use in the office anymore,” said Brass. “I’ve worked with these people both as a co-worker and as an opponent.”
On Wednesday, KPIX reporter Joe Vazquez asked Boudin about his priorities and whether they involved firing any prosecutors.
“Firing people is certainly not a priority but I do want to make sure that the office is set up to more effectively support the staff that do such critical work to serve the people that live in this city and visit the city,” Boudin said. “I know that there’s a need for change, morale has been low, we’ve had a hard time retaining staff over the last year.”