Recently, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California David Anderson left office after being asked to resign.
The person who will be selected to replace him should not be in or of the San Francisco Democratic Party. The yet-to-be-appointed U.S. Attorney should also not be a member of what is commonly referred to as the “city family.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California currently has a multipronged corruption investigation and prosecution into various arms of the San Francisco city government. This investigation reaches to the top of the city government, the Public Utilities Commission, the Office of Neighborhood Services, and the City Administrator’s Office. The prosecution also extends to multiple city contractors, such as Recology.
The U.S. Justice Department should be sure to appoint a U.S. Attorney who is independent of the San Francisco political infrastructure.
Vice President Kamala Harris was formerly the San Francisco District Attorney. She has many friends and allies who are attorneys in the San Francisco Bay Area. Given her close relationships with San Francisco Mayor London Breed, with former California Speaker and Mayor Willie Brown, and with the political infrastructure here, the new U.S. Attorney also should not be a close confidant of Vice President Harris.
The corruption investigation that the FBI is leading and the U.S. Attorney’s office is prosecuting into the San Francisco city government is extensive and far from over. How high it will reach remains unknown. Multiple cooperating witnesses are delivering evidence to federal investigators on a daily basis. All steps should be taken to avoid a conflict of interest or the appearance of one.
The previous U.S. Attorney, Anderson, had tremendous success in the position. His office coordinated the largest methamphetamine bust in U.S. history. He led major criminal investigations into drug trafficking, pandemic-related fraud, and a wide-ranging corruption scandal involving San Francisco’s city government.
Anderson also initiated and led the Federal Initiative for the Tenderloin (FIT), which brought together the resources of more than 15 federal law enforcement agencies to combat endemic drug trafficking, firearms offenses, robberies, and other crime in the neighborhood. Anderson assigned 15 federal prosecutors to handle cases brought against offenders violating federal law in the neighborhood.
His tenure was exceptional, and the public deserves nothing less than someone who will be as effective as he was.
The people of San Francisco, of the Bay Area, and of all the counties that are included in the Northern District of California deserve a U.S. Attorney who is independent and free and clear of obstruction. This new individual should be completely removed from the political infrastructure. Anything less than that will be a great disappointment and will be unacceptable.