“Do the right thing.” That’s the mantra instilled in me as a young deputy district attorney by District Attorney Ed Miller. It’s an underlying principle that I continue to live by as the chief law enforcement official in the county. And it’s what I tell our deputy district attorneys when they join our office.
When it became clear that there needed to be a criminal investigation and potential prosecution into allegations against Mayor Bob Filner, law enforcement leaders from several agencies worked together to determine which agency would be best to handle it.
Collaboratively (and for several different reasons) we all agreed that the Sheriff’s Department should lead the investigation. In addition, it was decided any potential prosecution would be handled by the California attorney general’s office, whose attorneys are just as skilled.
It’s not at all unusual for any district attorney’s office to refer cases to a different prosecutorial agency—including the U.S. attorney, attorney general or city attorney— and it’s something that’s done for varying reasons. The important thing isn’t who prosecutes a case. The important thing is that a defendant is held responsible for their crimes and brought to justice.