Part five of a five-part series.
The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office proudly notes that in 2008 and 2009 it received prestigious Workplace Excellence awards as one of San Diego’s most outstanding places to work.
It appears things have improved significantly for employees since former District Attorney Paul Pfingst left office at the end of 2002.
While other public agencies scramble to cut services and jobs, the district attorney’s budget is up 65 percent since Bonnie Dumanis took the helm in 2003, from $91 million to $150 million in the fiscal year that ended in June. The number of lawyers is up almost 10 percent during the same period, from 292 to 320.
Dumanis, with her vast political power, has managed to successfully steer the office through a difficult economy by winning federal grants and persuading county supervisors not to cut funding levels.
While there are more lawyers in the office, there appears to be less work to do. Dumanis goes to trial about half as often as her predecessor, according to at least one measure, and trials are what take manpower in a prosecutor’s shop.