City Attorney Mara Elliott says she has a “professional disagreement” with Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman. It’s also a political one, and their dispute has another, even more important angle — justice.
Elliott, who was elected last year, has called for all rape kits — evidence collected from victims of sexual assault — to be analyzed. She said this during her campaign.
“Elliott recently sent letters to Gov. Jerry Brown, urging him to sign legislation encouraging law enforcement agencies to analyze all sexual assault kits,” VOSD contributor Kelly Davis writes in a new story. “Right now, there are roughly 2,500 untested kits in the San Diego Police Department’s evidence room, and between 6,000 and 9,000 untested kits statewide.”
SDPD says it makes sure that a crime happened before sending a kit for testing. However, Davis writes, “some of the department’s untested kits come from victims deemed ‘uncooperative’ by investigators. Advocates argue that even if a victim refuses to cooperate with prosecutors, a kit’s DNA evidence could identify a repeat offender, or solve a cold case. That is Elliott’s position.”
How Much Water Is Councilman Cate in?
Councilman Chris Cate has admitted that he passed a confidential city legal memo to the developers of the SoccerCity Project, and City Attorney Mara Elliott says he did a bad, bad thing.
The U-T reports that the DA is investigating the situation, and offers a look at the law he may have violated. It’s in city code and punishable as a misdemeanor: “It is unlawful for any current or former City Official to use or disclose to any person any confidential information he or she acquired in the course of his or her official duties, except when disclosure is a necessary function of her official duties.”