Statement: “Criminal prosecution is a tiny part of the responsibilities of that office.” — Political consultant Tom Shepard, who is consulting for San Diego city attorney candidate Gil Cabrera, said about the city attorney’s office in the San Diego Union-Tribune on July 6.
Analysis: With Mayor Kevin Faulconer so far coasting toward a second term, the battle to replace a termed-out Jan Goldsmith as city attorney could be the only prominent citywide race on the ballot next year.
Four high-profile candidates have declared their intentions to run for the position. The Union-Tribune profiled the race earlier this month and included comments from political consultant Tom Shepard, who’s advising candidate Gil Cabrera, an attorney and former chairman of the San Diego Ethics Commission.
Robert Hickey, the only Republican in the race so far, is a county prosecutor. The U-T says his campaign material has touted his work in “taking criminals off the streets and bringing closure to the families of victims.”
Shepard dismissed Hickey’s resume in the story:
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When not arranging civil conspiracies, coordinating surges or suborning perjury, the city attorney's office spends a lot of time on persecutions; chalk on the sidewalk etc.
And, given the office's record, I do suppose that Blacks, Hispanics and other poor people are never viewed as tax payers.
I think this whole thing depends on what is meant by "that office". If they are talking about specifically the office of the City Attorney and not collectively about everyone who works in that department, then the quote is true. While certain people who work in the city attorney's office do spend a lot of time - in fact all of their time - on criminal prosecutions, the city attorney himself or herself is rarely involved unless it's a unique and or high profile situation. You are assuming the quote referred to the entire city attorney's office including all employees, but I read the quote as referring to the city attorney and their role specifically. The bottom line is the role of the city attorney does spend little time on prosecutions as others who work under them carry out these tasks. The main focus of the city attorney specifically is protecting tax payers. One does have to wonder if, by flouting his prosecutorial experience, Mr. Hickey is planning on changing this paradigm and would, if elected, spend less time defending the rights of tax payers and more time getting personally involved in prosecutions of misdemeanors. That would be a significant shift and I think the quote you decided to dissect alludes to this important question.
The best part of this story was in the very beginning stating that Goldsmith is termed out. Now there is cause for celebration.